Harnessing innovation, reducing emissions

paving the way towards greener glass manufacturing

About BEAR

The Innovation Fund project BEAR (Hybrid regenerative glass furnace) will demonstrate a first-of-a-kind hybrid end-fired regenerative furnace with an electrical melting share of more than 40 %. The furnace will be implemented at Steklarna Hrastnik’s (SH) existing production site in Hrastnik, Slovenia and has a throughput capacity of 170 tonnes of glass per day.

The hybrid furnace will replace the existing end-fired regenerative furnace for extra-white flint glass production, thereby resulting in over 50% reduction of natural gas consumption and up to 33 % greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions avoidance over the first ten years of operation.

The BEAR project aims to address the energy inefficiency and high carbon footprint associated with the widely used end-fired regenerative furnace in the glass industry. To achieve this, the project is developing a hybrid regenerative furnace that combines the energy efficiency of electric furnaces with the operational flexibility of conventional regenerative furnaces. By increasing the share of electrical boosting from the current 5-10% to over 40%, the project aims to significantly reduce natural gas consumption and avoid emitting 96.384 tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases over a ten-year period. This reduction is greater than the total annual household greenhouse gas emissions of the Zasavje region, where the project is located.

Moreover, the electrification of the container glass sector through the adoption of the hybrid regenerative furnace will allow the glass melting process to align with the availability of renewable energy sources (RES). By directly coupling local RES to the melting process, the project not only improves energy efficiency but also enhances the resilience and security of the glass manufacturing process in terms of energy supply. With SH, a significant employer in the coal region of Zasavje, taking the lead in this transition, the project is expected to have a positive impact on the local economy by retaining current jobs and creating new ones. Furthermore, the success of the project in decarbonizing the glass industry can serve as a model for other energy-intensive sectors in the region, inspiring them to adopt sustainable production technologies and contribute to a greener future.

Key figures


Steklarna Hrastnik d.o.o. (SH)


Kemijski inštitut (NIC)


Hrastnik, Slovenia


Glass, ceramics and construction material


96 384 t CO2 eq


EUR 2 238 000


EUR 3 730 000


1 September 2022


Q1 2025

BEAR project

The hybrid regenerative furnace will be implemented at Steklarna Hrastnik’s existing production site, Special, located in Hrastnik, Zasavje, Slovenia. The site, which has been in operation since 2005, has an annual production capacity of 37,000 tons. The Special site focuses on manufacturing extra white flint glass for Premium and Super Premium containers. It employs 174 out of Steklarna Hrastnik’s total of 530 employees and accounts for nearly 60% of the company’s sales revenues (2021).

The envisioned hybrid furnace will replace the existing end-fired regenerative furnace at the site, which has a capacity of 165 tons per day. The old furnace, designated as furnace B, was specially designed for low-iron flint glass production and commissioned in 2014. With the implementation of the hybrid regenerative furnace, the electricity share for glass melting will increase from the current 7% to above 40%.

News & events

Project Bear reached financial close

Comming soon…


Project results

List of public deliverables of the project:

  • D.1.3: Minimum communication requirements
  • D1.6: PU Knowledge sharing report
  • D2.1: Update to PU knowledge sharing report
  • D3.2: 2nd update to PU knowledge sharing report
  • D6.1: 3rd update PU knowledge sharing report

Project partners

Steklarna Hrastnik (SH) is a global leader in glass manufacturing, with a focus on high-quality and sustainable products. With over 160 years of experience, SH exports 98% of its glass products to more than 50 countries worldwide. Their products range from traditional to award-winning innovative designs, made from top-quality glass that is free of heavy metals. SH offers customization options and prides itself on flexible service, fast time to market, and tailor-made solutions. They are committed to continuous improvement, technological innovation, and environmental sustainability, positioning themselves as drivers of green innovation in their industry and beyond.

Kemijski inštitut (NIC) is a leading Slovenian research institution specializing in chemistry and related disciplines. Their research focuses on areas of long-term significance, such as materials research, life sciences, biotechnology, chemical engineering, structural and theoretical chemistry, analytical chemistry, and environmental protection. This aligns with the needs of both domestic and international industries, including pharmaceuticals, chemicals, automotive, and nanobiotechnology. The Department of Catalysis and Chemical Reaction Engineering at NIC is specifically involved in chemical engineering, reactor design, process modelling, and construction. Leveraging their extensive experience in developing decarbonized solutions, the department will contribute to advancing hybrid furnace technologies and the use of carbon-neutral energy sources. The department’s expertise is well-suited for tasks such as accelerated aging tests for catalyst stability, comprehensive characterization, digital twin modelling, and techno-economic assessments.

Get in touch with BEAR team

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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