Smurfit Kappa Future Energy Project at Nettingsdorf Paper Mill

Project Description

Established in 1851, the Smurfit Kappa Nettingsdorf Paper Mill kicked off its ‘Future Energy Project’, which involved investing in innovative new technologies to further reduce emissions alongside increasing production output. The project focuses on two main areas: Firstly, the recovery boiler is an integral part of the chemical production methods used to make kraftliner. During the manufacturing process, wood is dissolved alongside pulping chemicals to form what is called “black liquor” and pulp. This liquor is then separated from the pulp and sent to the recovery boiler.
Inorganic chemicals are recovered for use in the pulping process and dissolved organic lignin (a biomass component of wood) is used as fuel to generate steam. The new, stateofthe-art recovery boiler planned for Nettingsdorf, produces energy from biomass and will reduce CO2 emissions at the mill by 40,000 tonnes.

The Nettingsdorf Paper Mill will be the first kraftliner producer to operate with a recovery boiler only. Steam plays an important part in the paper production process, as it is used both for power generation and for other processes such as drying paper. Any heat released during combustion can be recovered as high-pressure steam in the top of the recovery boiler, and is then transferred to the steam turbine.

The second part of the Future Energy Project involves the implementation of a sophisticated new steam turbine, which will work in tandem with the new recovery boiler to increase energy efficiency.

Project Purpose

The Future Energy Project will increase the mill’s sustainability achievements in line with Smurfit Kappa’s overarching strategic sustainability priorities. Smurfit Kappa has a long-term commitment to sustainable business practice.

In its 2017 Sustainable Development Report, the company reported that Smurfit Kappa had achieved a 26.1% reduction of specific fossil CO2 emissions for its paper and board mills, three years ahead of its original target of 25% by 2020.


Günter Hochrathner

CEO of Smurfit Kappa Nettingsdorf

Our commitment to sustainability and circular business practices is embedded in all that we do and is the reason that we already have the lowest energy consumption in our industry. We have reduced our specific fossil CO2 emissions per tonne of paper by around 70% in the past decades. However, at Smurfit Kappa we always strive to go further, and identify other innovative ways to become even more sustainable. The Future Energy Project represents a very important step for the mill and will take us to the next level. We have made significant progress since we first announced the investment in July 2017. The new boiler and turbine will work in harmony and will increase our production, along with lowering emissions. This increased efficiency will benefit both our people and indeed the wider community. Nettingsdorf has a long history as a local employer for the area, and this project secures the long-term future of the mill.

Main features:

CO2 Emissions saved (tCO2)

Reduced CO2 emissions at the site by two thirds (1.5% of Smurfit Kappa’s total volume) and reduced further emissions such as particulates and TRS (Total Reduced Sulphur Compounds).

Investment €134 million

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