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Koehler Group to convert Oberkirch coal-fired plant to biomass

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The Koehler Group is planning to fully convert its plant in Oberkirch, Germany to biomass.

The €60 million project will enable the firm to produce the energy it needs for its paper production operations with wood chips, green waste and mill residue. This means the fuel will be CO2-neutral, as well as a renewable raw material sourced from the region.

Koehler’s CEO, Kai Furler, said: “By switching from bituminous coal to biomass as the primary fuel for our location here in Oberkirch, we will be cutting more than 150,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year.”

The company has undertaken several successful projects to reduce the energy consumed in its operations. A few years ago, the firm said it would produce more energy from renewable sources than required for its own needs by 2030, which is why it is now converting its coal-fired plant to biomass.

With its Fuel Emissions Trading Act, the German Government has made it more difficult to use fossil fuels, which is why Koehler is implementing plans for the conversion three years earlier than originally planned.

Koehler plans to commission the plant at the end of 2024, warning that the conversion “cannot be carried out overnight”, as the facility will require extensive technical modifications.

“With the conversion away from fossil fuels, Koehler is proactively playing its part in reducing global warming,” said Furler.