The expansion of SCA Östrand, one of the biggest ever industrial investments in Sweden and the biggest ever in Norrland, took place with the aid of SSG Standards.
“In the project we used our own factory standards, which are based on the SSG Standards,” says Per Asplund, Manager Projects & Engineering at SCA.
With the wide-ranging expansion of SCA Östrand, the business is doubling its production capacity from 430,000 tonnes to 900,000 tonnes (expandable to 1 million tonnes) and getting the biggest production line for bleached softwood kraft pulp in the world.
The construction process, which is currently nearing completion, included a new cleaning shop, a new evaporation unit, a new drying machine with two new baling lines, an expanded water purification plant, a new operating centre, the expansion of shared systems and a new, large fibre line. The fibre line is the biggest in the world solely for softwood.
“When we were planning and placing our orders before the expansion, at all times we used our contracts as a basis, which state clearly that SCA factory standards apply, which indirectly also means SSG Standards.”
There have never been any major problems about this among suppliers.
“Most of our major suppliers are often subscribers to SSG Standards, and they’re very familiar with them. Our own factory standard was then sent out together with the tender documents,” says Per Asplund.
SSG’s committees have also been able to learn some lessons from this major industrial project.
“In a project on this scale, you test things that can be interpreted in different ways, which isn’t always ideal. So we brought needs for improvements and clarifications to the attention of SSG’s committees in areas where we identified shortcomings,” says Per Asplund, continuing:
“When we’re working on ongoing projects, the standards are usually never questioned by suppliers. But in large deliveries it’s more common for the standards to be questioned, where suppliers are keen to interpret the standard based on their own perspective. Ideally, all suppliers always want to apply their own standards. There was also a lot of effort required to make sure that our standard is passed on all the way to the main suppliers’ own suppliers and contractors.”
This is why Per Asplund has long been striving on the SSG Mechanical Engineering Committee, which he chairs, to link the SSG Standards to equivalent European standards, before supplementing them with clarifications and suggestions for industry-specific “best practice” solutions.
The three-year expansion of SCA Östrand has gone entirely according to expectations.
“We’re actually really satisfied. We can say that we’ve kept to both schedule and budget, and we’ve not had any serious accidents. We’re now going through the test running process in accordance with the production curve as expected. What remains now in the project phase is the inspection, which involves performance tests,” says Per Asplund, concluding:
“If you think things through well enough in advance, things often turn out as you imagined.”