Ardagh commences construction of ‘NextGen’ furnace at German facility

GERMANY – Ardagh Glass Packaging (AGP) has kicked off the construction of a new hybrid furnace to switch to renewable electricity at its glass production facility in Obernkirchen, Germany.

The first-of-its-kind hybrid technology, dubbed NextGen furnace, will run mainly on renewable electricity and a small amount of gas.

According to AGP, the furnace will use recycled glass cullet to make up to 350 tonnes of glass bottles per day, mostly in amber glass, and will have the capability of making other colors as well.

The furnace is expected to become operational and start manufacturing commercial glass containers at the end of this year.

The hybrid technology is also expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 60% in the furnace to help achieve the emissions target of Ardagh’s 2030 Sustainability Strategy and support the firm’s decarbonization journey.

Ardagh’s sustainability director for Europe Annelene Ikemann said: “Our NextGen Furnace, in combination with our target to supply 100% renewable electricity to our facilities by 2030, is a positive step forward along our Sustainability Roadmap.

“In future phases of this project, AGP aims to replace the remaining gas with green hydrogen, which will further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“In subsequent steps on our sustainability journey, we will look at a wider range of alternative melting technologies as we decarbonize our other facilities.”

The company expects the furnace to enter commercial glass container production later this year.

The company also revealed that it received a grant from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) alongside the Competence Centre on Climate Change Mitigation in Energy-Intensive Industries (KEI) to help develop and deploy the technology.

AGP CEO for Europe Martin Petersson added: “Decarbonisation is a key priority for our business and our customers.

“The NextGen Furnace represents a significant investment in creating a sustainable future for glass packaging, and we intend to roll out this and other low-carbon solutions across other AGP facilities in the coming years.

“We are grateful for the grant support provided by BMWK and KEI which is helping to realize the benefits of this new technology.”

Last week, the company announced plans to build a sustainable ’Efficient Furnace’ that will minimize greenhouse gas emissions from the glass production process at its Doncaster facility in the UK.

AGP says the furnace will use the latest industrial technology to provide a more efficient melter with reduced gas consumption and carbon emissions.

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