24 July, 2012
Naming Ceremony of Montes del Plata`s first barge manufactured by the Uruguayan Shipbuilding Cluster
Montes del Plata named the first of the three domestically manufactured barges that will transport roundwood to feed the company`s pulp mill in Punta Pereira, Colonia.
The event was held at the naval dike in the Cerro neighbourhood. It was also an opportunity to introduce national shipbuilder Transfluvial, the future operator of the barges.The landmark event confirms Montes del Plata`s commitment to the development of Uruguay`s shipbuilding industry and the sustainable growth of the forestry sector. The barges are being built by the Uruguayan-Spanish Galictio-Tiferey consortium and the manufacturing process is employing 80% local labour.
Montes del Plata`s river transportation system will include four barges and two tugboats that will be operated by the Uruguayan owner Transfluvial (association of Schandy, ETE and Ultratug) and will represent 46% of Uruguayan flagged vessels. The estimated investment in Uruguay for the three barges is USD 12 million.
During the barge supplier ion process, the national government, through the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining (MIEM), conveyed to Montes del Plata its interest to promote the Uruguayan shipbuilding sector as part of a national initiative to promote this production chain. In the context of this request, the company signed an agreement with MIEM and the Shipbuilding Cluster for the construction of three domestically manufactured barges. With the purchase of these barges, we ratify our commitment to support local industry and labour while boosting a national initiative to develop the Shipbuilding Industry Logistics Pole, which is considered to be of strategic importance for the country, stated Montes del Plata General Manger, Erwin Kaufmann.
Kaufmann added that Montes del Plata will be using a bi-modal transportation system that will transfer up to 4 million tonnes of wood per year, 50% of which will be transported along the river while the remaining 50% will be transported by land, thereby aiding in the reactivation of Uruguay`s river transportation system.&rdquo
The bi-modal system, which is completely new in Uruguay, aims to decrease impacts on roadways, reduce traffic accidents and minimize greenhouse gas emissions.
Each barge will have a 5,000 tonne cargo capacity and can transport the equivalent of 170 truckloads.
The first vessel was named Playa de Conchillas.
This vessel is 90 meters long, 16.6 meters wide and has a 4.7 meter draft. It weighs 970 tonnes and was constructed of welded steel.
This highly efficient means of transportation will transport 2 million tonnes of wood per year the M`Bopicuá Logistics Terminal in the department of Rio Negro to Punta Pereira.
500 barge trips will be needed transport the wood per year, as compared to the 100,000 truckloads required to transport the same amount of wood. This means that 100,000 trucks will be absent national highways, thus reflecting a substantial decrease in possible traffic accidents.
In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, the barge system emits 14,000 tonnes of CO2 per year versus over 32,000 tonnes for trucks.
Another interesting comparison is the difference in fuel consumption between cargo transported via land and via river. One litre of fuel per kilometre is needed to transport one tonne of cargo by truck, while a barge only consumes 0.01 litres of fuel, or 1% of the amount used by trucks.
The Montes del Plata project, a consortium between the Arauco and Stora Enso companies, includes a modern cellulose pulp processing mill, a port and a renewable energy generation unit. The company expects the mill to be operational by the end of the first half of 2013.
About Montes del Plata
Montes del Plata is a forestry company founded in 2009 in Uruguay. The company&rsquos objective is to produce cellulose pulp in an efficient manner with high standards for the environment and people.
The company came about the association of two leading companies in the forestry sector: Arauco and Stora Enso of Chile and Sweden-Finland, respectively.
The company is currently developing a forestry base to enable operations for its state-of-the-art pulp mill to be built in Punta Pereira in the department of Colonia. There are currently over 500 people working directly at Montes del Plata. An additional 1,500 people are employed at the over 40 outsourced service companies in the forestry area and there are more than 5,000 people working in the construction of the mill.
Montes del Plata will have one of the world&rsquos most modern pulp mills. Total planned production volume is 1.3 million dry tonnes per year with a total investment of USD 1,900 million.
The company will follow the world&rsquos best and most demanding practices for managing all operations with a special emphasis on safety, environmental and community concerns.
Transfluvial came about the association of Schandy, ETE of Portugal and Ultratug of Chile. The company won the bid to render port towage and river transportation services for Montes del Plata`s new pulp mill in the department of Colonia.
With Transfluvial`s registry of four barges and two tugboats, the company will become the country`s main shipbuilder.
35 Uruguayan crew members will be employed by the river transportation system.
The project is one of the largest maritime investments in recent Uruguayan history.