DS Smith and E.ON unveil combined heat and power plant

State-of-the-art plant will save 36,000 tonnes of CO2 at Kemsley Paper Mill in Kent, UK

DS Smith and energy provider E.ON unveiled a new state-of-the-art combined heat and power (CHP) plant at DS Smith’s paper mill in Kent, the largest mill for recycled papers in the UK. Work on the CHP plant began in 2019 with E.ON financing, building and operating the plant.

The new CHP plant, which produced its first energy in 2022, has been designed to set the standard in efficiency, sustainability, and reliability – reducing CO2 emissions by 36,000 tonnes a year, the equivalent of 30,000 medium-sized cars driving more than 6,000 miles a year. It boasts an electrical capacity of 73MW, generating steam and power to help the Kemsley mill manufacture around 830k tonnes of recycled paper every year.

DS Smith and E.ON unveil combined heat and power plant at Kemsley Paper Mill, Kent
To commemorate the plant's official opening, a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on 25th April and was attended by senior leaders from DS Smith and E.ON, including Niels Flierman, DS Smith’s Head of Paper and Recycling, Rogier Gerritsen, Managing Director of Paper Europe at DS Smith and Manfred Wirsing, Managing Director of E.ON Energy Projects.

The ceremony marks the continuation of the long-term partnership between DS Smith and E.ON. Both companies have been working together in the field of energy supply for several years and – with Aschaffenburg paper mill in Germany and Kemsley – are currently realising two large projects together.

In addition, E.ON IQ Energy has been deployed at the new CHP plant, an intelligent, energy supply solution that has been specially developed for energy-intensive industries. It features an automated, self-controlled power plant based on patented hardware and a digital control concept that uses artificial intelligence to optimise the supply in real time. Data from the operation of the power plant and production facilities, the grid, and commodity markets help make the energy supply efficient and flexible.

We're excited about the sustainability and operational benefits this state-of-the-art plant brings to our flagship mill in Kemsley.

Niels Flierman
Head of Paper & Recycling at DS Smith

"Leading the way in reducing the impact paper making has on our environment is something we are passionate about - it’s important to us, our customers and the communities in which we operate. This is one of a number of projects we have across Europe and North America that will help us to reduce Green House Gas emissions by 46% on an absolute basis by 2030, compared to 2019 levels, and to reach Net Zero emissions by 2050.”

Manfred Wirsing, Managing Director of E.ON Energy Projects, said: “We are delighted the new site for our partner DS Smith here in Kemsley has come on-line. This successful project is another example of how we are driving decarbonisation for our industrial customers and their production processes across Europe. The new energy solution we have implemented on site will make DS Smith more independent and flexible and, with a high degree of automation, optimally positioned for the future.”