DS Smith has unveiled a major investment to transform the paper mill’s energy supply at its site in Normandy, near Rouen. The project includes replacing the coal-fired boiler with a new biomass boiler that will reduce the site’s emissions by 99,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
The 56 MW Valmet high-tech boiler will supply at least 80% of the site’s heat demand and will be fully operational by the first quarter of 2025. It will be fuelled by 94,000 tonnes of biofuel, 30% of which will come from plant by-products (pulper waste) and 70% from waste wood sources such as furniture and demolition waste.
Engie Solutions will operate the boiler, which will allow for the possibility for the future installation of a steam turbine capable of producing around 10 MW of electricity with a maximum steam supply of 65 t/h. In addition to the biomass boiler, two new gas-fired boilers (2 x 34 t/h of steam) will complete the back-up boiler fleet already consisting of an existing gas-fired boiler (34 t/h of steam).
The project was granted approval by the Regional Biomass Scheme in 2022 and is supported by local authorities including a €15m subsidy from the French Agency for Ecological Transition (ADEME).
Miles Roberts, Global CEO, DS Smith, said, “We are investing €75m and deploying a €15m subsidy from the French Government to build our new biomass-from-waste boiler in France and, once complete, it will reduce emissions and offer attractive financial returns. We are delighted to say that we are working hand in hand with the French Government to make this a reality, and we look forward to collaborating with the Government here in the UK on delivering our zero targets. Clarity around medium and long term energy plans for the UK will help provide the right environment for businesses like ours to invest in significant carbon reductions programmes.”