Uruguay’s forestry boom continues to attract record levels of foreign investment in timberland, state-of-the-art pulp mills and biomass power plants.

And just as the sector is giving back to Uruguay in the form of widespread conservation and reforestation efforts, timber company power projects are now giving the country something it needs to be more competitive: sustainable and affordable energy.

The Forestry Sector Produces More Than 20% Of The Electric Energy Uruguay Consumes is the headline of Hugo Ocampo’s analysis in El Observador which credits billion-dollar pulp mills like UPM and a half dozen other projects with a combined installed capacity of 400 MW.

Last month alone, the Uruguay forestry sector’s contribution was a historic record of 184,941,500 kWh which represents 21% of the country’s total electric energy mix. That percentage is expected to reach 25% in the coming months as production ramps up at the new Montes del Plata pulp mill in Conchillas.

Ocampo writes that total electric energy generation from forestry biomass in Uruguay is now equivalent to the average consumption of 800,000 households…an impressive figure anywhere but especially in Uruguay which only has 1.11 million households in a population of 3.4 million.

In addition to the massive electric energy production at UPM and Montes del Plata, the author points to other major timber-related power projects like Bioener in Rivera, Energia Renovable Tacuarembo (Fenirol) and Weyerhauser in Tacuarembo, ALUR in Bella Union, Ponlar in Tranqueras and Energia Limipia Paysandu (Liderdat) in Paysandu. (Full Story in Spanish)

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