In April 2011, Lecta announced an ambitious investment plan for Torraspapel's Zaragoza mill amounting to 23.3 million euros to be allocated to 13 environmental projects. The objective of the plan is to reduce and improve the quality of effluents, eliminate odors, and ensure the plant's future by maintaining current levels of employment.
The plan kicked off with the installation of two new electrofilters in the mill's recovery boilers. The electrofilters have been fully operational since August 2012, with excellent results. This first action, which represented an investment of 7.5 million euros, has made possible a 74% reduction in solid particle emissions into the air, well beyond initial expectations, while also having a positive effect on other parameters such as SO2, CO and SH2, which indicate considerable improvement in emissions quality.
It should also be highlighted that various projects within the same plan are being carried out sooner than expected. This includes the start of work in January 2013 on the installation of a new biological purification plant that will improve the quality of water discharges returned to the natural environment.
This major environmental investment plan strengthens the position of Lecta's mill in Zaragoza, increasing its competitiveness in an industry that has been facing serious challenges over the past years, with a significant slowdown in demand accompanied by an increase in the cost of raw materials, energy and transport. Under these circumstances many European pulp and paper mills have been forced to close.
These projects entail maintaining production levels thereby preserving the direct employment of the more than 520 people currently working at the Zaragoza mill, not to mention their impact on indirect employment, according to industry estimates, over 3,000 people.