In 1967, an American businessman named Daniel Ludwig bought a huge piece of land in Brazil, north of the Amazon River near the Atlantic Ocean.
This property, about the size of Connecticut, lay near the Equator in a region of dense jungle. The American planned to turn the land into a vast plantation, producing wood and wood pulp for paper.
The region, called Jari after a nearby river, is the largest privately owned piece of property in the Americas. The scheme to turn it into a plantation was the largest and most expensive project ever undertaken by one man. Almost $1 billion had been spent on the project before it was taken over by a group of Brazilian companies in 1982.
By then, some 3,000 miles of road and 37 miles of railroad track had been built in Jari. A port for ocean going ships had also been constructed. Jari contains a wood pulp mill that is three blocks long and 17 stories high. This huge mill was built in Japan and then floated on barges to Brazil, a distance of 17,000 miles!