Mondi, a leading global packaging and paper company, is investing €20 million to improve further 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 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. 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 increase the amount of heat extracted and reduce steam's need. It also reduces the chemical oxygen demand of the biological wastewater treatment by 140 tonnes per year", says Gottfried Joham, managing director of Mondi Frantschach.
The decision to invest was driven by the need to use 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," says Joham.
In this specific case, the proportion of tall oil, which can be used to produce paints, adhesives, or films, will be increased from 18 kg to 35 kg per tonne of pulp.
Construction of the new evaporation plant will start immediately and commissioning will take place in autumn of 2023.
Mondi Frantschach produces kraft papers that are mainly used for food, building materials, and animal feed. Mondi's sustainability ambitions are demonstrated by its Mondi Action Plan 2030 (MAP2030) framework: by focusing on circular driven solutions, created by empowered people, taking action on climate the Group believes it will have the most impact in achieving positive change and contributing to a circular economy.