Steam accumulator in the paper industry – an innovation of the energy supply system

Project Description

Hamburger Containerboard is investing in stateof- the-art technology for energy- and resourcesaving paper production in our Pitten mill. With the commissioning of a state-of-the-art steam storage facility at the site at the end of 2020, Hamburger is taking a further step towards energy efficiency and saving resources in our production. If web breaks occur, excess steam can now be stored temporarily in the steam accumulator as valuable heat energy, and thus fully utilised for the first time. One of the main challenges was the transport and placement of the cylindrical steam storage tank, with a diameter of 4 m, a length of 15 m and a weight of 85 tonnes – all in one piece. Furthermore, a new, complex load balancing and controlling concept had to be created in order to be able to use the steam accumulator most efficiently. The stakeholders were regional suppliers, as well as long-term partners who could be relied upon even during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Project Purpose

By adding a steam accumulator (boiling water storage tank) as a buffer installation, we can prevent valuable steam from being lost during web breaks on the paper machines. In addition, loss times and reject quantities can be significantly reduced because of the faster availability of process steam from the steam accumulator. One positive side effect is that energy appliances at a low thermal level (e.g. building heating) can be supplied via the steam accumulator instead of consuming expensive primary energy.

Project Evaluation

The more efficient use of energy also reduced the amount of primary fuel required for steam generation in the form of hard coal by more than 3,500 tonnes. Annual emissions of fossil CO2 from the paper mill were thus reduced by 9,600 tonnes. The precise load control concept improves the boilers’ fuel efficiency, and thus indirectly saves even more fuel. Hamburger has invested more than €2.7 million in the new installation.

 

Martin Steer

Head of Energy, Waste water treatment & Environment

Our goal is to make the circular economy as sustainable
as possible. With the commissioning of the new steam
storage facility, we have made significant progress on this
issue. The steam accumulator installation enables us to
buffer the thermal energy we generate in a sensible way,
and at the same time save on fossil fuels. As a result, we
achieve an annual CO2 saving of 9,600 tonnes and thus
make a significant contribution to climate protection. The
steam storage is an important step towards decarbonising
our paper mill and contributes significantly to achieving
the goals of our long term energy strategy.