GERMANY – Irish corrugated packaging company Smurfit Kappa has invested US$ 12.03 million in its Zülpich paper mill in Germany.
According to Smurfit Kappa, the investment will fund a fuel conversion project aimed at reducing the plant’s CO2 emissions.
Currently, the mill produces approximately 500,000 tonnes of paper annually and is powered by a combination of its own biogas, natural gas, and residual materials.
The plant in Zülpich aims to significantly reduce its environmental impact as part of Smurfit Kappa’s Better Planet 2050 targets, the company added.
The project will involve a redesign of the plant’s multi-fuel boiler, providing a more sustainable fuel source for steam and electricity generation at the mill. The company expects the redesigned boiler to be operational by the middle of 2022.
The use of coal in the facility will be phased out with an integrated steam re-use system, which helps in optimizing energy use.
According to the company, the initiative will result in a 21% reduction in CO2 emissions at the Zülpich paper mill. This will prevent the emission of 55,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, or the equivalent of emissions from 37,446 cars.
Additionally, the new project will also contribute to a 2% reduction of CO2 emissions for Smurfit Kappa Group globally.
“This significant investment illustrates the decisive steps that Smurfit Kappa is taking across the business to proactively reduce our CO2 footprint, while continually improving the overall efficiency of our equipment,” said Pim Wareman, Chief Executive of the Smurfit Kappa Recycled Paper Cluster.
“With this investment, and by turning side streams from the paper manufacturing process such as rejects and biogas into steam and electricity, we are well on track to meet the EU target of -55% CO2 emissions by 2030.”
Andreas Zeitlinger, Managing Director of the Zülpich paper mill, added: “We are delighted to have this high-performing new boiler up and running. This investment has reinforced our commitment to a circular business model.”
“By turning side streams from the paper manufacturing process such as the rejects and biogas into steam and electricity, we are well on track to meet our sustainability targets.”
The investment in its mill at Zülpich come a year after the company invested US$20.92 million in four manufacturing plants in the Czech Republic and Slovakia to expand its production capacity.
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