Portucel to construct pellet plant in South Carolina

By Erin Voegele | December 16, 2014

Portugal-based Portucel S.A. has announced plans to build a 460,000-ton-per-year pellet plant in Greenwood County, South Carolina. Construction on the $110 million project is expected to begin in early 2015, with operations commencing in the third quarter of 2016.

A statement released by the company indicates a 10-year fixed price supply contract is in place for approximately 70 percent of the proposed facility’s output. Portucel also noted the plant’s location is favorable in terms of wood availability and energy costs.

The South Carolina Department of Commerce has announced the project is expected to create approximately 70 new jobs. Hiring is expected to begin in January.

According to the department, the Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved a $150,000 grant to assist with the costs of road, site and infrastructure improvements, as well as job development credits related to the project. The facility will be located in the Emerald Road Industrial Corridor.

Portucel is an integrated forest, pulp, paper and energy company, and is currently Europe’s largest producer of uncoated wood-free paper. According to the South Carolina Department of Commerce, the Portucel Group accounts for more than 3 percent of Portugal’s tangible exports.

“The Portucel Group is very pleased to announce the construction of its new, state-of-the-art wood pellet facility in Greenwood, South Carolina,” said Portucel Soporcel Group CEO Diogo da Silveira. “Our facility will provide a renewable, sustainable source of energy for many thousands of electricity consumers for years to come, as well as jobs to many South Carolinians. We are extremely grateful to Gov. Haley, the S.C. Department of Commerce and the County of Greenwood for the warm welcome they have given our team during the lengthy evaluation and feasibility process through which this project matured.  We are confident that we have found the right partners in South Carolina and that together we can provide a steady source of safe, reliable and renewable energy for the 21st century.” 

“We’re excited to welcome Portucel S.A. to the South Carolina and once again see an international company choose to do business here and put South Carolinians to work. Their $110 million investment and the 70 new jobs they are creating is great news for Greenwood County and our state,” said Gov. Nikki Haley