Impact project/investment of the year - biodiversity and ecosystems: IDB Invest/LD Celulose

In 2020, IDB Invest, a member of the IDB Group, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, co-led a $1.1 billion financing to LD Celulose, to build one of the largest dissolving wood pulp (DWP) plants in Brazil.

According to IDB invest, the project will drive the production capacity of commodity grade DWP in Brazil and increase renewable energy generation for the country.

It is expected the project will cogenerate 144 MW per hour of renewable energy through the burning of biomass residues, mainly from the eucalyptus and pines processed. Around 56% of this energy will be sold to the Brazilian grid – a figure which represents around 136,000 million tonnes of CO2 avoided emissions per annum according to the company.

Additional emissions savings, alongside biodiversity and ecosystem impacts, are expected to be derived from 70,000 hectares of eucalyptus plantations and at least 100,000 million tonnes of CO2 could be sequestered annually as forest soil carbon.

The project is located in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, where soil and climate conditions are ideal for growing eucalyptus at an expected tree-cutting cycle of seven years.

One of the Impact Awards judged praised the project for its "unique impact".

LDC is a joint venture between Lenzing, an international DWP producer, and Duratex, a Brazilian producer of wood-based panels. The latter brings its local knowledge in managing large forest assets, it said.

The construction of the plant is expected to take 28 months and began in April 2020. Commissioning of the plant is expected by early 2022, and operations are estimated to commence in early 2022, followed by a three-year ramp up period.