A circular water system is to be created for the paper industry, eliminating the need for groundwater abstraction. Paper mills from Eerbeek and Loenen, together with the province of Gelderland, the municipality of Brummen and the Vallei and Veluwe water board will work together on this in the near future. If the project succeeds, 3.6 million m3 of well water could be saved annually. Folding Boxboard Eerbeek is one of the founders of the Eerbeek wastewater treatment plant and will also actively participate in this project. It offers an enormous opportunity to reduce groundwater consumption very substantially and thus contributes to our sustainability goals.
Drought and groundwater level
In recent summers, prolonged drought and a drop in the groundwater level caused increasing problems in Gelderland. The province of Gelderland therefore wants to limit groundwater withdrawals to save water and protect the environment. This is particularly necessary on the Veluwe.
Paper mills need a lot of water to produce cardboard and paper. Traditionally, groundwater is extracted for this purpose. To increase sustainability and ensure sufficient water supply in the future, the mills have been working together for some time on an innovative circular water system that eliminates the need to extract groundwater for the daily production process. Only in emergencies will water still have to be extracted.
‘Importance of this project is huge’
At the request of the paper mills involved, the province will now cooperate with the municipality of Brummen and the Vallei and Veluwe Water Board in the realisation of the water roundabout. “The importance of this project in tackling drought is enormous,” said deputy Jan Markink. “If it succeeds, we can save 3.6 million m3 of well water annually. That is equivalent to 22,000 households.”
Pilot to start in 2023
A project team from the paper mills started an exploration of the technical and financial feasibility of the water roundabout earlier this year. A pilot will start next year. The aim is to be operational by 2030 at the latest.
Participating mills are besides Folding Boxboard Eerbeek, Neenah Coldenhove, DJP De Hoop from Eerbeek and Smart Packaging Solutions from Loenen. Incidentally, in recent years much has already been done by the paper mills in Eerbeek to reduce their groundwater withdrawals. Currently, 30% of the water is reused.
Business climate, liveability and sustainability
The Water Roundabout will now be included in Eerbeek Loenen 2030. In this programme, the municipality of Brummen, Industriekern Eerbeek Loenen (IKEL), the Vallei Water Board and the province of Gelderland work together on business climate, liveability and sustainability.
Soon, the partners will sign a cooperation agreement. This is a follow-up to the agreement of intent signed in 2018. The new agreement includes a fixed implementation agenda and targets are more focused on current issues such as dehydration. Provincial Executive approved the new cooperation agreement and support for the Water Roundabout today.
From 13 September, we started the conversion and renovation of various components at our plant in Eerbeek (NL). An investment for the future of our plant, in which we will save at least 5% in natural gas consumption immediately after completion of this project. In this carefully prepared project, we will take our surroundings into account and will try to keep inconvenience to a minimum. Through this link you can find updates on this conversion (in Dutch).
Our production site in Eerbeek (NL), Folding Boxboard Eerbeek B.V. has recently been awarded the HALAL certificate. The Halal certificate guarantees the Halal-worthiness of our cardboard according to Islamic law, so the qualities of Folding Boxboard Eerbeek are also permitted in the processing of packaging for HALAL food.
July 11, 2022
As a first step the folding boxboard mill in Eerbeek (NL) will replace the current press by a new shoe press. The infrared installation used to dry the cartonboard will be upgraded at the same time. This will result in higher production efficiency and lower gas consumption. “This is the first step in a multi-year investment process to modernise the mill and make it more sustainable”, says Otto van Beers, managing director of Folding Boxboard Eerbeek. To accommodate the press replacement, from 13 September 2022, production at Folding Boxboard Eerbeek will be stopped for a month.
The Eerbeek mill produces cartonboard for the food, personal care and pharma sector. This means it has to meet the highest quality requirements, which is why pure wood pulp is used as raw material. The press section is an essential part of the entire production process. It ensures as much water as possible is squeezed out of the cartonboard prior to the drying process.
New, state-of-the-art shoe press
The current press equipment section has reached the end of its technical life and will be completely replaced by a state-of-the-art shoe press. The investment will deliver better performance and increased efficiency for the pressing process. At the same time, the infrared burners used to dry the cartonboard will be upgraded. This yields approximately 5% savings on the use of natural gas.
Technically and logistically challenging operation
The stop of production will last between 25 to 30 days but of course, customers have already been informed well in advance. Intensive coordination and early deliveries will ensure that our packaging customers have sufficient stocks, even while production is temporarily stopped. The Eerbeek employees will temporarily stop their normal day-to-day activities and focus on replacement and maintenance work instead. In addition, to get the press replacement done, another 250 to 300 employees of international, regional and local companies will be working at the FOLBB folding boxboard mill in Eerbeek.
The FOLBB Group has a dominant position in the European market for GC2 folding carton and is located in the heart of Europe, right in the middle of its customers with production sites in Eerbeek (NL) and Baiersbronn (GER). In July 2021, the FOLBB Group has been acquired by funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. “Our current owner actively supports investments in the modernisation and sustainability of our board mill in Eerbeek over the coming years”, says FOLBB Group CEO Daniel Wiktorin. “The modernisations and improvements we are announcing today involve an investment of several millions. The multi-year investment program comprises a series of major investments to be made over the next years.”
We attach great importance to the high quality of our products. This includes the FSC® and PEFC certification. Recently we have updated our certificates for these.