Environmental activities in 2015
Work continued in 2015 on optimising energy and process issues, following the Hallsta 2014 restructuring project . A permit to run a sludge composting operation on the site of the former timber yard north of the mill was granted in July. The ground was converted to hard standing in the autumn and the site has been adapted for the new operation.
Work to cap the former ash landfill site (Ryadeponin) is continuing as planned. Three of the seven phases have been completed. Phase 4 will be carried out in 2016.
All limits for emissions to water were complied with in 2015. However, the guideline values (monthly averages) for emissions to water of phosphorus were exceeded in April and June. This was due to problems with the sludge presses in April and low availability of the cooling tower in the wastewater treatment plant in June.
The wastewater treatment plant suffered major variations as a result of a fire that hit the TMP mill in November. Fire fighting run-off and large quantities of decontaminants plus decontaminated fire residues went through the wastewater treatment system. No fire fighting or decontamination flows bypassed the wastewater treatment plant.
In the 2015 survey of external noise, the guide value set for Hallsta Paper Mill was exceeded at one of ten measurement points. The mill has also had previous problems with high noise levels at this measurement point. In 2015, a point source was identified in the form of fans in a temporary storage tent, which is the cause of the higher sound level. Dialogue with the supervisory authority continues on dealing with the measurement point in question.
Work on more clearly integrating environmental, energy and health & safety work into the company's management and the mill's day-to-day operations continues. A key area where the mill is working on improvements is a continued focus on targets, including the drawing up of critical success factors, action plans and target follow-up. In 2015, the document management system for the mill's business management system was improved and made more easily accessible.
Permits for operation
Hallsta Paper Mill holds a permit for its operations granted under the Environmental Code in 2000. Additional partial judgments govern specific parts of the operation, including ash sent to landfill, sludge composting, bark storage and emissions to air of certain pollutants.
Hallsta Paper Mill also has three water judgments from 1930, 1955 and 1979 governing the permit to meet demand for process water from the nearby lake system.
Hallsta Paper Mill has been covered by the rules on fossil carbon dioxide emissions trading since 1 January 2005. The mill holds a permit for emissions of greenhouse gases for the new trading period 2013-2020.
Starting with the 2015 Environmental Report, the mill's outcomes and status will be compared with current BAT conditions. This is in line with the EU's Industrial Emissions Directive.
The environmental management system has been certified to ISO 14001 since 2001.
The energy management system has been certified to SS 62 77 50 since 2005 and to the new international standard ISO 50001 since 2011.
The health and safety management system has been certified to OHSAS 18001 since 2012.
Hallsta Paper Mill has held FSC® (FSC-C020071) and PEFCTM certification for the traceability (chain of custody) of wood raw material since 2007.
All products from Hallsta are approved to carry the EU Ecolabel.
A key investment completed in 2015 with a green focus was the setting up of a 4-hectare area for sludge composting and bark storage.
In addition, extensive improvements were made to the electrical and automation equipment on PM 12 as part of the mill's planned maintenance shutdown in the autumn.
2015 saw the continuation of work on creating even better conditions for optimising the process in terms of energy.
Disruptions to production and complaints
The situation in the wastewater treatment system was better in 2015 than in the previous year. The disruptions that occurred were caused by one-off, short-lived incidents. The wastewater treatment plant suffered major variations as a result of the fire that hit the TMP mill in November. Fire fighting run-off and large quantities of decontaminants plus decontaminated fire residues went through the wastewater treatment system. The matter was reported to the County Administrative Board.
The guideline values for phosphorus were exceeded twice over the year. Both incidents were reported to the County Administrative Board. An accident was also reported, despite it primarily being a work environment issue (duly reported to the Swedish Work Environment Authority), since the incident involved chemicals. None of these incidents led to any demand for action from the County Administrative Board, but were of a more informative nature.
In March, there was a sizeable oil leak from PM 11 into the wastewater treatment system. The incident was reported to the County Administrative Board. A report was also submitted on noise levels being exceeded at one point following noise measurements. This will be followed up at the consultation meeting with the County Administrative Board in the first quarter of 2016.
During the year, complaints about unpleasant smells were received from the local community north of the mill. Optimisation work is under way on the wastewater treatment system and in process steps where chemicals containing sulphur are used. The purpose of this is to minimise their occurrence and spread.
Follow-up of environmental and energy targets in 2015
In 2015, there was a target to make more efficient use of resources and to increase capacity utilisation on the production lines. The utilisation of capacity has a major impact on resource efficiency in terms of energy, water and chemicals.
The outcome for the mill's paper machines was good over the course of the year, with PM 11 in particular showing substantial improvements, and a new and higher efficiency level has now been established.
The target for energy was to source less than 100 GWh per year from the electric boilers.
This target was achieved by a good margin, and clearly shows how successful the completed energy restructuring has been.
An internal target for Hallsta Paper Mill is for emissions to be kept 20 per cent below the current limits. The mill has limits for emissions to water of suspended solids, organic material, phosphorus, nitrogen and EDTA (complexing agent).
The target of a 20 per cent margin below the current limits was achieved for all parameters.
Planned environmental and energy measures in 2016
2016 will see continued improvements in energy optimisation. One key area is the specific energy consumption of TMP 3. The heat and steam recovery changes that have been implemented will now be calibrated.
Environmental and energy targets in 2016
In 2016, work will continue on making more efficient use of resources, with a focus on increasing utilisation of capacity on the paper machines.
The mill's total specific energy consumption will be monitored as an overall target.