Mondi is investing EUR 20 million to further improve the sustainability of its pulp production at the Frantschach mill in Austria. The mill, which is celebrating its 140th anniversary in 2021, has already been self-sufficient in terms of energy for many years and supplies surrounding communities and industrial companies with surplus heat from the pulp production process.
“Today, the focus on sustainability and circularity puts fiber-based products, and pulp, right into the spotlight,” said Gottfried Joham, Managing Director of Mondi Frantschach. “Not only is wood a renewable resource, but we know that paper is the most widely recycled material in the world with, for example 74% of paper and 83% of paper-based packaging in Europe being recycled.
“Our new plant equipment will make our pulp production even more efficient and sustainable. The modernization and expansion of the evaporation plant increases the amount of heat extracted and reduces the need for steam. It also reduces the chemical oxygen demand of the biological wastewater treatment by 140 tons per year,” Joham explained.
The decision to invest was driven by the need to make best use of wood as a primary input.
“Wood is one of the most important raw materials for a future based on renewable resources and resource efficiency is an equally important consideration. We see ourselves as pioneers in the bioeconomy and we’re doing this by increasing the share of by-products from the pulp production process,” Joham said. “In this specific case, the proportion of tall oil, which can be used in the production of paints, adhesives, or films, will be increased from 18 kg to 35 kg per ton of pulp.
Construction of the new evaporation plant will start immediately and commissioning will take place in autumn of 2023.