Smurfit Kappa Invests in Sustainable New Water Treatment Facility in Colombia
The wastewater treatment plant uses modern technology which includes a circular self-sustaining anaerobic reactor.
Europe’s leading corrugated sustainable packaging provider Smurfit Kappa has completed a two-phase upgrade of its facilities at the Barranquilla Paper Mill in Colombia. The USD 7.5 million investments included the implementation of a wastewater treatment plant with state-of-the-art anaerobic technology, which performs two key functions – reduction of intake from the nearby Magdalena River and improvement of the quality of water returned to it. The upgradation of the facilities enables the Barranquilla site, which produces containerboard from 100 percent recycled materials, to contribute towards Smurfit Kappa’s ambitious sustainability targets that were revised in January this year.
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 percent by 2025 and to reduce water intensity by 1 percent annually. It is estimated that the COD at the plant will reduce by 80 percent as a direct result of this investment.
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In this, the wastewater treatment plant uses modern technology which includes a circular self-sustaining anaerobic reactor. In addition, 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. Other investments include – upgrades to facilities at the Barbosa and Cali paper plants.