Fibre Excellence Provence reduces its environmental footprint

A Site Monitoring Commission concerning the Fibre Excellence Provence plant (in the South of France) was held on 18 January in the presence of all the institutional and associative stakeholders concerned. As part of its continuous improvement and transparency approach, Fibre Excellence shared a complete inventory of the factory’s environmental footprint and the steps taken to improve it.

Here is a summary of the main points discussed:

  • The plant has managed to significantly reduce its air emissions, particularly dust, over the last three years (-90%). The plant now complies with all applicable thresholds for air emissions.
  • The reduction of nuisances linked to odorous gases emitted by the plant is one of Fibre Excellence’s strong commitments to local residents. This is why the company is installing a new odorous gas collection installation, an investment of several million euros. The equipment has been delivered to the site and will be operational by the end of the first quarter, which will result in a significant reduction in odours.
  • Thanks to a two-year switch to 100% unbleached pulp production, the mill now emits no bleaching product residues into the Rhône (AOX, which was the mill’s main aqueous emission in the past). The plant continues to work with experts to further reduce its emissions of nitrogen (-20% since 2019) and phosphorus (-70% since 2019), which are used in its water purification process.
  • The plant has invested several hundred thousand euros to encapsulate equipment in order to reduce the noise emitted, and has reviewed its organisation to cease wood yard activity at night, in order to reduce noise for local residents. In 2022, it has also launched new studies to identify the sources of noise and ways to reduce them. At this stage, the data from these studies is not conclusive. Fibre Excellence has invested heavily in this subject and has therefore decided to carry out additional surveys and analyses with specialised companies in order to obtain a robust technical and economic report and thus to take the best possible action to reduce noise.
  • As part of the Biowatt project, the plant has invested several tens of millions of euros in new, more efficient equipment that will enable it to increase its production of green energy and thus supply the public electricity network. The new turbine has already been delivered and will be inaugurated in the summer of 2023.

« This dialogue with local residents, associations, authorities and experts is essential for us, explains Thomas Petreault, Director of Public Affairs. Fibre Excellence has embarked on a real turning point, with a solid plan that is producing results in economic terms and significant improvements in its environmental footprint. Reducing nuisance for local residents is a priority for the plant: with this new dynamic in mind, it has carried out and initiated projects, some of which are already bearing fruit, such as the sharp reduction in atmospheric emissions. Other projects, such as the one to reduce odours, will be completed very soon. The results are real, and the participants in the Site Monitoring Commission emphasised them during the discussions. There is still work to be done, but the plant is on the right track. »