AALST, Belgium, Feb. 7, 2017 (Press Release) -An ambitious energy project is being launched at Blue Paper in Strasbourg. Building a power plant to convert its own residual materials into energy will contribute to a more sustainable paper factory that consumes 80% less natural gas and manages its residual fractions more efficiently, therefore assuring a more competitive position for the future.
Closing the loop: making optimum use of all material flows
Blue Paper produces more than 1000 tons of packaging paper every day, based on recycled fibres. The raw material for this consists of paper and cardboard that are collected and delivered in bales. Through the recycling process reusable paper fibres are purified and separated from residual materials. The residue, amounting to some 25,000 tons annually, consists primarily of wood, textiles and other materials that are present in the bales of raw material.
Blue Paper’s new production unit will convert the potential energy of this residue into steam, making optimum use of all material flows. The steam that is generated will in its turn be used to dry the new paper. In total this will save 80% of the natural gas consumption and reduce annual transport by 500 truckloads.
Sustainable future for Blue Paper
The investment costs of this high-tech project amount up to €22 million. This is offset by savings in fossil fuels and optimisation of the material flows. In the longer term, this investment will also sustain its strong position within the paper sector. With this project VPK aims to further innovate for a sustainable future for its hypermodern paper factory that started production at the end of 2013.
Blue Paper's paper machine is one of the most remarkable in Europe. Its impressive width (8.5 m), exceptional productivity and sustainable energy consumption are the result of an innovative conversion to the tune of €100 million. The site was also equipped with two new CHP (combined heat and power) units in 2014. Last year, a fully automated high-stack warehouse was added to the existing warehouse capacity.
The civil works will start in March 2017. The production unit itself is scheduled to be up and running in 2018.