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Smurfit Kappa invests in sustainable new water treatment facility in Colombia

COLOMBIA (News release) -- Smurfit Kappa has completed a two-phase upgrade of its facilities at the Barranquilla Paper Mill in Colombia. The $7.5 million investment saw the implementation of a wastewater treatment plant with state-of-the-art anaerobic technology, which reduces water intake from the nearby Magdalena River and improves the quality of water returned to it.

The upgraded facilities allow the Barranquilla site, which produces containerboard from 100% recycled materials, to contribute towards Smurfit Kappa's ambitious sustainability targets that were expanded in January 2021. These include water quality targets to further reduce water intake and improve water intensity and usage. Specifically, this includes targets to reduce the Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) of the water by 60% by 2025 and to reduce water intensity by 1% annually. It is estimated that the COD at the plant will reduce by 80% as a direct result of this investment.

The wastewater treatment plant uses advanced technology that includes a circular self-sustaining anaerobic reactor. The facility will also generate biogas which will help to improve energy efficiency and reduce the need for external power sources. Barranquilla is the most recent example and part of a wider investment programme taking place across Smurfit Kappa paper mills in Colombia. Other investments include upgrades to facilities at the Barbosa and Cali paper plants.

Smurfit Kappa is a leading company in the production of paper-based packaging.

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