Smurfit Kappa Wrexen invests in innovative CHP technology

Smurfit Kappa Group invests a double‐digit million euro sum in its Wrexen paper mill.

© Smurfit Kappa

A new power plant is being built with a highly modern and innovative technology perfectly fitting to the energy transformation away from fossil fuels. Construction works are on schedule, the power plant will replace the existing plant coming on stream in April 2024. The new power plant will bring the mill into the position to generate 100% of its electric demand whereas the existing power plant dating from 1980 is only able to produce up to 60% of the electric demand. The new power plant technology supplies both: heat (in the form of steam) and electricity, thus achieving overall efficiency of more than 90%.

At the start, the two gas turbines (each 7.8 MW electrical capacity) and the three steam boilers (max. capacity 100 tons/hour) will be operated with natural gas supplemented with biogas coming from the company`s biological water treatment plant. All equipment, however, will be prepared for a future stepwise use of hydrogen.

The operation of the new power plant will be flexible depending on availability of wind and solar energy. If power supply from wind and sun does not suffice the grid demand, the share of internal power generation will be increased to meet the mill’s demand. In the inverse case – oversupply of wind and solar energy – we will reduce internal power generation and make use of “green” energy from the grid. Based on this innovative technology, the new Wrexen power plant will reduce CO2 emissions and contribute to stabilize the grid on the way of becoming more and more “green”, thus supporting the planned exit from use of fossil fuels.

“I am proud and happy that Smurfit Kappa supports the Wrexen site with this big investment in a really forward ‐looking technology. SK Group shows trust in the performance of our Wrexen team and gives the site a good long‐term perspective.

Investing in the new power plant confirms the consequent realization of Smurfit Kappa’s mission of sustainability, whereas this big investment is the prerequisite of further technical projects to reach the Group’s ambitious environmental goals.”

Smurfit Kappa, a FTSE 100 company, is one of the leading providers of paper-based packaging solutions in the world, with approximately 46,000 employees in over 350 production sites across 36 countries and with revenue of €8.5 billion in 2020. We are located in 23 countries in Europe,
and 13 in the Americas. We are the only large-scale pan-regional player in Latin America. Our products, which are 100% renewable and produced sustainably, improve the environmental footprint of our customers.

The Wrexen paper mill, being part of this strong group, produces 240.000 tons of corrugated papers and 80.000 tons of graphic board on two paper machines.