Steklarna Hrastnik took out the award amidst serious competition from 173 companies, of which 38 made it to the final selection at national level. The innovation rewarded by the Chamber, the technological overhaul of the B-furnace in the special packaging plant – a project valued at EUR 5 million – is the result of the technical knowledge and innovativeness of Steklarna Hrastnik employees. Andrej Božič, General Manager of Steklarna Hrastnik, said “I am delighted that the expert jury chose to give us the gold award amidst such strong competition. Thanks to the innovativeness of Steklarna Hrastnik employees, the use of the most up-to-date technology, and the continued implementation of environmental improvements based in part on our own know-how, we have been able to reduce our energy and water consumption, while increasing our production capacities.”
One of the main environmental improvements is the reduction of energy product consumption by 16% alongside the increased capacity of the B-furnace. This was achieved with an innovative construction of the glass furnace and regenerators, using the waste heat of the flue gasses generated in the B-furnace to heat the water in the special packaging plant, and using the warm, clean air generated in cooling the B-furnace to heat a part of the production line in the plant. The innovative furnace overhaul at Steklarna Hrastnik has resulted not only in an effective reduction of energy product consumption, but also in a reduction of emissions, which are now significantly lower than the prescribed levels and fully compliant with the BAT conclusions that will enter into force in February next year. NOx emissions have been reduced by 25%, dust emissions by 30%, and CO2 emissions by 10%. It needs to be emphasised that because of the innovations the furnace will be achieving above mentioned parameters regarding energy consumption and reduction of emissions throughout its whole life span.