Ardagh Glass Packaging (AGP) has broken ground on its ‘NextGen’ hybrid electric furnace at its Obernkirchen glass production facility in Germany.

The large-scale hybrid furnace will operate with a mixture ratio of 80% renewable electricity and 20% gas.

The technology will result in lowering carbon dioxide emissions produced by the furnace by as much as 60%.

Ardagh’s sustainability director for Europe Annelene Ikemann said: “Our NextGen Furnace, in combination with our target to supply 100% renewable electricity to our facilities by 2030, is a positive step forward along our Sustainability Roadmap.

“In future phases of this project, AGP aims to replace the remaining gas with green hydrogen, which will further reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In subsequent steps on our sustainability journey, we will look at a wider range of alternative melting technologies as we decarbonise our other facilities.”

The company expects the furnace to enter commercial glass container production later this year.

Once operational, the hybrid electric furnace will produce up to 350 tonnes of bottles daily, mainly amber glass, using recycled glass cullet. It will also be capable of producing glass bottles in other colours.

The company noted that it received a grant from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) alongside the Competence Centre on Climate Change Mitigation in Energy-Intensive Industries (KEI) to help develop and deploy the technology.

AGP CEO for Europe Martin Petersson said: “Decarbonisation is a key priority for our business and our customers. The NextGen Furnace represents a significant investment in creating a sustainable future for glass packaging, and we intend to roll out this and other low-carbon solutions across other AGP facilities in the coming years.

“We are grateful for the grant support provided by BMWK and KEI which is helping to realise the benefits of this new technology.”

Last week, AGP also revealed plans to install a sustainable ’Efficient Furnace’ at its Doncaster facility in the UK.