Green energy

Smurfit Kappa invests 11.5 million EUR in Zülpich paper mill


Smurfit Kappa has completed a large-scale sustainability project at its Zülpich paper mill in Germany, which significantly reduces the plant’s CO2 emissions. The 11.5 million EUR investment included a major redesign of the plant’s multi-fuel boiler to provide a more sustainable fuel source for the generation of steam and electricity.

The mill is now powered by a combination of its own biogas, which is a by-product of its circular water treatment plant, natural gas, and the residual materials or so-called «rejects» which occur in the paper recycling process that would otherwise be considered waste. The mill’s boiler will also use rejects from the Parenco and Roermond plants.

The project reduces CO2 emissions at the Zülpich paper mill by more than 25 per cent and saves 55,000 tpy of CO2, which represents a 2 per cent reduction in Smurfit Kappa’s global carbon emissions.  The company has the goal of achieving a 55 per cent intensity reduction in fossil CO2 emissions by 2030 and at least net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

«The unveiling of this state-of-the-art multi-fuel boiler is yet another example of how, at Smurfit Kappa, sustainability is part of our DNA,» comments Pim Wareman, CEO of the Smurfit Kappa Recycled Paper Cluster. The project shows that economic efficiency and sustainability are by no means mutually exclusive but can go together hand in hand taking the mill on a very positive journey».

«We are delighted to have this high-performing new boiler up and running, » adds Andreas Zeitlinger, Managing Director of the Zülpich paper mill. «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».

At the Zülpich site, Smurfit Kappa has 200 employees and produces nearly 500,000 tpy of brown recycled containerboard. The mill is currently planning a series of initiatives over the coming months to further enhance its sustainability performance.