Ence Energía y Celulosa will appeal to the Supreme Court, in defense of the legality of the extension of the concession of its Pontevedra biofactory, after the National Court has ruled that Ence carries out an activity that, by its nature, may have a location different from its current location.
Out of absolute respect for the decisions of justice, Ence wants to express its disagreement with this decision of the court, as shown by independent studies such as those of Idom engineering. Therefore, it will exhaust all possible legal channels in defense of its interests. The company reiterates the validity of the extension of this concession, on which more than 5,100 families in Galicia depend directly and indirectly.
The concession of the Pontevedra biofactory was extended according to law in January 2016 through a resolution of the then Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment for a period of 50 years, plus another 10 additional years linked to a commitment to invest in environmental improvements and € 71 million in operations. This expansion was carried out in strict compliance with the law, in application of Coastal Law 2/2013 and the General Coastal Regulation of 2014. In addition, Ence undertook to develop an investment program in Galicia for another 47 million euros, and to implement a social plan in Pontevedra of 3 million a year during the 60 years of concession.
The ruling of the National Court is a serious blow to employment and the economy of all Galicia. Ence is one of the main industries in the autonomous community. The Pontevedra biofactory has a permanent staff of 400 employees to which 2,700 jobs of contractors in the industrial, logistics and transport areas are added. Additionally, another 2,100 jobs in Galicia’s forestry sector depend directly on Ence-Pontevedra’s activity. In total, more than 5,100 jobs, to which are added the nearly 200,000 forest producer families in the North of Spain, which would also be affected by the cessation of the activity of this plant and the consequent drop in demand.
Ence’s plant in Pontevedra more than complies with all environmental legislation and, with its activity, promotes the use of cellulose, a recyclable, biodegradable and substitute material for plastic derivatives. Its activity is also aligned with the energy transition, by self-sufficient in renewable energy, and with the circular economy, as shown by the “Zero Waste” certificate granted by Aenor. In addition, it holds important environmental recognitions, such as the Gold Distinction from the European Commission and the Nordic Swan eco-label. This June, the plant has been recognized by the Professional Association of Environmental Companies of Galicia for its environmental excellence and, also in 2021, as a benchmark in safety by the European Association of the Pulp Industry.