Last week, Portucel announced that it had signed memorandums of agreement to build pulp mills with the governments of Uruguay and Mozambique. In Uruguay, Portucel plans a 1.3 million tons a year pulp mill, followed by a paper plant. In Mozambique, Portucel plans a 1 million tons a year pulp mill.
Update (8 September 2008): Other governments that tried to attract Portucel’s investment include Brazil and Angola. Politicians from Mato Grosso do Sul met Portucel executives “in the hope of convincing them of the advantages of building the factory there”, according to an article in Valor. One of the attractions of Mozambique for Portucel is the cheap land rent (less than US$1 per acre). Pulp will be exported from Mozambique to China.
Portucel is facing problems sourcing its raw material. Because of fires in its plantations in Portugal, the company had to import woodchips from Uruguay in 2007.
SOURCE: André Vieira, “Brasil perde fábrica da Portucel para Uruguai e África”, Valor, 2 September 2008.