Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill (APPM) is the town-forming enterprise
of Novodvinsk, a town located at the Severnaya Dvina river upstream
from the city of Arkhangelsk. APPM is a major European producer of
cardboard, bleached pulp, and paper. The company also provides the 40
000 town dwellers of Novodvinsk with heating, water supply, and
wastewater treatment. The reason for the inclusion of the plant in the
list of Barents Hot Spots was for the significant amounts of air and
water pollutants it releases into the environment.
During the past ten years, the pulp and paper mill has increased its
production volumes. At the same time, the company has been able to
report a decrease in both air emissions and wastewater discharges thanks
to investments in more environmentally friendly technologies. The
original list of Barents Hot Spot concentrates on direct environmental
and health effects, such as emissions of acidifying sulphur dioxide and
odorous gases. In accordance with the Barents Action Plan on Climate
Change, the BEAC Subgroup on Hot Spot Exclusion is also paying more attention to the climate impact of the Hot Spots. Arkhangelsk
Pulp and Paper Mill has taken steps to decrease its climate effect
among the pioneering companies in this field in Russia.
The Chief Engineer of APPM, Mr. Viktor Zhitnukhin tells
that the work to address the greenhouse gas emissions in the company
started in the year 2000. The company’s leadership and main shareholders
recognized the seriousness of the problem as well as the business
potential provided by the emissions trading mechanisms of the Kyoto
Protocol to the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Moreover, they realized that the looming struggle over climate change
would eventually have implications for the businesses and their
In 2002, the company set for itself emissions reduction goals, which it
managed to meet as planned during the following ten-year period. In
2013, a new climate strategy with an action plan for emission reductions
up to 2020 was adopted. The work done has been positively received by
the investors and the customers. The company has been awarded for its
actions: it was the first company in Russia to receive ISO 14064-1:2006
standard on greenhouse gas management and was nominated as the best
performing Russian company in the international Carbon Disclosure
Project in 2014.
Mr. Zhitnukhin tells that the first inventory of greenhouse gases was
performed at the plant in 2003, concerning the period of 1990-2002. From
2003 onwards, a yearly inventory has been published and can be accessed on the company’s website.
Inventory results from 2014 show a 37 % reduction of greenhouse gas
emissions in comparison with the baseline of 1990. The reduction has
not taken place only due to the fact that the production vоlumes
decreased after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but also because the
emission intensity (relative to a produced tonne of pulp) has been
lowered by almost 30 %.
The lowering of emission intensity with regards to greenhouse gases is
an example of ecological-economic decoupling: although the pulp and
paper mill is again reaching the same production volumes as in the
1990’s, it is doing so without the emissions rising in tandem. These
figures are interesting also from the point of view of Russia’s recent
climate change pledge for the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference
in Paris, since Russia has announced its national target to be 25-30 %
reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the 1990 levels – but only by
the year 2030.
According to Mr. Zhitnukhin, the company’s most significant
investment project to mitigate climate change is the biomass utilization
project at the power generating station № 3. It included the
replacement of two boilers and the modernization of the fuel-feeding
system allowing increased and more efficient use of bark waste and
sewage sludge in the power generation. The project worth 20.2 million USD
was partly financed by a loan from the World Bank. The verified
reductions were sold at the international carbon market, in 2001-2007 as
voluntary carbon trade and in 2008-2011 under the Kyoto Protocol
mechanisms, creating revenues worth some two million euros. The reported
emission reduction is 2.1 million tonnes of CO2-equivalents between 2001 and 2014.
In 2014, APPM completed two more projects that reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. The first one increased the use of biomass and improved the
efficiency at the power generating station № 1 with the installation of a new
boiler for bark waste and sludge combustion. The other project focused
on lowering the energy intensity of the production by reconstructing the
pulp washing system. The total cost of these projects was 61.3 million
USD, covered partly by loans, and the company’s own funds.
According to the company, emission reductions amounting to 13,200 tonnes
of CO2-equivalents were achieved during November-December 2014.
Viktor Zhitnukhin informs that the company’s current strategy for
greenhouse gases aims at fixing the intensity of emissions at the level
of 2.2 million tonnes of CO2-equivalents relative to 1 million tonne of produced
pulp. The company intends to reach this goal by lowering the energy
intensity of the production as well as increasing the share of biomass
and less carbon-intense fuels in the energy mix of the production.
Arkhangelsk Pulp and Paper Mill foresees several concrete projects and
ways to monitor the expected results. Mr. Zhitnukhin also notes that the
practice of inventories is to be continued as well as the work with
Russian and international consulting companies that provide services for
greenhouse gas accounting and management, climate risk assessment, and
Text: Tuuli Ojala
A view of APPM's renewed part. Photo by APPM.
Viktor Zhitnutkin, the Chief Engineer of APPM. Photo by APPM.