A new waste-to-energy plant at the Blue Paper site in Strasbourg has been put into operation. The ambitious project, for which 25 million euros were invested, enables the site to convert its own residual materials into thermal energy and will reduce natural gas consumption significantly.
Blue Paper produces more than 1,000 tons of recycled paper per day. The fibres are gained through a recycling process that extracts and purifies reusable paper fibres and separates them from residual materials. These residual materials – a combination of mainly non-reusable fibres, plastics and other materials – were previously transported to an offsite recycling unit. With the new onsite energy recovery plant, this transport has become superfluous.
Pierre Macharis (VPK) and Jan Klingele (Klingele) at the opening of the new waste-to-energy plant.
“All 25,000 tonnes of annual residue will be converted into steam on site, keeping 500 trucks per year off the road”, explains Johan Dhaese, head of Energy and Environment “We will use the steam to dry the new paper. This way we’re saving the majority of the natural gas consumption and making optimum use of all material flows.”
With this investment, VPK aims to close the sustainable loop completely, from the collection of materials throughout the complete production process. The Blue Paper mill, co-owned by VPK Packaging Group and Klingele Papierwerke, has been at the forefront of sustainable innovation since 2013.
The project received support from ADEME (Agence De l’Environnement et de la Maitrise de l’Energie). The investment was also selected by CEPI to be showcased in the European Parliament in February together with other European success stories about investments in innovation and ground-breaking technology.