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 colours as well
Ardagh Glass, part of Ardagh Glass Packaging (AGP) Europe, has started 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 Ardagh Group, 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 colours 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 decarbonisation journey.
AGP – Europe CEO Martin Petersson said: “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 BMWK1 and KEI which is helping to realise the benefits of this new technology.”
The glass packaging company plans to decarbonise the glass production process over the longer term, by replacing conventional gas-powered furnaces with low-carbon furnaces in glass manufacturing operations all over the world.
AGP – Europe sustainability director Annelene Ikemann said: “AGP is a leading supplier of sustainable, infinitely recyclable glass packaging. 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 decarbonise our other facilities.”