The operations at UPM-Kymmene Kaukas pulp mill are back to normal after the difficulties at end June and early July. Production has been restricted, which has brought the operating capability of the biological effluent treatment plant back to normal. The COD emissions (loading indicating the chemical oxygen demand) into lake Saimaa have remained below permit conditions since July 5, 2003, so the 75 t/d permit condition for the entire month was not exceeded. Phosphorus emissions also remained below the permit condition in July. The BOD (biological oxygen demand) condition was exceeded in July due to the high figure of the month's first measurement.
The maintenance shutdown of the pulp mill was longer than usual and the start-up after the shutdown was exceptionally difficult generating great amount of effluent. This in turn paralysed the operation of the effluent treatment plant. The problems piled up at the evaporation plant from where condensates containing black liquor were discharged to the effluent treatment plant and further in a neutralized form into Lake Saimaa.
Lake Saimaa is gradually recovering to a normal state. Water quality in the area from Pappilansalmi to Haukiselkä is passable, meaning that water is slightly brownish or has lower than usual oxygen content but according to analysis results it does not prevent normal recreational water usage. The most heavily affected area is now Tullisalmi. The quality of water has improved as assumed and no permanent damage is expected.
The case has been analysed and as a result the operative guidelines for the evaporation plant have already been revised and new measurement and alarm devices installed. The need for investments is also being investigated. The chain of events will be reviewed and corrective action will be agreed with the personnel after summer holidays. In addition, training will be arranged in the coming autumn. The experience gained from the case will be widely utilised in UPM-Kymmene's mills and respective measures taken at other pulp mills of the Group.
UPM-Kymmene will compensate for damage caused by the emissions. The company expects to receive applications in writing from the persons who have suffered loss by the end of this year. UPM-Kymmene will assign an external expert to carry out the investigation on the claims and compensations. The process is expected to last until March 2004. UPM-Kymmene estimates that compensations can be paid before the summer of 2004 provided that agreement is reached in discussions.
Issues related to claims and the current condition of the lake system will be reviewed in a briefing conference arranged for the people from the affected areas on Monday, August 4, 2003 at the Kaukas school. During autumn, the parties involved will receive further information in writing on the progress of investigations.
Financial effects of production losses and other extra costs resulting from the emissions are estimated at over two million euros. This figure does not include the compensation for damage caused by the emissions. Up till now, Kaukas has cleared up beaches, transported water for animals and arranged transportation for children's swimming classes, among other things.
For further information please contact:
Mr Harry Sundqvist, Vice President & General Manager, UPM-Kymmene Kaukas,
tel. +358 204 15 4548, or +358 400 154 419
Mr Esa Simpura, Environmental Manager, UPM-Kymmene Kaukas, tel. +358 204 15 4244, or +358 400 256 520
August 4, 2003