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The project will bring together top engineers from 20 glass container manufacturing companies to launch the first large-scale hybrid oxy-fuel furnace powered by 80% renewable energy. This hybrid electric oven will allow the replacement of current fossil energy sources, by replacing 80% of natural gas with renewable energies and by reducing the CO2 emissions of furnaces between 50% and 60% of the total.

This is the first time that 20 producers of glass containers have pooled their resources to work on and finance such an innovative project, with a collective objective: the production of glass containers without climate impact.

We are very proud to announce this collaborative project between different members of the industry. Hybrid technology is a radical change in the way of production and will allow us to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of glass containers. For the glass industry, the project is a fundamental step in the implementation of the common decarbonisation strategy.

Michel Giannuzzi, president of FEVE (European Federation of Glass Containers).

Currently, traditional furnaces admit recycled glass as the main raw material, however, the use of electricity as the main source of energy is limited to furnaces for small glass productions which require the exclusive use of virgin raw material ( silica sand, limestone and sodium carbonate). ), but no recycled material. With the new hybrid oven technology, these limitations will be overcome and the industry it will produce over 300 tons per day using mainly recycled glass. For every 10% more glass recycled in the furnaces, there is an additional 5% reduction in CO2 emissions and a 3% reduction in energy consumption.

The investment (capital and operating cost) of a hybrid oven compared to a traditional oven can be up to 40 million euros higher, additional cost that must be amortized over the 10 years of its useful life. This amortization is possible thanks to the cost of electricity which is lower than that of natural gas (approximately three times higher per MWh).

Ardagh Group, the second largest manufacturer of glass containers in the world, has volunteered to build the furnace in Germany in 2022 and it is expected to start in 2023.

With this new technology, we are embarking on a climate-free glass production project and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the manufacture of glass containers. Our goal is to demonstrate the viability of electric ovens on a commercial scale, a fact that will revolutionize the glass container market.

Martin Petersson, CEO of Ardagh Group, Glass Europe.

Bringing the “furnace of the future” to life is an extremely ambitious project that requires significant financial and human resources, as well as experience and knowledge in different sectors. For this reason, some of the main representatives of the industry are committed to working together with the aim of securing the support of the European Commission through the innovation funding program.

On the list of the 20 founding companies of the “Four du futur” all those who have an establishment in Spain are listed: BA Glass, OI Europe, Verallia and Vidrala.