Multinational packaging and paper company Mondi has announced a €20m ($22.5m) investment in its Frantschach mill in Austria to make its pulp production more sustainable.

The investment will be used to build an evaporation plant at the mill, which will expedite heat extraction and reduce the need for steam.

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In addition, the new equipment will reduce the need for chemical oxygen in biological wastewater treatment by 140t a year.

Construction of the evaporation plant will begin immediately, with its commissioning scheduled for late 2023.

Mondi Frantschach managing director Gottfried Joham said: “Today, the focus on sustainability and circularity puts fibre-based products and pulp right into the spotlight.

“Not only is wood a renewable resource, but we know that paper is the most widely recycled material in the world with, for example, 74% of paper and 83% of paper-based packaging in Europe being recycled.

“Our new plant equipment will make our pulp production even more efficient and sustainable.

“The modernisation and expansion of the evaporation plant increases the amount of heat extracted and reduces the need for steam.”

The investment is part of Mondi’s strategy to optimise its use of wood as a primary input material.

At the Frantschach facility, the proportion of tall oil extracted will increase from 18kg to 35kg for each tonne of pulp.

The tall oil is used in the manufacturing of adhesives, paints and films.

Mondi’s Frantschach mill specialises in manufacturing kraft papers for use in food, building materials and animal feed.

First opened in 1881, the mill supplies surplus heat derived from pulp production to local communities and industrial companies.

Mondi recently introduced ThinkBox, a concept that aims to provide space and professional guidance for its corrugated packaging customers.

ThinkBox is intended to help customers from different industries improve their corrugated packaging.