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The electrification of manufacturing is a key issue for the planet. In a first for Europe, the Norwegian paper pulp manufacturer Vafos Pulp AS is equipping its factory with an electric heating system that will minimise its carbon footprint, using a solution developed by Actemium.

The Norwegian firm Vafos Pulp AS manufactures unbleached paper pulp used mainly in the production of cardboard.

The Norwegian firm Vafos Pulp AS manufactures unbleached paper pulp used mainly in the production of cardboard. More than 95% of the bales produced by Vafos are exported to Europe, with Germany its largest market. The 150-year-old company wanted to equip its Kragerø factory with a new heating system allowing it to move from fuel oil to electric power and thus drastically reduce its carbon footprint. This will be Europe’s first factory of this type.

As part of this contract, Actemium, the VINCI Energies brand specialising in industrial performance, designed and supplied two electrical cabinets built into containers. “This was the simplest and cheapest solution, as it saved having to construct a new building”, explains Jon Ottar Ellefsen, CEO of Actemium Electro AS.

“Another considerable advantage was being able to build the entire electrical distribution room in our workshop, with all the installations and the distribution cabinet. That all takes around seven weeks. We then transport the completely finished containers to the site”. The installation has been completed by Actemium Electro AS but the customer has postponed the project due to supply problems due to the current situation.

For the new heating system at the Vafos Pulp plant in Kragerø, Actemium designed and delivered two electrical cabinets built into containers.

Excellent prospects

The electrical switchboards are fitted with DCT880 thyristors from ABB and a Siemens S7 controller to regulate the heating elements. “We looked at several options when we started work on this project, but we chose ABB’s DCT technology because it offers the best performance against the customer’s criteria”, says Jon Ottar Ellefsen. “And we chose the Siemens S7 controller because it’s a tried and tested automation system that we are already very familiar with.”

“The electrification of manufacturing is an enormous opportunity”

This installation, a first of its kind, offers great prospects in what promises to be a huge market, given the 2050 zero emissions target announced by the European Union and the United Nations sustainability goals.

“The electrification of manufacturing is an enormous opportunity”, concludes Jon Ottar Ellefsen. “With the container-based solution developed by Actemium, we could electrify industry everywhere, not just because of its price but also the practicality, with the possibility to quickly source one or two containers ready for connection to the network and the factory.”

This investment will save 13,000 tons of CO2 emission per year. This will have a significant environmental impact on the local community.