Portucel Breaks Ground on Wood Pellet Export Mill in South Carolina

According to a report this past week by the Fordaq Timber Network, Brussles, Belgium, construction of Portucel Soporcel Group's new U.S. wood pellet manufacturing facility in South Carolina has officially begun. Officials of the Portuguese group, along with local elected representatives including South Carolina Lt. Governor Henry McMaster, were present at the recent "groundbreaking" event.

The new facility will have an installed capacity of 460,000 tpy, totaling an estimated investment of $100 million (approximately EUR 89 million). Construction of the mill is expected to be completed in Q3 of 2016.

The company has already signed a 10-year, fixed-price agreement to sell 70) of its production, all of it in the European industrial market. Located in Greenwood County, the mill stands in an area with favorable conditions in terms of wood availability and cost of energy.

Portucel hopes that it can leverage its knowledge in wood converting and industrial processes, going into the bioenergy business. For the company, this investment represents a first in the wood pellet industry.

Portucel is an integrated forest, pulp, paper and energy company ans is currently Europe's largest producer of uncoated wood free paper. It has total paper capacity of 1.5 million metric tpy, and eucalyptus pulp capacity of 1.3 million metric tpy.