Ardagh Glass Packaging (AGP) has officially opened the new NextGen glass furnace at its facility in Obernkirchen, Germany.

The opening of the NextGen furnace was marked by an event held between 7 and 9 November at AGP’s facility.

The event was attended by various glass industry partners, suppliers, policymakers, and AGP customers.

This launch allowed attendees to witness some of the first amber bottles that were being manufactured using AGP’s low-carbon technology.

AGP-Germany operations director Jens Schaefer said: “We are delighted with the start-up performance of the NextGen furnace. To see the first amber-coloured bottles coming off the line has been a proud moment for the team.”

The NextGen furnace is gradually progressing towards a target of using 80% renewable electricity and the remaining 20% gas. This milestone is set to be achieved over the next few months.

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Once this transition is complete, the NextGen furnace is set to deliver maximum energy efficiency as well as decarbonisation.

AGP cited an independently verified Life Cycle Analysis report, which claimed that the NextGen furnace, when operating at 80% renewable electricity and 20% gas, will help in minimising carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions by up to 69% for manufacturing a typical 330ml glass bottle.

AGP-Europe CEO Martin Petersson said: “This is an incredible breakthrough for the glass industry. The potential to produce a glass bottle with a 69% reduction in CO₂ is a significant step towards decarbonising the glass manufacturing process.

“Throughout this project, AGP has worked closely with SORG, our chosen furnace supplier. We appreciate their expertise in helping us to reach this important milestone and we will continue to work together throughout the next operational stages.”

Construction of the NextGen furnace commenced in May this year.

This project has received grant support from the Federal Ministry for Economics and Climate Protection in Germany and Climate Protection in Energy-Intensive Industries.