Kotkamills’ evaporation solution is being built with the plant in full production operation

What is reportedly one of the world’s most energy-efficient black liquor evaporation plants employing MVR technology is currently being built in forest industry company Kotkamills’ pulp mill. The project is one of Adven’s largest evaporation plant projects to date and the company’s first evaporator solution for a pulp mill. 

Adven is overseeing the construction of the new evaporation plant as part of a two-phase project. After the project is completed, in early autumn 2020, Adven will be responsible for developing the evaporation plant’s operations and for its maintenance. 

The challenge during the construction phase is the plant’s historical spaces, which is where the evaporator is being built. The oldest buildings in the mill area date as far back as 1937.

“There is no unoccupied space for the new evaporator, so machinery that has been decommissioned has been removed to make way for the new equipment,” explains Adven’s Ilkka Tapanainen, Project Manager for the Kotkamills project.

Kotkamills’ production is in full swing while the construction work is being carried out, which presents its own challenges. Another facet of the project is taking into account the odour problems arising from methanol recovery and the processing of gases.

“The special challenge of the project has been taking these issues into consideration in planning, and linking everything to the pulp mill’s existing systems,” says the process expert on the project, Concept Developer Antti Tuominen of Adven.

MVR evaporation method’s breakthrough in the pulp industry

The evaporation solution for Kotkamills is presumably the first of its kind in the world, as the MVR evaporation method that is based on a closed steam cycle is being utilised more innovatively and efficiently.

“Adven is bringing new technology to Kotkamills, technology that has not really been used on the pulp and paper side until now. The rate of evaporation is being taken one step further than normal in the new evaporation plant, thanks to MVR technology, and the end stage of the evaporation process employs traditional technology,” says Tuominen.

The construction work on phase one of the two-phase project is proceeding full steam ahead. During phase one, the first MVR evaporator will be installed in the evaporation plant, and it will be commissioned in August, during the plant’s production downtime.

Current evaporation plant’s steam consumption will drop by more than 50%

Once the first evaporation plant is up and running, the second phase of the evaporators will begin. When the project is completed, in early autumn 2020, a substantial improvement in steam economy will be achieved thanks to the MVR evaporators: the new evaporation plant will cut the pulp plant’s steam consumption in half from the current volume, and carbon dioxide emissions will decrease significantly.

“The project began last summer and has proceeded nicely on schedule and in close and good cooperation with Kotkamills,” Tapanainen sums up.

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