SAO PAULO, July 6, 2011 (RISI) -The 50/50 pulp mill joint venture between Arauco and Stora Enso in Uruguay, Montes del Plata, on June 23 agreed with the country's national energy grid (UTE) to establish an electricity interconnection in order to sell its excess energy to the Uruguayan system. Montes del Plata will construct 31 km of a 150 kilovolt high voltage line which will connect its new electrical substation to the national system.
Montes del Plata will build a new 160 MW co-generation biomass plant and aims to use around 90 MW of it. The remaining 55-75 MW will be likely sold to the Uruguayan grid. According to a Montes del Plata official, this additional electricity can supply 200,000 homes.
"We'll also build a new electrical substation in Punta Pereira close to the pulp mill's co-generation plant, which will deliver the excess energy to the existing Uruguayan energy substation located in Colonia. The latter facility will be modernized to support the energy supply growth.
UTE will supervise all related works of the electrical interconnection, which will be fully financed by Montes del Plata. The company, though, hasn't disclosed the project's value. It aims to complete the electrical interconnection by the third quarter of 2012.
Montes del Plata's 1.3 million tonnes/yr bleached eucalyptus kraft (BEK) pulp mill is currently under construction and it is scheduled to start up by the first half of 2013, in Punta Pereira, department of Colonia. Around 250 workers have been working to construct the buildings which will house the pulp's mill recovery boiler, lime kiln, among other areas.