Ence’s biofactory in the capital of the Rías Baixas produces chlorine-free pulp and energy from forest biomass. It is one of the only two factories in Europe that produce total chlorine-free paper pulp (TCF) from eucalyptus wood.
More than 96% of Ence’s pulp production in Pontevedra is destined for export, mainly to Northern European countries. The factory works with wood mainly produced in forest crops in Galicia. Much of the factory’s production is finally converted by Ence’s customers into tissue paper, although the pulp is also used to make other paper applications.
Ence has turned its factory in Galicia into a world-leading factory in environmental performance in our sector. The factory’s environmental management results better the BREF indicators, which define the best practices in the European Union for the production of pulp, by 77%.
Biomass energy production allows Ence’s factory in Pontevedra to be virtually self-sufficient in terms of energy: from the portion of the wood not used to produce pulp and Galician biomass, we generate almost all the renewable energy consumed by us in our industrial processes.
Ence makes all information relating to the environmental performance of our Pontevedra factory available to the user in real time on our website www.encepontevedra.com, as well as in our Environmental Statement published annually and publicly available on this link:
Structuring effect and contribution to employment
Ence generates more than 5,000 jobs in Galicia, 800 of which are in Pontevedra or in neighbouring municipalities. Around 2,100 of these jobs are carried out in the forestry sector and 3,000 are included in the area of industry, logistics and other activities arising from the use, transport and transformation of the wood.
The company is, therefore, key to the development of the forestry sector throughout Galicia. We are wood producers’ main customer, generating a high, steady demand for the area, and we transfer the knowledge on the needs of the global industrial sector. The company directly manages around 10,500 hectares of forestry crops in Galicia and has a direct relationship with forest owners, contractors, associations and suppliers from which we purchase wood for an annual worth of around 100 million euros in income.
Maximum environmental commitment
Ence devotes an important part of investments to the research and implementation of projects to permanently improve our environmental performance and minimize discomfort to our neighbours.
Since 2010, and in partnership with the University of Santiago de Compostela, we are also working on a project aimed at minimizing the odors emanating from the factory.
In the first phase we identified the possible emission sources responsible for the odorous impact on the environment, classifying them into several subcategories according to the eventuality of the emission, the access and the type of focus, and levels of perception were established.
Once the foci were identified, the work team defined, selected and proposed the implementation of improvements in order to correct the odorous impact. This project has already achieved significant progress, reaching a reduction of 99% in 2018 of odors compared to the start of the project.
Reducing odor and possible discomfort that may occur in the vicinity.
odor minutes day in 2018.
Vapour and noise reduction
Ence engineers are working towards finding the best solution to reduce vapour emissions and minimize biofactory’s noise. Most of the air emissions in the biofactory are water vapor. Reducing these emissions significantly improves the visual impact of Ence’s facilities in the city. At the Ence Pontevedra biofactory an action plan was defined to reduce the noise emissions in the perimeter of the plant to 55 dBA.
All sound emissions from the factory are below the Integrated Environmental Authorizations (AAI) in accordance with the provisions of Law 16/2002 on Prevention and Integrated Control of Pollution. But we do not settle, we will continue to reduce the noise impact.
Integration in the surroundings
With the aim of improving the integration of the Pontevedra biofactory in its surroundings, Ence launched an Architectural Contest of Landscape Integration at the end of 2012. Projects received were analysed and evaluated in detail by a jury composed of sector professionals, Pontevedra’s politics personalities and executives of our company. The winning project is currently being developed.
International Architectural Contest Participation of 102 architectural studios. Proposals were presented to the public for 2 months.
Contest winner: Orts Trullenque Project “Own Matter”
First phase • Planting of a screen of trees that will surround the Biofactory. Species: Quercus, pines, eucalyptus, myoporum, sweetgums, others.
Second phase • Construction of the new Biofactory’s new perimeter closure. • Construction of enclosures for the main buildings with shades and shapes that mimic the environment.
New water cycle
The new water cycle project is Ence’s commitment to water reutilization and minimum consumption. This technological project, which includes solutions such as those used for seawater purification, will reduce effluent volume by 90% to the Ría de Pontevedra and take only 10% of the flow currently consumed from the Lérez River.