Smurfit Kappa has announced a significant investment of €11.5 million in its Zülpich paper mill in Germany, which will fund a fuel conversion project aimed at significantly reducing the plant’s CO2 emissions.
The plant currently produces approximately 500,000 tonnes of paper annually.
According to Smurfit Kappa, the investment will allow a major redesign of the plant’s multi-fuel boiler, providing a more sustainable fuel source for the generation of steam and electricity at the mill.
An integrated steam re-use system, which optimises energy usage, will replace coal as an energy source, and coal will be phased out.
Following the current plans, it is expected that the redesigned boiler will be operational by the middle of 2022, it added.
Commenting on the investment, Pim Wareman, CEO of Smurfit Kappa Recycled Paper Cluster, said, “This significant investment illustrates the decisive steps that Smurfit Kappa is taking across the business to proactively reduce our CO2 footprint, whilst continually improving the overall efficiency of our equipment."
Not only will the new investment secure the mill’s energy supply for the future, it will also have a significant impact on the plant’s carbon footprint, the company said.
"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,” Wareman added.
Adopting this more circular and sustainable approach, the plant in Zülpich aims to significantly reduce its environmental impact as part of Smurfit Kappa’s Better Planet 2050 targets.