Albimas to turn former Pastguren pulp mill in northern Spain into biomass facility

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Albimas to turn former Pastguren pulp mill in northern Spain into biomass facility

July 01, 2013 - 14:20

BRUSSELS, June 28, 2013 (RISI) - The former Pastguren pulp mill site in Zalla in the autonomous community of the Basque Country, northern Spain, might see new industrial activity soon.

According to the regional government, the firm Albimas is set to acquire the idle pulp mill soon. The purchase price was quoted at Euro 4.9 million ($6.6 million).

Pastguren used to produce around 75,000 tonnes/yr of bleached kraft pulp for tissue products as well as printing and writing paper. The firm had to stop production due to financial difficulties in October 2009. At the end of the same month, the firm filed for the initiation of insolvency proceedings.

Albimas plans to turn the former pulp mill into a biomass facility producing woodchips and wood pellets, generating renewable energy from biomass and pulp residues. It will also set up a waste management facility for industrial waste containing biomass. The firm said its plan provides for the creation of 60 direct and around 230 indirect jobs.

According to the municipality of Zalla, the three lines of business Albimas plans to set up on the pulp mill premises will be able to reuse a great part of the Pastguren facilities. The local government added that Albimas' plans for the site will require investments of around Euro 9.9 million over the next three years, which could be followed by another investment of Euro 5 million in the following two years.

Albimas is part of a family-owned group of companies that has been active in the forest products industry for more than 100 years. The group started its activities through a firm called Maderas Orúe, which engaged in logging and sawmilling.

Later, the group started to produce wood packaging and, due to the need to reuse the wood residues, decided to set up the firm Palets del Valle, which engaged in the reuse of wood and pallets. Palets del Valle then moved into recycling of non-hazardous waste materials, such as paper, board and plastics.

"It is Alimas' goal to establish a new activity in the region without losing the manufacturing origin. However, the firm is engaging in different activities [than Pastguren] and on markets that are less cyclical than the pulp and paper sector," the regional government said in a statement.