Portucel Mozambique, a subsidiary of Portugal-based pulp and paper manufacturing company, Portucel Soporcel Group is investing more than $353 million in eucalyptus planting project to boost the Southern African country’s paper industry.
“An eucalyptus seedling programme would be launched, with five to six million plants per nursery, and would be installed in the middle of the forest areas to make best use of the local workforce and easily transport the seedlings to the plantation areas,” said Jorge Lacerda, CEO of Portucel Mozambique.
Lacerda said under this project, the company will plant 125,000 hectares of eucalyptus in Mozambique’s Manica province. The eucalyptus foundation will be in three districts in the province; Gondôla, Mossurize and Báruè, with a total area of 57,000 hectares, 43,000 hectares and 25,000 hectares respectively.
The Portucel Soporcel Group resulted from the 2001 merger of the firms Portucel and Soporcel. It 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 $1.9 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.