Ardagh Glass Unveils Groundbreaking ‘NextGen Furnace’ in Germany, Pioneering the Path to Sustainable Glass Production
In an extraordinary stride towards sustainable glass production, Ardagh Glass GmbH, a prominent division of Ardagh Glass Packaging (AGP) – Europe, has embarked on the construction of an innovative hybrid furnace at its glass manufacturing facility in Obernkirchen, Germany. This cutting-edge technology, aptly named the ‘NextGen’ furnace, promises to revolutionize the industry by facilitating a seamless transition to renewable electricity. The introduction of this hybrid furnace marks a momentous milestone in Ardagh’s ambitious decarbonization journey, contributing to the company’s 2030 Sustainability Strategy and significantly reducing CO2 emissions.
Setting a new standard with hybrid electric furnace technology
The NextGen furnace, a remarkable feat of engineering, will operate primarily on renewable electricity, with a small proportion of gas supplementation. This groundbreaking hybrid configuration will enable the furnace to capitalize on renewable energy sources while utilizing a substantial amount of recycled glass cullet. Anticipated to produce up to 350 tonnes of glass bottles per day, with a primary focus on amber glass and the ability to create various other colors, this state-of-the-art facility is poised to become a trailblazer in sustainable glass manufacturing.
A quantum leap towards decarbonization
Traditionally, glass production relies on a mix of approximately 90 percent gas and 10 percent electricity. However, the NextGen furnace seeks to revolutionize the energy landscape by inverting this ratio, favoring an impressive 80 percent renewable electricity and 20 percent gas. This shift in the energy mix will revolutionize the carbon footprint of glass packaging, substantially reducing its environmental impact.
Martin Petersson, CEO of AGP – Europe, affirmed, “Decarbonization is at the core of our business strategy, aligning with the aspirations of our valued customers. The NextGen Furnace represents a significant investment in fostering a sustainable future for glass packaging. We are committed to implementing this groundbreaking technology across other AGP facilities in the coming years, as we pursue our steadfast commitment to low-carbon solutions. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to BMWK* and KEI for their generous grant support, instrumental in making this technological breakthrough a reality.”
Pioneering sustainable initiatives for a greener future
Annelene Ikemann, Sustainability Director at AGP – Europe, emphasized, “As a leading supplier of sustainable, infinitely recyclable glass packaging, AGP takes great pride in unveiling the NextGen Furnace as an integral component of our Sustainability Roadmap. By combining this innovative furnace with our goal of achieving 100% renewable electricity supply to our facilities by 2030, we are taking a significant step forward in our commitment to a low-carbon future. In subsequent phases of this project, AGP aims to replace the remaining gas with green hydrogen, further reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, we will explore a wider range of alternative melting technologies as we advance our sustainability journey across our global facilities.”
Embracing a sustainable paradigm
Ardagh Glass is steadfast in its commitment to decarbonize glass production processes worldwide, with a resolute vision to replace conventional gas-powered furnaces with low-carbon alternatives across all Group manufacturing operations. By pushing boundaries, embracing innovation, and prioritizing sustainability, Ardagh Glass paves the way for a greener and more sustainable future in the glass packaging industry.
Source: Ardagh Glass Packaging (AGP) – Europe with additional information added by Apazone