Dec. 9, 2021 - Smurfit Kappa announced the completion of a two-phase upgrade of its facilities at the Barranquilla Paper Mill in Colombia. The US$7.5 million investment will see the implementation of a Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) with state-of-the-art anaerobic technology, which will reduce water intake from the nearby Magdalena River and improve the quality of water returned to it.
The upgraded facilities allow the Barranquilla site, which produces containerboard from 100% recycled materials, to contribute towards Smurfit Kappa's sustainability targets that were expanded in January 2021. These include water quality targets to further reduce water intake and improve water intensity and usage. Specifically, this includes targets to reduce the Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) of the water by 60% by 2025 and a target to reduce water intensity by 1% annually.
It is estimated that the COD at the plant will reduce by 80% as a direct result of this investment.
"For Smurfit Kappa, water is a fundamental resource that must be preserved, and we focus our efforts on improving the quality of the water we discharge and reducing our use of the resource, going beyond what is required by law," said Juan G. Castaneda, CEO of Smurfit Kappa the Americas. "Currently, more than 90% of the water we use is returned to nature in good condition, and the remaining water is transformed into steam or linked to the product during the production process."
The WWTP at the Barranquilla Mill uses advanced technology that includes a circular self-sustaining anaerobic reactor. The facility will also generate biogas which will help to improve energy efficiency and reduce the need for external power sources. Barranquilla is the most recent example and part of a wider investment programme taking place across Smurfit Kappa paper mills in Colombia that also includes upgrading facilities at the Barbosa and Cali paper plants.
Based in Dublin, Ireland, Smurfit Kappa is a leading producer of paper-based packaging with around 45,000 employees across 33 countries. To learn more, visit: www.smurfitkappa.com.
SOURCE: Smurfit Kappa
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