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Ardagh Group and Absolut Vodka co-invest in hydrogen-fired furnace

Katie Nichol

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Ardagh Group and Absolut Vodka co-invest in hydrogen-fired furnace

At Ardagh's Limmared glassworks in Sweden, the production of Absolut Vodka (Pernod Ricard) bottles will move to a partly hydrogen-fired glass furnace in the second half of 2023. Absolut will become the first global spirits brand to move to such a furnace for large-scale production.

Pernod Ricard's Absolut Vodka and Ardagh Glass Packaging (Ardagh Group) in Limmared, Sweden are to co-invest in a partly hydrogen-fired furnace for the vodka brand’s glass packaging production.

Currently, Ardagh's Limmared glassworks powers its furnaces with a combination of natural gas and electricity. A pilot at the plant in the second half of 2023 will replace 20% of natural gas with green hydrogen (produced on site from renewable energy sources).

Using hydrogen would reduce Absolut Vodka's carbon footprint from glass by 20%, according to the companies. Absolut is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2030, and has implemented other initiatives with Ardagh as it seeks to reach this goal: lightweighting of glass, raising recycled flint glass content above the 53% currently used, and increasing the use of electricity in the current furnace.

"Given we've been investing in our own production for decades, decreasing our emissions and increasing energy efficiency, we're now in a position where we also can focus on the parts of our value chain that are outside or our own scope,” Stéphanie Durroux, Chief Executive of The Absolut Company, said in a statement.

Absolut Vodka will become the first global spirits brand to move to a partly hydrogen energy-fired glass furnace for large-scale production. The hydrogen-fired furnace will produce all its bottles across its portfolio.

Pernod Ricard also announced that it is joining non-profit research and technology organization Glass Futures. Glass Futures is aiming to develop new glass production technologies by connecting the global glass industry and academia.

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