Colombia – Irish corrugated packaging company, Smurfit Kappa has announced plans to invest US$100 million in a sustainable biomass boiler, in a bid to drive down CO2 emissions.

The company says it is building a state-of-the-art biomass boiler, which will be powered by pine and eucalyptus bark from the company’s own forestry plantations, waste from its wood treatment plant, and ashes and sludge generated during the paper-manufacturing process

The move will reduce Smurfit Kappa’s global Scope 1 and Scope 2 CO2 emissions by around 6 percent.

The boiler will replace the fossil fuels currently in use at the mill with different types of organic waste to generate cleaner energy.

Scheduled to be operational by the end of 2024, the boiler will reduce the mill’s use of fossil fuels and improve cost savings.

Smurfit Kappa Colombia CEO Alvaro Henao said: “The construction of this boiler reflects the circularity that is the foundation of our sustainability strategy and runs through all of our operations, as we are finding another use for our own waste.

“It is also a very important project for the region, as it will contribute to expanding the use of renewable energies and is a timely response to the increased global demand for paper.”

The boiler project is the latest of Smurfit Kappa’s efforts to improve circularity across its operations.

The company previously implemented biomass boilers at many of its European locations, including its paper mills in Nervión and Sangüesa, Spain, and Piteå, Finland.

Smurfit Kappa Americas CEO Laurent Sellier said: “This investment reinforces our commitment to Colombia, a strategic growth market, and to our sustainability targets.

“The commissioning of this state-of-the-art biomass boiler is a further material step towards our 2030 and net zero emissions targets and to protecting the environment and creating a greener world.”

Last month, the paper and packaging firm completed an agreement to acquire Saquarema Rio de Janeiro-based PaperBox packaging plant.

With a plant in Brazil, Smurfit Kappa will benefit from the country’s market base as it is of the largest corrugated cardboard markets in Latin America, recording 7.4 billion m2 in annual production.

The acquisition is anticipated to be finalized by the end of this month, subject to regulatory body clearance.

For all the latest packaging and printing industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.