Impulsa Galicia (the Galician Association for the Development of Strategic Projects) has secured an investor and technologist for one of their “tractor effect” initiatives.  The evolution of the project, which will turn timber into textile fibre, is thanks to a great deal of development work over the last few months.  A deal with Altri will be signed to guarantee the manufacture of 200,000 tonnes of sustainable textile fibres annually in Galicia, using timber sourced from Galician forests as well as recycled textiles.

The global search for a technologist involved a fair, homogenous selection process that was based on technical, operational, and strategic criteria.  The chosen industry leader will fund the design and development of the project until investment is secured, as well as explore potential alliances within the Galician forestry value chain.  Impulsa will work with Altri to complete the required administrative tasks as well as to find potential locations suitable for the project.

Total disbursement for the project is expected to be 800 million euros, with one of the main goals of the initiative being to build a factory that manufactures lyocell, a type of sustainable fibre that can be turned into thread, fabric, and clothing.  It would be produced using timber sourced from Galician forests in addition to textile recycling.  The operation, maintenance, and logistics of the project in its entirety will result in 1,500 direct jobs and more than 6,500 indirect jobs, while the factory’s construction will employ an additional 1,700 people.

The plan adheres to the principles of circularity, sustainability, and innovation, and putting it into motion will highlight the value of the region, contribute to rural recovery, promote the use of certified timber, make use of some of the most environmentally friendly technology available, close the forestry production cycle in Galicia, and provide a solution to the growing demand for sustainable, high-quality, locally made textile fibres.

“We have developed an innovative idea, turned it into a project with the tractor effect, and found a technologist and investor that will allow it to continue to prosper.  Everything that this organisation was created for is exemplified in this plan for sustainable management of Galicia’s forests,” explains Enyd López.  She adds “We are very happy that we have found a good partner and have been able to clearly articulate what lies ahead for this local project, a result of the collaboration between the public and private sectors that promotes a core activity for the Galician economy.  We are just getting started with this inclusive project [and it is] open to collaboration with the Galician forestry sector, especially SMEs and the value chain which, just like the process itself, will be digitalised and apply the principles of sustainable mobility.  We hope that this initiative will have a multiplier effect, ultimately resulting in sustainable employment opportunities in the long term”.

The organisation

With 5 million euros of founding capital behind it, Impulsa was established in April 2021 as a joint venture between the Xunta de Galicia (40%), Abanca (38%), Reganosa (12%), and Sogama (10%).  The entity has been entrusted with developing business initiatives with the tractor effect that will support the development, progress, and transformation of the Galician economy by using a digital and green model.  It was born out of the objective to incentivise productive activity among the community by attracting investment, forging partnerships, and fostering collaboration between public and private institutions with a view to launch and consolidate new businesses ideas.

Above all, Impulsa’s objective is to support and expand the reach of the Pole for the Transformation of Galicia, an initiative from the Xunta de Galicia that forms part of the strategy for applying for access to NextGenerationEU funding.  It also aims to follow the principles of circularity and sustainability, as well as being ‘green’, digital, inclusive, generating wealth in the local community, and combining the interests of approximately thirty SMEs as well as those of larger companies.