Ence: Supreme Court rules Pontevedra pulp mill’s concession extension is legal

The Supreme Court of Spain has uphold Ence’s appeal against a previous decision of the National High Court. With this ruling, the court has confirmed the legality of the extraordinary concession extension granted to the Ence Pontevedra pulp mill, Ence says. Under the concession, the company is allowed to operate at the current site until the year 2073.

Spain’s pulp and renewable energy company Ence Energía y Celulosa can produce up to 620,000 tpy of bleached hardwood pulp at the Pontevedra biofactory in Spain’s northwestern region of Galicia. In 2016, Spain’s Ministry for Agriculture and the Environment had extended the concession for the Pontevedra pulp mill until 2073, but annulled this decision three years later. In July 2021, the National Court of Spain also ruled that the extension of the concession for the plots on which the mill stands was illegal. This meant that Ence either had to permanently shut down production at Pontevedra mill or move operations to another site.

The company has welcomed the latest decison by the Supreme Court as it would provide security for future operations at the Pontevedra site and make it possible to undertake its investment plans, Ence announced. In addition, it will give a boost to the company’s 2022 results.

“The reversal of asset impairments and expense provisions recorded in the 2021 financial statements, as a result of the National Court rulings, will have an estimated positive impact of €169 million on the company’s profit in 2022,” Ence explained.

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