Prosecutors have ordered searches at some Pro-Gest offices and the homes of the owners. The group says it reconsiders its project in Mantua where a new 500,000 tpy containerboard machine is to be commissioned this year.
Searches conducted at the offices of Pro-Gest's Villa Lagarina mill as well as the homes of the Zago family have prompted the Italian packaging group to rethink its expansion project in Mantua. The company said in an official press release that the Zago family would begin consulting soon in order to decide whether to continue the Mantua project. The group expressed surprise and disappointment at the recent events. "We are forced to note that the patience of the Zago family and the Pro-Gest group is being put to a severe test", the company said.
The searches were conducted amidst discussions around the incineration plant at the Mantua mill. According to Pro-Gest, the investigators of the prosecutor's office in Mantua secured documents related to the environmental permit that Pro-Gest's subsidiary Cartiere Villa Lagarina obtained for the waste incineration plant.
The permit dates back to the time when the mill was still owned by Burgo and was since transferred to the new owner. In the middle of last year, it was decided that no fresh environmental impact assessment was necessary. The entailing decision allowed Pro-Gest not only to incinerate in-house wastes but also wastes from other mills of the group. The municipality of Mantua along with several citizens' initiatives raised serious objections against the decision fearing high emissions. According to several Italian newspaper reports, the municipality has filed an objection against the decision and insists on a new environmental impact assessment to be conducted.
Pro-Gest plans to build a new machine in Mantua to produce recycled corrugated case material with a net capacity of 500,000 tpy. Valmet, which has been contracted to supply the machine, started building the PM in January. At the time, Pro-Gest said that it was confident of commissioning the machine before the end of summer.