Irish packaging company Smurfit Kappa has announced an investment of nearly $100m in its paper mill in Yumbo, Colombia.

The company is building a sustainable biomass boiler at the site, which is expected to reduce its global Scope I and II carbon emissions by around 6%.

The boiler will replace the fossil fuels currently in use at the mill with different types of organic waste to generate cleaner energy.

This organic waste will include pine and eucalyptus bark from the company’s forestry plantations and waste from its wood treatment plant, as well as ashes and sludge from the paper manufacturing process.

Scheduled to be operational by the end of 2024, the boiler will reduce the mill’s use of fossil fuels and improve cost savings.

Smurfit Kappa Colombia CEO Alvaro Henao said: “The construction of this boiler reflects the circularity that is the foundation of our sustainability strategy and runs through all of our operations, as we are finding another use for our own waste.

“It is also a very important project for the region, as it will contribute to expanding the use of renewable energies and is a timely response to the increased global demand for paper.”

The boiler project is the latest of Smurfit Kappa’s efforts to improve circularity across its operations.

The company previously implemented biomass boilers at many of its European locations, including its paper mills in Nervión and Sangüesa, Spain, and Piteå, Finland.

Smurfit Kappa Americas CEO Laurent Sellier said: “This investment reinforces our commitment to Colombia, a strategic growth market, and to our sustainability targets.

“The commissioning of this state-of-the-art biomass boiler is a further material step towards our 2030 and net zero emissions targets and to protecting the environment and creating a greener world.”

Last month, Smurfit Kappa agreed to acquire the PaperBox packaging plant in Brazil.