The second pulp mill in Uruguay, Montes del Plata is not expected to begin operations until the first half of next year, according to the latest reports from the same corporation which is an association of Chile’s Copec and Finland’s Stora Enso.
“The main technology contractors have informed Montes del Plata that they will not be able to conclude work in the plant according to the agreed calendar”, said the company in a release.
“Montes del Plata is supporting the contractors so that they can accelerate activities and the initiation of operations”.
The plant along the River Plate coast of Uruguay, and not too distant from Argentina is one of the country’s major investments having demanded an estimated 2 billion dollars with a planned production of 1.3 million of eucalyptus pulp per annum.
The release contradicts earlier statements from the company announcing Montes del Plata would be ready to begin production in the fourth quarter of this year.
The announcement was even supported by President Jose Mujica who confirmed that in late September or early October the new pulp mill was ready to begin production.
This latest event comes in the midst of another brewing misunderstanding between Argentina and Uruguay over the first pulp mill UPM, that has been in production for several years now and which has requested to expand output from 1.1 million to 1.3 million tons annually.
Argentina has warned Uruguay that any expansion must first be agreed with Buenos Aires and insisted that the UPM/Botnia plant contaminates.
However President Mujica who has promised a reply on the expansion request sometime in late September dismissed the warnings and recalled that Argentina is in the midst of mid term elections.
Besides Mujica and President Cristina Fernandez who seem to have a good personal relation will coincide in several events in the next three weeks and could address the issue. The two heads of state will be in New York for the UN General Assembly and later in Buenos Aires for the christening of a non-contaminating, gas-powered catamaran that is supposed to link Buenos Aires with Montevideo in less than two hours and a half.