Another important chapter in Uruguay’s rapid timber evolution began yesterday when the Montes del Plata pulp mill commenced production in Colonia.

The state-of-the-art cellulose plant is the largest industrial project in Uruguay’s history and required an investment of six years and over US$2 billion. Montes del Plata is a joint venture between Chilean forestry company, Arauco, and Finnish pulp and paper manufacturer, Stora Enso.

Montes del Plata should be able to produce 650,000 tons of bleached chemical eucalyptus pulp this year and 1.3 million tons annually beginning in 2015. The plant is the second major billion-dollar mill in Uruguay after UPM’s facility in Fray Bentos.

In addition to pulp production, Montes del Plata will generate around 160 megawatts of energy from biomass, according to the company’s press release. Biomass is an important component of Uruguay’s aggressive renewable energy plan.

“Montes del Plata is a long-term investment, and it will be a very profitable mill. We are now focusing all our efforts on achieving a smooth start-up and fast ramp-up to get the mill into full production,” said Juan Carlos Bueno, EVP, Stora Enso Biomaterials. (Full Story in Spanish)

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