FRANTSCHACH, AUSTRIA — Mondi announced Nov. 18 a €20 million ($22.5 million USD) investment to increase the sustainability of its pulp production mill in Frantschach. The mill celebrated its 140th anniversary in 2021, and has already been energy self-sufficient for several years, according to the company.

Now, the facility will focus on implementing new equipment to improve efficiency and sustainability of its pulp processing operations, including the modernization and expansion of its evaporation plant.

“Today, the focus on sustainability and circularity puts fibre-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,” Joham continued. “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 tonnes per year.”

Construction on the evaporation plant will begin immediately, and commissioning is expected to take place in fall of 2023.

The wood pulp produced at Mondi’s Frantschach facility is used in kraft papers for food applications, animal feed products and building materials.

“Wood is one of the most important raw materials for a future based on renewable resources and resource efficiency is an equally important consideration,” Joham said. “We see ourselves as pioneers in the bioeconomy and we’re doing this by increasing the share of byproducts from the pulp production process.”

The company will effectively increase its share of pulp production byproducts, namely tall oil.

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