Today (3 May) multinational sustainable packaging solutions provider DS Smith and European energy company E.ON unveiled a new state-of-the-art combined heat and power (CHP) plant and DS Smith’s paper mill in Kent.

The agreement between the two companies was announced in 2019 and construction commenced the same year after being financed by E.ON who will operate the plant. The plant produced its first energy in 2022 and DS Smith says that the new CHP plant at the Kemsley Paper Mill has been designed to set the standard in efficiency, sustainability and reliability. 

The sustainable packaging company says that the new plant will reduce CO2 emissions by 36,000t a year and that as it boasts an electrical capacity of 73MW, the plant has the capability to manufacture 830,000t of recycled paper every year.

DS Smith head of paper and recycling  Niels Flierman said: 

“We’re excited about the sustainability and operational benefits this state-of-the-art plant brings to our flagship mill in Kemsley. Leading the way in reducing the impact paper making has on our environment is something we are passionate about – it’s important to us, our customers and the communities in which we operate. “This is one of a number of projects we have across Europe and North America that will help us to reduce Green House Gas emissions by 46% on an absolute basis by 2030, compared to 2019 levels and to reach Net Zero emissions by 2050.”

The CHP plant will operate on E.ON IQ Energy which the company says is an intelligent, energy supply solution developed for energy-intensive industries. The energy solution features an automated, self-controlled power plant and artificial intelligence to optimise supply.

E.ON managing director of energy projects Manfred Wirsing said: “We are delighted the new site for our partner DS Smith here in Kemsley has come on-line. This successful project is another example of how we are driving decarbonisation for our industrial customers and their production processes across Europe. The new energy solution we have implemented on site will make DS Smith more independent and flexible and, with a high degree of automation, optimally positioned for the future.”

The move is the latest in sustainable developments from DS Smith. On 20 April Packaging Gateway reported that DS Smith had announced a €145m ($159.97m) multi-year upgrade programme for its kraft paper mill in Viana, Portugal

The multinational packaging company says that the efforts will contribute to minimising carbon dioxide emissions at the mill and equip the mill with some of the latest paper-making machinery.

At the time Flierman said: “As one of our larger mills, Viana has a huge role to play in this and the €145m investment is testament to our commitment to remain at the forefront of the market and to lead the way in the race to net-zero in the paper industry.”