Gerresheimer to use hybrid technology for glass melting at Lohr plant

Significant CO2 savings for sustainable glass tube and container production

Gerresheimer, Lohr
At its Lohr plant, Gerresheimer produces more than one billion glass containers for the pharma and food industries every year. By using sustainable tank technology and green energy for the glass melt, the company aims to significantly reduce its CO2 emissions Photo Gerresheimer

With the use of hybrid technology, the Gerresheimer plant in Lohr plans to build a glass melting furnace for white glass in 2022, saving significantly more CO2 than conventional technology. The company has submitted a funding application to the German Federal Ministry for the Environment for this pioneering innovative project according to the press release datelined Düsseldorf/Lohr, 13 September 2021.

With modern and sustainable glass production technology, Gerresheimer’s plants in Germany set exemplary standards for all of the company’s plants in Europe, America, and Asia, particularly in innovations for greater sustainability. “This pioneering technology project serves to strengthen Germany as an industrial and glass location. With this innovative technology, we will set new standards in terms of sustainability and avoidance of emissions,” said Andreas Kohl. As Global senior vice president of Operations, Kohl is responsible for worldwide container glass production and its technical development in the Gerresheimer Group.

Gerresheimer produces more than one billion glass containers annually for the pharma and food industries with two melting furnaces for clear and amber glass at the Lohr plant. “By using this sustainable furnace technology in conjunction with green energy for the glass melting process, we will significantly reduce CO2 emissions in production by around 25,000 tons per year,” says Jörg Buchmayer, head of Production and Technology, who is responsible for the project. We are using hybrid technology, which makes it possible to cover half of the required melting energy in the furnace with green electricity and the other half with natural gas.

Glass can be recycled an infinite number of times. However, high temperatures are required for glass melting. This costs energy and generates corresponding CO2 emissions. For more than a decade, the Gerresheimer Group has been working on using no more energy than absolutely necessary for the sustainable production of its glass containers for the pharma, cosmetics, and food industries.

Gerresheimer also produces glass containers for numerous well-known branded products in the pharma and cosmetics world at its German sites in Essen and Tettau. As part of its global sustainability strategy, Gerresheimer has set itself the goal of reducing its CO2 emissions by 50% by 2030 compared with 2019. The resource-saving production of the glass plays a decisive role in this. The innovative technology planned for the plant in Lohr is pioneering in this respect.

Gerresheimer has 43 plants around the world in Europe, North and South America, and Asia. The Asian plants include five in China and six in India.

Gerresheimer in India

With its head office in Mumbai, Maharashtra, its six plants in India include two in Mumbai, three in Kosamba in Gujarat, and one in Kundli in the Delhi NCR. The Mumbai locations produce primary packaging molded and tubular glass. In addition, it delivers pharmaceutical packaging solutions with molded glass and tailor-made tubular glass from its two state-of-the-art facilities located in Kosamba, Gujarat.

Kosamba also has the capacity for primary packaging plastics. Gerresheimer’s plant in North India for primary plastics is in Kundli in the Delhi NCR. At this plant, it develops and manufactures solid and liquid bottles for ophthalmic and parenteral applications.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

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As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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