UPM electrifies heat supply, supports expansion of renewables and boosts system stability

UPM is investing in e-boilers (electrically powered steam generators) at four of its current six sites in Germany. When renewable electricity is available in sufficient quantities, these can take over steam generation for paper production at competitive prices, thereby economising on natural gas. When used at two of these sites alongside the highly efficient combined cycle plants (combination of gas and steam turbine), which are ready for the future use of green hydrogen (H2), these e-boilers already represent a prime example of the transformation of the energy system.


Ziele des Projektes

The combination of multiple innovative technologies facilitates the production of ultra-lightweight papers. Numerous advantages result in practice:

  • Installation of four e-boilers with an electrical output of 50 MW each
  • Flexible energy supply, with the possibility of increasing the electricity supply for steam generation in the event of plentiful wind and solar power (Power2Heat) or of stabilising supply in the event of a power shortage by feeding electricity from the CCGT plant into the regional/national grid
  • Reduction of natural gas consumption for paper production (down to zero) in the event of a natural gas shortage 
  • Contribution to system stability (distribution grids) and reduction of costs for the integration of renewable energies (redispatch costs)
  • Possibility of producing CO2-reduced paper and thus a reduction of carbon footprint


Rainer Häring, Director Energy UPM Communication Papers

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Reduced CO2 emissions

In 2024, we expect to achieve an avoidance of approximately 30,000 t/a of fossil CO2 through the market price-led operation of our e-boilers.

With a corresponding expansion of renewable generation capacities and a concomitant increase in the periods (hours per year) with discounted electricity prices, the avoidance of fossil CO2 emissions could increase up to 150,000 t/a.

A bridging tariff of €50/MWh would already mean an avoidance of up to 80,000 t/a of fossil CO2 emissions.

Sum invested

€20 million

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