A sustainable future: water

It has been a year since we decided to put in place a tremendous strategic shift. In 2019 we established, at Papresa, diversify our production and stop focusing entirely on newsprint paper production. That means that two of our three production machines will begin producing paper for packaging.

That shift means a radical transformation of our environment management towards a more sustainable and respectful model with the environment. To do so, it has been necessary to confront, among others, a considerable challenge: the complete transformation of our water treatment system.

As defined in the Integrated Environmental Authorisation (AAI), recently issued by the Environment Department of the Basque Government, the new treatment plant will incorporate, additionally to the existing facilities, an expanded granular sludge bed reactor (commercial name IC). This reactor has been designed by the Dutch company, Paques, the global leader in water treatment for paste and paper production factories, and built by Cadagua engineering, which has developed more than 60 similar installations in Spain.

Water cicle

To arrive at such a conclusion, we have invested more than two years in putting in place different studies and experimental trials with residual water produced by our various machines. Thanks to our new water treatment installation, which is currently under construction, we will reduce by 85% the water contamination (mainly organic waste originated by recycled paper, which is used as raw material for paper production).

Later, the water will be poured into the Water Collector in Añarbe, and it will receive the last cleansing treatment at the Depuration of Residual Water Station (EDAR) in Loiola. Finally, once the organic biodegradable waste is eliminated, it will be poured through the submarine pipeline to the Cantabric Sea, in front of Ulía mountain. Hence, all residual water from paper production will be cleaned entirely before returned to the sea.

Green biogas

Additionally, the new Anaerobic Reactor IC installed at our factory, which functions without energetic consumption, transforms organic material into methane gas. This gas is transformed at our depuration plant into green Biogas, a substitute for the fossil natural gas we use. Thanks to this shift, we can reduce by 25% our carbon footprint.

This improvement will allow us to accomplish with Best Available Techniques (MTD) of paste and paper sector and put us in the European sustainability and alternative energy production map. Therefore, we will ensure the future of our company and, altogether with other current investments, put us as one of the top European packaging paper production companies.