Roca unveils ‘world first’ electric tunnel kiln

Roca Group has invested in an electric tunnel kiln for the production of its Laufen sanitaryware products, which it claims to be a “world first” of its kind.

Roca says it invested in the new kiln technology in an effort to decarbonise the ceramic goods production process, which it believes is often energy- and carbon-intensive.

The kiln was commissioned by Roca Group, and then created in partnership with Keramischer Ofenbau, who are said to be a world technology leader in ceramic kiln manufacturing.  

Development on the kiln took over two years and it has now been installed at the Laufen production plant in Gmunden, Austria. Roca Group says the plant already uses renewable electricity, and that the kiln “provides a valuable alternative to conventional production dependent on fossil fuels”.

The porcelain manufacturer reportedly closed last year with a reduction of almost 40% in its CO2 emissions compared with its 2018 baseline, and believes it is well on its way to being carbon neutral by 2045.

Roca Group believes that the new kiln “show[s] great potential for the entire industry” and proves “the complete decarbonisation of ceramic production is not only possible, but also realistic and economically feasible”.

Roca Group chief executive Albert Magrans is hopeful that the successful launching of the kiln will have a positive knock-on effect for the rest of the industry. “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.” he said. “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.”

Aside from just celebrating its sustainable advancements, 2023 marks Roca Group’s 30-year anniversary in the UK market. Earlier this year, the company also acquired premium German bathroom brand Alape, which had formerly been owned by Dornbracht.

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