European glass manufacturers have joined together to build the first ever large-scale hybrid furnace to run on 80% green electricity.

For the first time, the industry has adopted a collaborative approach where 20 glass container producers have mobilised resources to work on and fund a pilot project to prove the concept.

With this new technology, it is hoped the industry will be able to produce more than 300 tonnes per day of any glass colour, using high levels of recycled glass.

Ardagh Group has volunteered to build the furnace in Germany. It will be built in 2022, with an assessment of first results planned for 2023.

“We are extremely proud to announce this joint-industry project”, said Michel Giannuzzi, President of FEVE.

“The hybrid technology is a step-change in the way we produce and will enable us to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of glass packaging production.

“The move marks an important milestone for the glass sector in implementing our decarbonisation strategy.”

Martin Petersson, CEO of Ardagh Group, Glass Europe added: “With this new technology we are embarking on the journey to climate-neutral glass packaging, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of manufacturing.

“We aim to demonstrate the viability of electric melting on a commercial scale, which would revolutionise the consumer glass packaging market.”

By adopting a sectorial approach, it also intends to gain the support of the European Commission through the Emission Trading System's (ETS') Finance for Innovation Fund Programme.

Founding member companies of the ‘Furnace of the Future’ project are Allied Glass, Ardagh Group, BA Glass, Beatson Clark, Bormioli Luigi, Gerresheimer, Gurallar Cam Ambalaj (GCA), O-I Europe, Pochet, Saverglass, SGD, Steklarna Hrastnik, Stoelzle, Verallia, Verescence, Vetreria Etrusca, Vetropack, Vidrala, Wiegand-Glas and Zignago Vetro.