1,200 tonnes of stainless steel plate and coil and over 47,000 metres of stainless steel pipe and tube has been used in the construction of a new $400 million unbleached pulp and paper mill in Tumut, New South Wales.
The Visy Pulp and Paper Mill will produce 240,000 tonnes of unbleached kraft pulp and packaging paper annually, to be supplied to domestic and overseas markets.
Raw materials for the plant will come from local plantation timber sawmill residues and pulp materials from softwood plantations, and supplemented by domestic and commercially derived waste paper. The plant is being built using the latest technology, meeting the highest environmental standards.
Grades 304, 316 and 2507 stainless steel were used in pipes, storage tanks and vessels in the process area of the mill.
Approximately 1,200 tonnes of stainless steel plate and coil, ranging in thickness from three millimetres to 38 millimetres were used for the storage tanks. The storage tanks, 50 in total, have a capacity of nearly 30 000 cubic metres.
Grade 2507 stainless steel was used in smaller vessels that will contain highly concentrated liquids, sodium and potassium salts at high temperatures.
Visy Project Technical Manager Austin Davey said: "The combination of temperature and salt meant that 2507 was the only suitable material for the job."
304 stainless steel pipes will carry raw water, some chemicals and pulp used in the process.
Mr Davey said as well as its ability to deal with high temperatures and the corrosive environment of the plant, stainless steel was chosen for its cost-effectiveness and long life.
"We designed the mill to have at least a 30 year life, that's why we chose stainless," he said.
"We always look for the most cost-effective method for our projects.
"At the time of purchase, the price of stainless steel was very competitive and helped make the decision easy."
Fabrication was undertaken by a number of different companies in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
Some of the piping for the mill was supplied by ASSDA member Skinner Engineering, with some storage tanks and vessels supplied by ASSDA members D&R Stainless and JC Butka Engineering Pty Ltd.
The majority of stainless steel used in the project was supplied by ASSDA member Sandvik Australia, with a proportion of the design work undertaken by ASSDA member Kvaerner.
Mr Davey said end users of stainless steel experience supply problems that he believes impact on the popularity of the material.
"Not all the materials or product forms are stocked in Australia. Lead times, availability and price movements must be watched."
The mill is expected to begin paper production in the middle of 2001.
This article featured in Australian Stainless magazine - Issue 17, January 2001.