Owner of Roca and Laufen, the Roca Group has commissioned what it claims to be the world’s first electric tunnel kiln to make sanitary ceramics.
According to the Roca Group, it will enable it to become first player in the world with a net-zero sanitary ceramics production plant by 2024.
To decarbonise the production of ceramic goods, the company has installed the electric kiln at its Laufen plant in Gmunden (Austria) for the first implementation of this technology.
After two years of development, it has started production of complex ceramic pieces in the factory, which already uses electricity from renewable sources.
Roca has worked with German kiln manufacturer Keramischer Ofenbau, which has focused on sustainable innovation for over 25 years, with the electric model registered by the European Patent Office.
This investment is central to Roca Group’s decarbonisation strategy. The Group closed 2022 with a 39% reduction in direct CO2 emissions compared to the 2018 baseline, approaching its SBTi target of carbon neutrality by 2045.
CEO at Roca Group Albert Magrans said: “We have a long-term goal to decarbonise our operations and we have been working hard to find solutions that will help us achieve this.
“This new pan-European partnership not only helps us on our way to net-zero but is also a clear step forward for the industry as a whole”.
Chairman of the advisory board at Keramischer Ofenbau Günter Halex added: “This electric kiln proves once again, that our advanced technologies are fit to decarbonise even the CO2-intensive ceramics industry.
“Our electrically heated kilns provide our customers with increasing independence from the energy market and allow for sustainable and economical production today and in the decades ahead.
“This groundbreaking and innovative project shows that our technology can maintain maximum quality in ceramic products while making a positive contribution to our planet”.
Through Roca Group Ventures, Roca has acquired a majority stake in Keramischer Ofenbau Holding GmbH, which owns Keramischer Ofenbau GmbH.
While both businesses will remain fully independent, this long-term collaboration will help develop, implement, and market this technology for the entire ceramics industry.