MADRID, Spain, March 14, 2019 (Press Release) -Ence Energía y Celulosa expresses its rejection of the unexpected change in the criteria of the General Directorate for Sustainability of the Coast and the Sea to be approved on March 8 in the three procedures that are currently being followed at the National Court and are intended to declare the nullity of the resolution of January 20, 2016 by which the Company was granted the extension of the Pontevedra concession.
The Company considers that the aforementioned action of the General State Administration is contrary to the legal system and implies an arbitrary change in the criteria that had been maintained throughout the procedure. This action can only be explained in electoral terms and implies a lack of respect for the jobs of thousands of employees, suppliers and the rural world, highly dependent on the forestry activity of the company, since Ence is the recipient of half of the wood that is produced annually in Galicia. 30% of the people employed in the forestry sector of Galicia depend on the activity of ENCE.
It is surprising that the General Directorate of the Coast and Sea gives arguments contrary to those that have defended to date at the last procedural moment, when until recently it was defending the absolute legality of the ministerial order that granted the extension of the concession of Ence.
If the acquiescence is accepted in the judgments of the courts, it could cause a strong job destruction throughout Galicia: more than 5,100 families depend directly and indirectly on the Pontevedra biofactory. The plant has a fixed staff of 400 employees to which 2,700 jobs are attached by contractors in the industrial, logistics and transport areas (300 trucks enter the factory every day and Ence’s cellulose accounts for half of the Port’s traffic. of Marin since 95% of the production is exported), as well as more than 2,100 jobs in the forestry sector of Galicia that depend directly on the activity of Ence-Pontevedra.
The forestry sector of northwestern Spain will be severely affected by a sharp drop in prices caused by the fall of half of demand, which will affect the more than 200,000 forest producing families.
Ence contributes 28% of the GDP of Pontevedra
Ence committed to the extension of the concession in 2016 to undertake investments for 71 million euros of which more than 40 million are committed and another 10 million committed, of which the General Directorate of Coasts is regularly informed. an investment program in Galicia for another 47 million euros, and a social plan in Pontevedra of 3 million a year during the permanence of the 60 years of concession, which is being fulfilled.
On the other hand, in the Strategic Plan 2019-2023, presented last November, Ence announced an investment of 350 million euros over the next five years in Pontevedra, which will generate even more employment.
Ence wants to show that its business activity is an example of contribution to the bioeconomy, the circular economy and sustainability. Ence’s industrial activity is governed by the highest standards of environmental responsibility and the parameters of its plants greatly improve the most demanding European and Spanish environmental standards and authorizations. Proof of this is that at low tide twice a day it is marinated in front of the biofactory, that the beaches near it have a blue flag of the European Union and that the air quality of the Ria de Pontevedra is among the best compared to the other rivers.
Faced with this surprising decision, the company will use all legal means to defend the validity of the extension of the concession of its pontevedresa biofactory, whose renewal process scrupulously followed the procedure established by the current Coastal Law, and that interests of both parties and political agreements they want to annul against the rights and interests of their workers, suppliers, shareholders and the entire forestry sector of northwestern Spain.