Companhia de Celulose do Caima
THE ABANDONED FACTORY IN PORTUGAL
‘Companhia de Celulose do Caima’ is an old abandoned pulp factory along the river Caima. It was the first factory in the world to produce eucalyptus pulp.
In 1888 the Anglo-Swedish family Bergvist, living in the city of Porto, founded ‘The Caima Estate Timber & Wood Pulp Company’. They started a spinning mill and a pulp plant. The ‘Fábrica do Caima’ as it was called by locals, became the most important producer of Portuguese pulp. On April 19, 1922, the company reduces its name to ‘Caima Pulp Company’.
In 1925 the factory started to use eucalyptus trees instead of pine. Eucalyptus pulp is used in the manufacturing of printing- and writing paper and tissues.
In the 1950s, multinational Hibstock Jhonson Breaks took over Caima Pulp Company. During the 1960s, he constructed a second plant in Constancia, and it became a worldwide pioneer in the chlorine-free pulp bleaching process. In 1973 the company changed its name to ‘Companhia de Celulose do Caima’.
On 9 July 1993 the factory closed down. 200 workers became unemployed. The international crisis lead to a decline of the pulp price and drastic reduction in the price of wood. But also the pollution of the river was one of the reasons to close the plant. All the company’s activities would be concentrated at the plant in Constancia. I visited Companhia de Celulose do Caima in 2016.