Smurfit Kappa invests €27 million in new sustainability initiative at Spanish paper mill

Smurfit Kappa is investing €27 million in a state-of-the-art new waste management and recovery facility at its Nervión paper mill in Iurreta, Spain.
The investment will see the mill adopt a fully circular production process involving the biggest landfill reduction project Smurfit Kappa has undertaken to date to support the delivery of its 2025 sustainability commitments.

The lime kiln and gas treatment system will have a production capacity of 120 tonnes of lime per day and will provide significant environmental benefits. The new circular system will allow the calcium carbonate waste that is currently generated in the mill’s manufacturing process to be transformed into lime and subsequently reintroduced into the production process as a raw material. 

This will have a positive impact on the mill’s carbon footprint by diverting 75,000 tonnes of waste from landfill and eliminating approximately 450,000 km per year in road transport.
The initiative has been developed in a collaborative process between Smurfit Kappa Nervión and several technology firms. The investment will see the expansion and optimisation of the plant, as well as the construction of a state-of-the-art lime kiln and gas treatment system.

The treatment system is compliant with Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament which regulates industrial emissions. The new system will also be connected to the automated monitoring system already in place for the rest of the facilities at the mill in accordance with the requirements of the Basque Government Environmental Department.

Commenting on the investment, Javier Rivas, Smurfit Kappa COO of Paper & Board Europe, said: “We are delighted about the installation of this industry-leading system which will help our mill to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly. At Smurfit Kappa, we care deeply about new ways in which we can embed circularity into our business, particularly when we are talking about the production process. 

“With this new lime kiln and gas treatment system, we will be able to recover and reuse more of our materials. We look forward to seeing the new system up and running later this year.”

Commenting on the investment, Rafael Sarrionandia, Smurfit Kappa Nervión General manager and CEO of Kraft Specialties Spain, said: “This investment marks Smurfit Kappa’s clear commitment to the Nervión paper mill, with over €75 million invested in the mill in the last decade. The new lime kiln system will allow us to be even more efficient and sustainable, which ultimately benefits both our employees and the communities we operate in. 

“The investment reaffirms our clear commitment to acting sustainably, becoming increasingly circular as a site, and, at the same time ensuring the long-term future of the facility.”

The project is nearing completion and the plant expected to be fully operational later in the year.

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