Rueda points out that it is a “unique initiative in Europe” that integrates plants and pulp and lyocell and urges the government to clarify whether it will access European funds.

He stresses that the market for sustainable cellulosic fibres has a high growth potential because “they are more environmentally friendly than artificial fibres” and are increasingly in demand in the sector.

With an investment of more than 800 million euros, the initiative plans to produce up to 200,000 tonnes of lyocell per year.

The President of the Xunta de Galicia, Alfonso Rueda, announced the declaration of the project for the sustainable management of Galician forests, which includes the start-up of Altri’s textile fibre factory in Palas de Rei (Lugo), as a strategic industrial project for Galicia. The initiative, the only one of its kind in Europe and part of the Galician Transformation Hub, has been given this status in order to facilitate its administrative processing. “It is an innovative and ambitious project to produce lyocell, a high quality fabric, more environmentally friendly than artificial fibres and increasingly demanded by the textile industry worldwide”, Rueda stressed, who emphasised that “there is no similar project planned in Europe”.

“With an investment of more than 800 million euros, the centre is expected to create 2,500 direct jobs and generate synergies with other key sectors of the Galician economy, such as forestry and textiles,” said the president. It is oriented to the production of textile fibres with the forecast of achieving 200,000 tons per year of lyocell, a high quality fabric that has a growing implantation in the textile industry for representing an ecological alternative to artificial fibres of fossil origin.

The factory project to be installed in Palas de Rei is the only one of its kind currently planned in Europe and integrates the pulp and lyocell plants, as well as favouring synergies with other initiatives under development in the Galician ecosystem. It is expected to have a dynamising impact on the area by prioritising the hiring of local workers, thus contributing to the objective of setting the population in rural areas.

The declaration as a strategic industrial project is in line with the philosophy of the Law of administrative simplification and support for the economic reactivation of Galicia, which seeks to attract investment. It will allow the reduction by half of the deadlines – except those relating to the submission of applications and appeals – while maintaining the technical, legal and environmental guarantees.

The plant meets all the requirements to be a strategic industrial project, as it exceeds the minimum investment of 20 million euros and the creation of at least 100 jobs – Altri expects to generate 2,500 direct jobs – . It also meets the requirement that the initiatives must complement value chains, belong to strategic sectors or be aligned with the objectives of the European Union or be integrated into the NextGeneration funding.