Sappi Europe is fully committed to building a sustainable world, and while our Maastricht Mill will be changing ownership, we remain proud of the work done to ensure this historic mill will continue to contribute towards a low-carbon future.
Steam is pivotal for paper production, from cooking wood chips in the digester to warming rollers to dry the paper and more. The boilers that produce this steam have traditionally been powered by combustion with fossil fuels like gas. Now, at Maastricht Mill in the Netherlands renewable electricity is a growing share of the energy mix.
Beginning in 2021, the mill began a €6 million project to install an ‘e-boiler’ that can convert electrical power from solar and wind into the steam we need. Now that it’s fully commissioned, the mill’s yearly emissions of carbon dioxide should reduce by some 13 per cent compared to 2019. This represents a reduction of 22,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually. Production hours are also expected to increase in the future, reaching a maximum potential of almost 50 per cent of demand.
Another benefit of the project is that it is helping to stabilize the high-voltage grid in the Netherlands. Grid operators can struggle to ensure that surplus power from renewables does not go to waste. Now with Sappi, they have a reliable way to offload it.
“Our e-boiler shows that green electricity is not in some distant future. At Sappi, it’s in the here and now”, explains Mill Director Ferdinand Koster. It’s also a transition that has proved especially prescient given the exceptionally high cost of gas and the conflict in Ukraine that is adding even greater pressure to energy markets.