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Energy Initiatives

Glatfelter will continue to serve as a role model for the efficient use of fuels. Glatfelter’s operations have been running in part on alternative energy sources for decades. Several Glatfelter sites operate co-generation plants to very efficiently produce steam and electricity.

What is Cogeneration?

Cogeneration is the use of a heat engine or a power station to simultaneously generate both electricity and useful heat, which can be used in the manufacturing process. Cogeneration is a thermodynamically efficient use of fuel. Compared to a typical electric generating plant, the cogeneration process is more efficient because more energy in the steam is used. Combined heat and power (CHP) is a term that can be used interchangeably with cogeneration.

Benefits of Cogeneration/CHP

  • Reduced energy costs through more efficient utilization of the energy in steam
  • Reduced air and water pollution
  • Reduced environmental impact from condensing steam into water

Improving Energy Efficiency

In addition to the use of cogeneration and renewable fuels, Glatfelter is continuously improving its energy and carbon footprint by improving its manufacturing equipment and operations. For example, Glatfelter sites have also installed energy-efficient lighting to reduce electricity usage.

Chemical and Energy Recovery Process

The thermodynamically efficient use of fuel, the cogeneration process is more efficient because energy in steam is used productively. At a typical electric generating plant, steam is used only once to make more electricity. The steam must then be condensed back into water, thereby wasting the remaining energy in the steam.

Glatfelter conforms to the best practice energy efficiency requirements as dictated by the EU Industrial Emissions Directive Best Available Techniques reference documents (BREF). These sites are part of the EU emissions trading system targeted at driving improvements/reductions in CO2 emissions.

Five of our European sites have formal energy management systems (ISO 50001) to drive energy efficiency. Our U.K. sites have improvement targets to reduce energy usage per ton as part of formal industry agreements with the government to achieve long-term energy efficiency improvements. At our site in Gernsbach, Germany, two water turbines generate electric power that is sold to the adjacent electric grid. We are currently working with the nearby city of Gaggenau to add two additional water turbines that will increase the capacity to generate sustainable energy.

Other Environmental Sustainability Initiatives