Business: Daniel Ludwig's Floating Factory

A giant pulp mill for the Amazon wilderness

Longer than two football fields, taller than a 16-story building, the off-white structure floating up the Amazon looked like a jungle apparition. In fact, it was a huge paper factory that Daniel K. Ludwig, the secretive shipping, mining and real estate industrialist whose net worth is estimated to be as high as $3 billion, intends to use in exploiting 500,000 acres of timberland that he owns in the Brazilian wilderness.

The barge-borne plant was towed by tugboat through the Indian and Atlantic oceans on a 15,000-mile,...

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