In October 2019, the Bratsk Mill started checkout and commissioning of the KLB Line after a large-scale rebuild.
The project CAPEX exceeded USD 120 million. The KLB machine capacity increased by 30%, namely from 198 thousand tons per year up to 300 thousand tons per year, including a speed increase from 540 to 800 meters per minute. The upgraded machine has a wider basis weight range starting from 90 up to 225 gsm. The key market for the additional kraftliner volumes is the Asian region.
“In the next several years Ilim plans to increase its exports to China by 60%, which is primarily driven by construction of a new full scale pulp and linerboard mill in Ust-Ilimsk with a capacity of 600 thousand tons per year and upgrade of the existing mills in Siberia. The new mill will use cutting edge technology, automation and digitalization”, emphasized Kseniia Sosnina, Ilim Group CEO. “By 2024, Ilim’s exports to China will reach 2.4 million tons. We intend to deliver our products to all regions of China and more regions in Asia, as part of the One Road, One Belt international initiative we consistently invest in the development of our logistics and infrastructure-related projects. Company continues to work on developing long term sustainable forest base, implementing automation and digitalization in forestry and other operations”.
The KLB Line Rebuild at the Bratsk Mill of Ilim Group involved the whole process flow from pulp cooking to finished product packaging. GLV, PMP Group and Andritz were Ilim's key partners under this project. The large-scale KLB machine upgrade involved replacement of flat wire table with a twin-wire option consisting of top and bottom formers, installation of two shoe-type presses, new calender and a reel, complete retrofit of a steam and condensate system as well as a vacuum system. Integrated distributed process control system will improve reliability and increase the speed of operations.
Ilim Group is one of the leaders of the pulp and paper industry globally. The annual production output of Ilim Group exceeds 3.4 million tons of pulp and paper products, which are exported to more than 70 countries worldwide. Ilim Group has a strategic focus on the Asian market. In 2023, Ilim plans to complete its investment program worth more than USD 3 billion involving upgrade of the existing facilities and launch of new capacities in Siberia, as well as to increase the annual production output to reach 4.4 million tons.