Rebuilding complete at UPM-Kymmene Corporation's Kaukas Pulp Mill, softwood pulp line to start up on 6 December. The presence of experienced project personnel, as well as intensive co-operation between machine and equipment suppliers, enabled the stringent time schedule formulated for the Kuitu 90 investment project in January 1995 to be tightened even further. A full three months will have been lopped off the original two-year turnaround time when the mill's final softwood pulping line starts up on 6 December 1996, Finnish Independence Day. The rebuilt mill's production capacity is 625 000 tonnes, 350 000 tonnes of which are softwood pulp and 275 000 tonnes of which are hardwood pulp. The investment now nearing completion includes wood processing and bark boiler renovations, a new causticizing plant and a lime kiln, a new hardwood cooking plant, a totally new softwood pulping line, as well as a new drying machine and a new pulp warehouse. Start-ups for the new equipment began already during the spring in the wood processing department. Next to be completed was the installation of the fluidized bed for the bark boiler. Causticizing plant and a lime kiln operations began in late September, and the evaporation plant extension was taken into use at the end of October. Drying machine operations began on 27 November. All these parts will have been functioning successfully in time for the climax of the completed project, the firing-up of cooking department operations. The hardwood cooking plant will start on 2 December and the new softwood pulping line will begin operations on 6 December. The first stage of the pulp mill's renovation included the soda recovery boiler, evaporation plant, steam turbine, odour gas treatment plant, as well as a biological effluent treatment plant, all of which began operating during 1991-1992. Pulp quality important Lappeenranta Paper Mill is the Kaukas pulp mill's most important and demanding client. Representatives of the pulp mill and paper mill, working in close co-operation with Kaukas Research Center scientists, have developed the reinforcing properties of Kaukas softwood pulp to satisfy consistency standards for the strength and quality of pulp used for magazine printing paper. Besides the paper mill at Kaukas, other customers are drawn primarily from the company group's other paper mills. The largest customer for hardwood pulp is the Group's Nordland Papier mill in Germany, specialising in the production of fine papers. The renovated mill's sophisticated equipment technology and skilled staff ensure a consistently high-quality chemical pulp quality. Special attention paid to environmental aspects The mill's location in the centre of a populated area has imposed special requirements regarding environmental protection. Careful attention paid to equipment selection has led to solutions that, for example, reduce the quantity of process water previously consumed by at least two-thirds, increase the efficiency of inceneration of odorous gases, and minimise airborne emissions. The rebuilt mill's emission levels will clearly fall below the minimum standards set for it by municipal authorities. Ten percent of the total FIM 1825 million investment has been targeted for environmentally protective measures. Operating personnel participated in planning stage A far-sighted personnel management policy, together with co-operation between different employee groups, has enabled mill staff to adjust to the needs of the newly operating mill. To ensure the new mill's uninterrupted operation, temporary personnel have been hired while permanent staff are trained in new skills. The new mill will employ 370 persons. The new mill will also create increased areas of responsibility for operating personnel. Each employee, besides knowing his or her own job, will also be able to perform the tasks of fellow employees, enabling rotating work shifts to be implemented following start-up operations. An additional motivating force for mill staff during the project period has been the opportunity to offer their expertise right from the inception of the mill's design process; personnel task force groups have influenced such factors as equipment selection and working conditions. A successful total solution The mood of successful co-operation that pervades the Kaukas pulp mill is demonstrated by the fact that the project was carried out in an exemplary fashion in a record time that even exceeded the originally accelerated timetable without hindering current pulp mill operations. The successful integration of the mill's architecture with the surrounding landscape has already garnered praise from many quarters. Especially now, during Finland's short winter days, the mill's plentiful exterior lighting has already attracted favourable attention; apart from its aesthetic attractiveness, sufficient exterior lighting is an extremely important component of occupational safety for mill personnel working on outside platforms.