Jan. 5, 2023 - Ilim Group has successfully completed the first water run of the Voith XcelLine kraft linerboard machine (KLB machine) at the company's new KLB Mill in Ust-Ilimsk, Russia.
A start-up of the KLB machine is scheduled for Q2 2023.
According to Ilim, individual tests of its main equipment are underway. In December (2022), the KLB Mill facilities were also energized — a full connection of the mill to the power grid is planned for April 2023. In addition, checkout and commissioning began with the digesters, washers and recovery boiler.
The new mill will be started up in the first half of 2023.
"We are less than 6 months away from start-up of the KLB Mill in Ust-Ilimsk," said Kseniia Sosnina, CEO of Ilim Group. "Now, Ilim Group is finalizing the main work on the project.
"Along with the construction, there are a lot of efforts made to prepare for a launch of the KLB mill products in the market, first of all, in China. Despite the economic environment and complicated logistics, our development strategy remains the same. By 2025, we plan to increase our exports to China up to 2.4 million tons," Sosnina explained.
The capacity of the new KLB machine is 600 thousand tons of finished products per year. The maximum daily production rate is 2,150 tons. The equipment was custom designed for Ilim Group.
The KLB machine will produce kraftliner in a wide range of basis weights — 80 to 175 gsm — which is used primarily for end-use applications such as food packaging.
The new KLB Mill in Ust-Ilimsk is a priority investment project of Ilim Group. It will allow the company to increase its current capacities in Ust-Ilimsk by 75% up to 1.5 million tons of finished products per year. The overall annual output of Ilim Group will grow to 4.6 million tons — one third of which will be unbleached packaging materials.
Total investments in the project reached USD 1.3 billion.
Ilim Group, with headquarters in St. Petersburg, Russia, operates three large pulp and paper mills and two modern corrugated box plants. The business assets are located in Koryazhma (Arkhangelsk Oblast), Bratsk and Ust-Ilimsk (Irkutsk Oblast), Kommunar (Leningrad Oblast), and Dmitrov (Moscow Oblast).
SOURCE: Ilim Group
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