The plant, completed in 2008, has the capacity to process 500,000 tonnes per year of green logs - to yield approximately 330,000 tonnes of bone dry chips, on a two shift basis. On a full 24 hour/ 7 days a week basis, throughput could reach over 1.0 million green metric tonnes to yield about 650,000 tonnes of bone dry chips.
In terms of technical specifications the plant produces a nominal chip length of 19 mm, from logs with a maximum diameter of 0.5 meter and lengths from 2.4 up to 7 meters. The specifications are considered to be ideal for customers worldwide in either the fibre-board or pulp and paper industries.
EFC has expanded its tree nursery to support the re-planting of all harvested areas plus the planting of 20,000 ha of new unplanted lands. The nursery has the capacity to produce over 12 million seedlings per year which allows for the phasing out of coppicing as a tool for re-planting. The nursery is currently growing 12 different clones of Euro Grandis.
The expected biomass yield averages 25 m3/ha. The trees are harvested on seven-year rotation cycles, to approximately 175 m3/ha. The current annualized harvest rate is 500,000 tpy. This volume can be increased marginally up to 600,000 in 2012 and then is expected to step significantly with the maturing of new acreage to 1 million tonnes per year in 2014 and potentially to 1.5 million in 2018.
Forestry Research Institute UR2PI
EFC holds a one third interest in UR2PI (Unité de Recherche sur la Productivité des Plantations Industrielles), a forestry and community research facility based in Pointe-Noire. The other equal owners include the French research group CIRAD Forêt and the Ministry of Forestry for the Republic of Congo. UR2PI’s mandate is the study of all facets of the regions forestry plantations – creation of new forestry related businesses, forestry improvement and long-term management. It combines work with different partners – scientific, technical, or economic – with the help of joint agreements. UR2PI works principally in four programs: new tree varieties, forestry and environment, long-term plantation management and forestry restoration. UR2PI’s principal value to EFC is its expertise as a world leader in the research and development of clonal eucalyptus species. UR2PI continues to improve and develop species that are best suited to the climate and soils of the coastal Congo region.