Portugal’s pulp and paper producer Portucel expects investment in its Mozambique project to reach $3 billion against the previously planned $2.3 billion, which would allow increasing the project’s capacity by as much as 50%. Pedro Moura, CEO of Portucel Mozambique said that since the project was devised, technological advances in production equipment have allowed to increase the potential output and the company expected to take advantage of that.
“Production capacity could be increased by 50%… Overall, investment will reach $3 billion with the strongest component being the industrial” scale, Moura said about the project which is expected to start producing in 2023. Portucel, which will retain the controlling stake in the Mozambique project, is still looking for investors to help finance the project, which envisages the planting of 40,000 ha with eucalyptus trees by the end of 2017, after a one-year delay from the initial plan due to licensing issues.
The Portucel Soporcel group set up Portucel Mozambique in 2009, a Mozambican law firm, whose investment exceeds 2.3 billion US dollars. Also in 2009, Portucel Moçambique obtained a land use license, granted by the Mozambican Council of Ministers, for an area of 173 thousand hectares in Zambézia province and 183 thousand hectares in Manica province. Only two thirds of this area will be planted, avoiding the need to displace the local population and ensuring that important cultural and environmental values are preserved.
The Portucel Soporcel Group (listed as Portucel S.A.) is a Portuguese pulp and paper company, which resulted from the 2001 merger of the firms Portucel and Soporcel. The Portucel Soporcel Group has a productive capacity of 1.6 million tonnes of paper and 1.4 million tonnes of pulp, with 1,380 km2 of forest, and an annual turnover of over €1.5 billion (US$1.9 billion). The company uses eucalyptus as the prime raw material for the production of pulp and fine printing and writing paper. Portucel is Europe’s largest producer of bleached eucalyptus kraft pulp. It is also one of the five largest European producers of uncoated wood-free paper.
Besides its woodland assets and plants in Portugal, Portucel has developing since 2010 forestation and industrial projects abroad. It studied extensive forestry and industrial investments in Uruguay, Brazil, and Angola, but chose Mozambique for the effect.
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