Ence promotes energy efficiency in its pulp and renewable energy plants

Ence Energía y Celulosa promotes energy efficiency in its two business lines, cellulose and renewable energy, and in all its production plants, as part of its commitment to sustainability and the circular economy.

In the case of the company’s two cellulose biofactories, located in Pontevedra and Navia, certified wood, a natural and sustainable raw material, is the starting point of a production process in which paper pulp is manufactured, with the that recyclable products are made, capable of replacing plastic and other non-recyclable materials.

In addition, in its biofactories Ence generates renewable energy using forest biomass, that is, materials from wood that are not used for the production of cellulose: bark and lignin. The latter, lignin, is a component of wood that constitutes an excellent renewable and natural biofuel. In this way, both plants are capable of energy self-sufficiency, while helping to reduce energy intensity and carbon footprint.

The company has made significant investments in both plants to advance efficiency. Thus, 163 million euros have been invested in Ence’s Asturian plant between 2019 and 2020 to improve its efficiency. Of this amount, almost a quarter was dedicated to improving the environmental performance of the biofactory. In Pontevedra, for its part, the investments made to improve efficiency and environmental performance until 2019 have reached 132 million euros.

It is worth noting that both plants have been recognized with the AENOR “Zero Waste” certificate, which recognizes those organizations that carry out a more efficient management of their waste and that are capable of recovering it. In addition, the Ence plant in Pontevedra has recently obtained the ISO 50001 Energy Efficiency certification, and the Navia plant is in the process of obtaining it as well. It is a voluntary application standard that certifies its commitment and environmental concern to help reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, as well as that its energy consumption is done in a rational way.

The generation of renewable energy with biomass is a clear example of energy efficiency. It is a process in which agroforestry remains are valued that, otherwise, could become an environmental problem, due to the risk of uncontrolled burning and fires that their accumulation implies. On the other hand, biomass generation contributes to combat the so-called “emptied Spain” and to generate employment in rural areas. For this reason, electricity production with biomass favors decarbonisation and helps to walk along the path of a just energy transition.

In its independent power plants, the start-up of photovoltaic plants for self-consumption is another of Ence’s determined bets for sustainability, innovation and the development of renewable energies in Spain. The installation of this type of plant is an innovative solution that reduces the auxiliary consumption of operating facilities, thus increasing energy eco-efficiency and the company’s environmental commitment.

The first example of Ence’s sustainable growth strategy is in Huelva, where a photovoltaic plant with 820 kWp of installed power saves just over 1,477,000 kWh per year in the energy consumption of the Huelva complex, which also means avoiding emission 462 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Now, the company is developing another similar plant at its biomass plant in Mérida. It is expected to be commissioned next March and will be able to generate more than 500,000 kWh per year.

These innovative solutions consolidate Ence as a clear reference for self-consumption technology and renewable energies in Spain, and are part of the company’s sustainability strategy, which is firmly committed to the Sustainable Development Goals defined by the United Nations. .