World Bank provides technical assistance for forest project in Mozambique

20 March 2015

Technicians from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), of the World Bank Group, will support the forestry investment project of Portucel Moçambique, under an agreement signed Thursday in Maputo.

Under the agreement, IFC will advise Portucel Moçambique “on enhancing the sustainability of forestry operations” in the country, a paper pulp and energy production project, with an associated investment of US$2.3 billion and a strong community service component.

“Our commitment can be seen, in addition to the 7,000 jobs we will create, in the fact that we are one of the few companies, if not the only one, which in Mozambique added an investment of US$40 million in community development to its project,” said Friday Diogo da Silveira, CEO of the Portucel Soporcel group, of which Portucel Moçambique is a subsidiary.

The agreement involves a partnership with IFC, which since December has been a shareholder in the project, with 20 percent, in which a team of experts from the international institution will provide advice over a period of two years on working with communities, covering 130,000 people in Manica and Zambezia provinces.

The agreement involves a sum of over US$1 million, Silveira told Portuguese news agency Lusa, without giving the precise value of advisory from IFC, “which has a lot experience in this type of project.”

The investment, described by Portucel Moçambique as “the largest integrated project of forestry for cellulose pulp and energy production from biomass in Africa,” is intended entirely for export, with annual sales estimated at US$1 billion, starting in 2023, which according to Jin-Yong Cai, the CEO of IFC, makes it “the largest business outside the extractive sectors and infrastructure” in the country. (macauhub/MZ/PT)