Ence – Energía y Celulosa continues to make progress in the procedures for the start-up of the bioplant for the production of recycled bleached fiber and biomaterials that it is studying to develop in As Pontes.
The President of the company, Ignacio Colmenares, explained today the steps forward that have been taken in recent weeks, in a meeting with the media held in this town in A Coruña and chaired by the First Vice President and Minister of Economy, Industry and Innovation of the Xunta de Galicia, Francisco Conde, and the Mayor of the municipality, Valentín González Formoso.
Likewise, the General Secretary of Industry of the Xunta, Paula Uría, the Territorial Delegate of the Xunta in Ferrol, Martina Aneiros, the Minister of Employment and Industry of As Pontes, Ana Pena, and the Territorial Director of Ence in Galicia, have participated. Antonio Casal.
Ignacio Colmenares explained that Ence has already signed an agreement with Endesa for the purchase of the land on which this facility will be built, in what until now has been the Saá coal park.
Likewise, the company has already completed -successfully- the pilot tests of the new and innovative process that represents the first phase of the project: the recycling and bleaching of recovered cardboard and paper. These tests, developed in Austria, Germany and France, have been carried out in collaboration with the main European technologists in the field.
The company is currently preparing the application for this bioplant to be declared a Project and Strategic Interest, with the idea of presenting said application throughout the month of April. In addition, Ence has presented the first phase of the bioplant to the Circular Economy PERTE.
THE BIOPLANTA PROJECT
Ence wants to be part of the future of Galicia. For this reason, it redoubles its commitment, building a bioplant for the production, in an innovative way, of recovered bleached fiber and the development and production of new biomaterials. The fundamental raw material will not be, therefore, wood, but recovered cardboard and paper, so that it will not introduce additional tension in the wood market. It also represents a leap forward in the circular economy, with which Ence enters the cardboard and paper recovery sector.
The bioplant will produce recycled and bleached fiber, will be self-sufficient with renewable energy and will minimize the consumption of natural resources, such as water, in a fully sustainable process that will close the circle of the bioeconomy in Galicia.
It will be an independent work center, with an autonomous and differentiated activity from that of Ence Pontevedra, whose virgin fiber will be used in a complementary way.
The project will have three phases. The first phase involves the start-up of a recovered fiber plant and also includes a pilot plant for the recovery of textile fibers. It will foreseeably start up in 2027, involves an investment of €125 million (out of the €355 that the project as a whole represents) and the creation of 325 direct, indirect and induced jobs (the project, as a whole, will mean the creation of close to of 1,200 direct, indirect and induced jobs).
The second phase will be a cogeneration plant with 150 MW of thermal power and around 50 MW of electrical power, with an associated investment of €155 million; the third is a tissue plant, which will entail an investment of €75 million.
The First Vice President of the Xunta and Minister of Economy, Industry and Innovation, has indicated that “it is a good sign that Ence is preparing the application for its As Pontes bioplant to be declared a strategic industrial project”.
In the same way, Francisco Conde has pointed out that this initiative, like the green hydrogen plant of Reganosa and EDP, the Sentury tire plant or the two Nervión Naval Offshore facilities, is destined to generate new economic and job opportunities in Ferrolterra. “These projects share a sustainable industrial footprint, especially in areas declared as Just Transition; and do so by attracting investments and projects in the field of energy -green hydrogen and offshore wind-, the circular economy and sectors with high added value, such as aeronautics and biotechnology ”, he added.
For his part, the Mayor of As Pontes has underlined the value of “incorporating this new project into the region, which opens the possibility of producing a product from As Pontes that represents a commitment to reuse and the circular economy.” Likewise, he stressed that it represents “a job opportunity and a future opportunity to keep talent in the region, after the closure of the thermal power plant.”
Finally, the President of Ence has highlighted that this project represents a paradigmatic example of Just Transition. Likewise, he has stressed that it shows “Ence’s firm commitment to Galicia”. It is, he added, a “state-of-the-art development fully aligned with the circular bioeconomy”.