Container Glass to reduce CO2 by 50%

16 March 2020

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For the first time ever, European container glass manufacturers come together to build the first large scale hybrid electric furnace to run on 80% green electricity.

The ‘Furnace of the Future’ is a fundamental milestone in the industry’s decarbonisation journey towards climate-neutral glass packaging.  It will be the first large-scale hybrid oxy-fuel furnace to run on 80% renewable electricity in the world. It will replace current fossil-fuel energy sources and cut CO2 emissions by 50%.

For the very first time, the industry has adopted a collaborative approach where 20 glass container producers have mobilised resources to work on and fund a pilot project to prove the concept.

“We are extremely proud to announce this joint-industry project”, comments Michel Giannuzzi, President of FEVE. “The hybrid technology is a step-change in the way we produce and will enable us to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of glass packaging production. The move marks an important milestone for the glass sector in implementing our decarbonisation strategy”.

Ardagh Group – the second largest glass packaging manufacturer in the world – has volunteered to build the furnace in Germany.  It will be built in 2022, with an assessment of first results planned for 2023. The industry already works with electric furnaces in several of its 150 glass manufacturing plants across Europe, but they are small scale and exclusively used to produce flint (colourless) glass with virgin raw materials, therefore using very little or no recycled glass content. With this new technology, the industry will be able to produce more than 300 tonnes per day of any glass colour, using high levels of recycled glass.

“With this new technology we are embarking on the journey to climate-neutral glass packaging, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of manufacturing”, states Martin Petersson, CEO of Ardagh Group, Glass Europe. “We aim to demonstrate the viability of electric melting on a commercial scale, which would revolutionise the consumer glass packaging market”.

 Bringing the ‘Furnace of the Future’ to life is an extremely ambitious project requiring significant financial and human resources and a wide range of expertise. For this reason, the industry has committed to work together. By adopting a sectoral approach, it also intends to gain the support of the European Commission through the ETS Finance for Innovation Fund Programme.  Despite its key importance, this project is not the only one the industry is working on. Other pathways towards clean production technologies and climate-neutral glass packaging are already implemented and others are also being explored.

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About the project

Why it matters:           

Today, the use of electricity as the main energy source in the container glass industry is limited to small-scale furnaces for flint (white) glass without the use of recycled glass. The new technologies will address these limitations.

By replacing 80% of the natural gas with green electricity, the technology reduces the furnace emissions by 60% or 50% of the total CO2 emissions of a container glass factory.

For the first time ever, this project will bring together the best engineers from 20 glass container manufacturers to demonstrate that this can be done.

The technology will allow the industry to use high rates of recycled glass which is currently not possible with electric furnaces. For each additional 10% of recycled glass in the furnace, there is an additional reduction of CO2 emissions by 5% and energy consumption by 3%.

The hybrid technology flexibility can switch to other sources of energy in case of supply issues.  This will guarantee no disruption to production.

The additional cost (Capital Expenditure and Operational Expenditure) of a hybrid furnace compared to a conventional furnace are estimated to be up to 40 MEur over the 10 Year lifetime of the furnace. This is mainly due the cost of electricity compared to natural gas (about three times higher per MWh).

Timeline:

 The Demonstration Project will be built in 2022 with first results in 2023. The next steps will be to select a furnace supplier, to apply for a grant to the EC Innovation Fund and set up a new legal entity to manage the project.

 

List of the 20 “Furnace of the Future” Founding Member Companies (as of 16 March 2020)

 

Allied Glass www.alliedglass.com
Ardagh Group www.ardaghgroup.com
BA Glass www.baglass.com
Beatson Clark www.beatsonclark.co.uk
Bormioli Luigi www.bormioliluigi.com
Gerresheimer www.gerresheimer.com
GCA Gürallar Cam Ambalaj www.gca.com
O-I Europe www.o-i.com
Pochet www.groupe-pochet.fr
Saverglass www.saverglass.com
SGD Pharma www.sgd-pharma.com
Steklarna Hrastnik www.hrastnik1860.com
Stoelzle www.stoelzle.com
Verallia www.verallia.com
Verescence www.verescence.com
Vetreria Etrusca www.vetreriaetrusca.it
Vetropack www.vetropack.com
Vidrala www.vidrala.com
Wiegand- Glashüttenwerke GmbH www.wiegand-glas.de
Zignago Vetro www.zignagovetro.com

 

For further information, please contact:

Fabrice Rivet, Technical Director, FEVE, f.rivet@feve.org, Direct Line: +32 (0)2 536 00 83,

Michael Delle Selve, Senior Communication Manager, FEVE, m.delleselve@feve.org, Direct Line: +32 (0)2 536 00 82, Mobile +32 475 52 24 58