Environmental sustainability is at the top of Fencor Packaging Groups ‘must have’ and ‘must be’ lists. So, it’s especially gratifying to be able to report that after three years of planning and building, the new Anaerobic Digester Plant is now fully operational at CorrBoard UK in Scunthorpe, of which Fencor Packaging Group owns 10%.
2013 saw Fencor Packaging Group investing with key strategic partners in the first new corrugated board manufacturing plant to be built in the UK in over 20 years. The vision was to develop an innovative and industry leading, carbon neutral, sheet board production facility.
The state-of the art facility began producing corrugated sheet board in 2014 utilising a Fosber corrugator with a capacity of some 200 million square metres per annum.
In 2016, plans were drawn up to make CorrBoard UK completely energy self-sufficient by building an Anaerobic Digester to supply gas and electricity to the plant.
Anaerobic digestion is the process whereby organic material, such as food waste and animal waste are broken down, or biodegraded, to produce bio-fertiliser and bio-gas. The process occurs in an oxygen free, sealed tank called an anaerobic digester. The bio-gas is then used to create electricity.
CorrBoard UK’s sister company, CorrBoard Bioenergy Ltd, invested £5.5 million to make this pioneering project a reality and it took three years from beginning to end to put it into production. So, as of October 2019, CorrBoard UK has been completely self sufficient for energy, even creating a surfeit of some 50% which is being fed back into the National Grid. The 25,000 tonnes of raw materials that feed the digester come from the large number of local food processing businesses in the surrounding area so there is little transport needed, further reducing the carbon footprint. Furthermore, organic fertiliser, a by-product, is being used by the agricultural industry, completing the circular process.
This highly innovative build sees what we believe is a world first – a sustainable energy generation facility, fuelled by organic waste, that provides heat and power for the manufacture of corrugated sheet board to produce sustainable packaging and point of sale.
Chris Hall, Business Development Director for Fencor Packaging Group, said “We’re delighted to see the completion of this innovative project that makes part of the Group self-sufficient for its gas and electricity.
As a growing company our focus on environmental responsibility and subsequent actions have increased exponentially. Having begun introducing practices across the Group many years ago, the emphasis has been about environmentally friendly initiatives that really make a difference. Policies are valuable in providing direction, but action is critical.”
As the Fencor Packaging Group’s sheet board usage approaches 20 million square metres annually, the entire group is operating on an environmentally responsible footing.