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The Navigator Company to install 8,800 solar panels at its Setúbal facility in Portugal

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The Navigator Company to install 8,800 solar panels at its Setúbal facility in Portugal

March 08, 2016 - 22:54
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SETUBAL, Portugal, March 9, 2016 (Press Release) -The Company's Setúbal Complex will be home to the largest photovoltaic solar power plant in an industrial setting in Portugal.

The Navigator Company is set to install 8,800 solar panels on the roof of its paper plant in Setúbal, in what will be one of the largest and most efficient plants of its kind in the whole world, in order to supply part of the electricity needed to power the facility.

The technical and economic feasibility of the project, combined with the excellent solar conditions in the Setúbal region where ATF is located, have led the company to innovate in how it generates its power, in another major stride for its corporate strategy of promoting energy efficiency.

According to Frederico Pisco, in charge of assessing the project, "it's essential for the company to look at every opportunity to produce renewable energy and promote energy efficiency, whenever there are good technical and economic grounds for doing so."

"Solar energy is today a relatively mature technology, and in recent years the investment costs have come down significantly, at the same time as efficiency has improved. This means that solar power is now able to respond to the company's technical and economic concerns and its need for sustainability."

The 8,800 solar panels, to be installed over an area of around 13,000 m2, will make it possible to generate approximately 3,100,000 kWh each year. Considering that an average home in Portugal consumes 3,700 kWh/year, ATF's solar plant will generate the equivalent of the power needed each year for around 850 houses.

Clearly in line with the Company's values - excellence, innovation and sustainability - the project will make it possible to generate renewable electricity with zero carbon emissions, meeting part of the power needs of ATF's Paper Machine 4, thereby avoiding the need to acquire this power from the national grid.

Work is already under way on the project, setting up the site compound to support the fitting of the solar panels and associated equipment, and the solar park is due to start generating power in June.

About The Navigator Company

The Navigator Company is the new face of the former Portucel Soporcel group, after its rebranding in February 2016.

The Navigator Company is Portugal’s third leading exporter, and the exporter generating the highest level of national value added. The Group accounts for approximately 1% of Portugal's GDP, around 3% of the country's total exports of goods, close to 8% of all containerized cargo and 7% of all containerized and conventional cargo exported through Portuguese ports.

In 2015, the Group set a new all-time record for paper output, and increased its turnover by 5.6% to more than € 1.6 billion.

Having consolidated its position as the leading European manufacturer, and the sixth largest in the world, of uncoated woodfree (UWF) printing and writing paper, The Navigator Company is also Europe's top producer of BEKP (Bleached Eucalyptus Kraft Pulp), and the fifth largest in the world.

The Group has successfully pursued a strategy of innovation and development of its own brands, which today account for 62% of sales of manufactured products. Special mention should be made of the Navigator brand, the world’s best-selling product in the premium office paper segment.

The Navigator Company sells its products to 130 countries over five continents, with a special focus on Europe and the US, giving it the broadest export base of any Portuguese company.

As a vertically integrated forestry group with its own forestry research institute, it leads the world in the genetic improvement of the Eucalyptus globulus. It manages vast tracts of forest in Portugal certified under the FSC® and PEFC™ systems (FSC license C010852 and PEFC license 13-23-001), and boasts annual production capacity for 1.6 million tons of paper, 1.4 million tons of pulp (of which 1.1 million is integrated into paper) and power generation of 2.5 TWh, adding up to annual turnover of approximately 1.6 billion euros.

The Navigator Company operates one of Europe’s largest nurseries for forestry plants, with annual production capacity of approximately 12 million certified plants of various species, destined for use in renewing Portugal’s woodlands.

As part of its strategy for expansion, the Group recently acquired a tissue paper mill and is implementing a major vertically integrated forestry project in Mozambique, as well as building a new pellets factory in the US.