Portuguese paper company Portucel invests 900 million euros in new factory and modernization

24 February 2006

Lisbon, Portugal, 24 Feb – Portuguese pulp and paper company Portucel said Thursday it would invest 900 million euros on setting up a new paper factory and technological and environmental modernization of its existing factories in Portugal.

The investment made with the help of the Portuguese Investment Agency (API), was officially presented Thursday in a ceremony attended by Prime Minister José Sócrates, and Economy Minister Manuel Pinho.

The new factory, accounting for an investment of 490 million euros, is projected to increase the current production capacity of the Mitrena industrial complex in Setúbal, south of Lisbon, by two thirds to some 750,000 tons per year.

The Portucel-Soporcel group’s capacity would thus increase to around 1.5 million tons per year, as its largest factory (Figueira da Foz), one of the largest in Europe, produces close to 750,000 tons.

Investment in the new factory had been planned since 2003, and put off successively due to a drop in paper prices on the international market and the company’s privatization process, won by the Semapa group, which also controls cement company Secil.

Quoting a government source, Portuguese financial daily Jornal de Negócios reported that the project would be 20 percent funded by API, the maximum allowed by European Union authorities, or a total of 175 million euros. (macauhub)