The Portucel Soporcel Group occupies a leading position in the international pulp and paper market and as such is one of Portugalâ€™s strongest world brands. It is one of the five largest producers of uncoated woodfree papers (UWF) in Europe. It is also the largest producer of bleached eucalyptus kraft pulp (BEKP) in Europe, and one of the largest in the world.Structurally speaking, in Portugal the pulp and paper sector â€“ which is responsible for 0.8% of the countryâ€™s overall GDP, 4.5% of its industrial GDP and 4.6% of all Portuguese goods exports â€“ has clearly been one of the most fundamental sectors of the national economy. The Portucel Soporcel Group is a key element in the sector: taken as a whole, the Group generates an annual turnover of more than 1,000 million euros, and has a production capacity of 1 million tonnes of paper and 1.3 million tonnes of pulp (of which around 700,000 tonnes are integrated into paper), quite apart from being responsible for the management of more than 130 thousand hectares of forest. The Groupâ€™s exports, which represent about 93% of total sales, currently amount to more than 900 million euros and go to 82 countries.
Europe is the main destination for the Groupâ€™s products and our in-house sales network has offices in the continentâ€™s main cities, as well as in the USA, thereby ensuring that we are always close to our clients and can thus meet their needs.
The strong brand awareness of our products â€“ especially the fact that Navigator is the world leader in sales in the premium office paper segment â€“ and the range of other brands that reflect the Groupâ€™s partnerships with a number of prestigious distribution channels, are the tangible result of the consistency of the plans that have made the Company a manufacturer of high quality products for the paper market.
At European level, the Group is the market leader in the supply of bleached eucalyptus pulp to the specialty paper segment, which represents more than 50% of sales, and to the high quality uncoated printing and writing paper segment.
The Group is also the countryâ€™s largest generator of biomass-based renewable energy. In fact, it produces almost 70% of its electricity by taking advantage of this renewable resource, thereby optimising its efficient use in the manufacture of both intermediate and end products.
The forest, which is the source of our raw material, is also a strategic area for the Group. Managing this resource responsibly enables us to contribute to the competitivity of a sector that is of decisive importance to the countryâ€™s economy. In the research and development field the work of RAIZ â€“ Forestry and Paper Research Institute (a company in which the Group holds a 94% stake) deserves a special mention in this respect, particularly in the field of genetic improvements to eucalyptus, which is the raw material par excellence for making high quality papers, and the improvement of forestry management practises.
The Group is well on its way to securing forest certification in 2006 under the two foremost international programmes: FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes). This will enable us to show consumers that our products are made using wood from forests that are managed in strict compliance with sustainable management principles and with absolute respect for the environment.
Industrially the Group is structured around three mills, which are located in SetĂşbal, Figueira da Foz and Cacia, and are a byword for quality around the world, thanks to their size and sophisticated high technology. The Figueira da Foz mill is the largest integrated office and offset paper manufacturing facility in Europe. Naturally all our mills operate with a high level of environmental protection, which is reflected in the licences they all hold.
The Groupâ€™s production processes are also prime examples of sustainability and energy efficiency, in that they use one of the best known renewable fuels â€“ forest biomass â€“ as their main energy source. It is worth noting the role that Portugalâ€™s forests in general, and those which the Group manages in particular, play as a major absorber of carbon, thereby helping to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The Group employs around 2,000 staff and is responsible for generating a range of qualified jobs and specialist professional careers.
As part of its social responsibility policy, the Group supports and takes part in projects aimed at enhancing and promoting the well-being of the surrounding communities and preserving the natural heritage of the regions in which its manufacturing mills and forested areas are situated.
The Portucel Soporcel Groupâ€™s strategic vocation is to seek a leading position in the uncoated woodfree (UWF) paper market. In this respect we are continuing to develop our business in such a way as to ensure consistent growth and an ever stronger position in the international markets.