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SCA invests €4.9m to improve pellet mill

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SCA, a major forest owner in Sweden, has invested SEK 50 million (€4.9 million) to reduce its pellet mill's environmental impact.

The investment into the Härnosänd pellet mill will also reduce ‘discomforts’ for the neighbouring community.

Since 1992, the Härnosänd site in Murbergsviken, northern Sweden has been producing wood pellets made from sawdust from the company’s sawmills. In the drying process, terpenes and resin acids – natural substances found in wood – are emitted. When vapour and particles are subject to sunlight, a ‘refraction phenomenon’ can occur, which makes the vapours appear blue and have a bad odour, according to SCA.

“We now invest in new technology, a wet electrical filter, to better contain the particles and thereby minimise the occasions when this blue haze occurs,” said Per-Arne Persson, mill manager at SCA Bionorr.

SCA will make technical measurements to confirm the improved performance once the project is complete, but an important contribution will be the input from a local odour panel that the company will set up during the project.

“We want to learn of the experiences of our neighbours through the panel, before and after the realisation of the project,” said Persson. “This will be valuable knowledge for us.”

Additionally, the project will further improve the treatment and process of surface water. A new sedimentation basin is already in use and another one is being constructed and will be operational this autumn.