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New paper mill starts production tests on schedule

The Portucel Soporcel group has just reached a landmark in its expansion with the start of production tests at the new Setubal, Portugal, paper mill on August 15th. The centerpiece of the new mill is the largest machine in the world for the production of UWF paper for office and printing use.

The new production plant will launch in November, bringing the Group’s output of high quality printing and writing papers up to 1.65 million short tons per annum, making it the European leader in this type of paper.

Chairman Pedro Queiroz Pereira says, "With the new mill, the Portucel Soporcel group is pressing ahead, despite the economic crisis, with a vast development plan which will allow it to consolidate its position amongst the leading companies in this sector worldwide. This ambitious project is based on operational excellence and technological innovation, without forgetting sustainable development, which is one of the Group’s central concerns. The promise of ‘More paper, more woodlands’ has been honored thanks to the sustainable management of our forestry plantations.”

With a leading position in the eucalyptus forestry sector, the Portucel Soporcel group is responsible for management of around 120 thousand hectares of woodlands. The Group has very recently obtained certification for the woodlands assets under its management under the PEFC - Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes, having obtained certification by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) in December 2007.

This new industrial facility will comply with the strictest environmental standards established by law in Portugal and the European Union. At the same time, the opening of the mill has involved building a new combined cycle co-generation power station, with natural gas turbines (80 MW), located on the edge of the complex, which will not only meet the power and steam needs of the new mill, but also supply surplus power to the national grid. This plant came online with the startup of the new paper mill and offers high standards of energy and environmental efficiency, due to the use of natural gas, a fuel with a low carbon content.

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