Navigator takes pulp mill project in Mozambique back on track

12 July 2018

Portuguese pulp and paper producer The Navigator Company announced last year that the planned construction of a pulp mill in Mozambique will proceed more slowly and in stages. The company is now commenting on further details of the project. An agreement was recently signed between Navigator subsidiary Portucel Moçambique and the Mozambican Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development (MITADER) to resume the investment project. Together they want to deal with the investment conditions for the project within the next six months, including the development of logistical infrastructures.

In a first phase, Navigator plans to build a 40,000 hectare plantation in the Mozambican provinces of Zambezia and Manica, which will supply the 1 million tpy wood chip plant. The wood chips are to be sold primarily for export to Asia. The investment volume for this stage is estimated at $260m, of which $120 million has already been invested. The success of the plant and the future market situation, together with other aspects, should determine the realization of the second project phase, it is said. This could include the cultivation of an additional 120,000 ha of plantation area and the construction of a pulp mill with an annual capacity of 1.5 million tonnes of eucalyptus pulp. While there was originally talk of commissioning in 2023 at the latest, the company now specifies 2030 as the latest date for the start of production.