[dropcaps]P[/dropcaps]ortuguese pulp and paper group Portucel Soporcel is due next September in Mozambique to start setting up the biggest eucalyptus nursery in Africa, the group’s CEO said Friday in Setúbal, Portugal.

Diogo da Silveira told the President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, during a visit to the group’s industrial complex in Setúbal, that the nursery will have an initial capacity of 12 million plants/year, which may double by 2016.

Portucel Mozambique, the group’s subsidiary set up in 2009, will invest in the a transversal and integrated forestry project in Mozambique, including forest plantations, and pulp and paper and energy production from biomass.

The CEO of the Portuguese group said the project would include one or more biomass plants at the request of the Mozambican government, each with a 50 megawatt capacity.

The biomass power plants, which produce energy by burning organic matter, are part of Portucel’s transversal project, which is intended to build a pulp plant, which will become operational in six years, the period of time estimated for the growth of trees in the nursery to be transformed in this process.

Diogo da Silveira said that the investment in this project could reach 2.1 billion euros, and the project would be carried out in an are of 356,000 hectares granted by the Mozambican government in Manica and Zambézia.