Ence invests €5M to improve competitiveness of eucalyptus pulp mill in Pontevedra, Spain, and to continue with environmental progress plan; upgrades done during recently completed maintenance shut

PONTEVEDRA, Spain , April 2, 2014 (press release) – Advances in competitiveness and environmental sustainability. These are the two main objectives around that annual technical shutdown of Ence’s factory in Pontevedra was structured. As the operations center director, Antonio Casal, explains: “We have made important investments to improve energetic efficiency and raw materials consumption. We have also reduced the visibility of our steam emissions as much as we have still continued to progress in the landscape integration of Pontevedra’s mill. In addition, we have made advances in the management of odour impact. Reduction exceeds 95% since 2010, but we still working to achieve its elimination”.

More than 3.000 engines of Ence’s factory in Pontevedra restart step by step. On Monday, the test of the recovered boiler, in charged of the energy generation with black liquor, and the biomass boiler began. On Tuesday the first cooking of splinters test started. Ence’s factory in Pontevedra daily transforms almost 3.500 m3 of paper pulp from wood, mainly for exportation. Besides, the mill employs parts from the wood which are not used to pulp production –such as bark, foliage or tree stumps- and forest wastes bought to other companies, to produce renewable biomass energy. As others technical shutdowns in big industry installations, once a year Pontevedra’s plant makes a maintenance cold work and adds new technologies.

In the technical shutdown participated 1.125 workers from external enterprises, 430 of them linked to companies of the mill’s environment. Also, 350 workers from Ence’s factory in Pontevedra have been added. The shutdown had a budget of 7.5 million euros, of which 2.5 were destined to maintenance operations. Other 5 million euros were assigned to investments to improve the factory’s competitiveness and continue with the Environmental Progress Plan.

Ence’s factory in Pontevedra is nowadays an European reference in pulp and paper sector because of its liquid effluent quality to the Ria, improving the EU dispositions about industry wastes and the indications from other mills of the sector in countries like Finland or Sweden, traditionally in the head of global vanguard in forest and paper area.

Antonio Casal explains that “during the entire week we keep continue starting the factory and we have confidence to be at the top of production next week”. The mill, the only one in Spain that produces pulp paper totally chlorine free, attends requests from paper’s factories, mostly dedicated to tissue paper’s production, from Nordic European countries. Last year, Ence’s factory in Pontevedra exported 96% of its production.

Industry Inteliigence editor's note: Ence's mill in Pontevedra produces totally chlorine-free paper pulp from eucalyptus wood, according to the company website.

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