Bracell starts operation of mega pulp mill in São Paulo

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Bracell, a pulp maker owned by Singapore’s Royal Golden Eagle (RGE), started operating this month its mega mill in Lençóis Paulista, São Paulo. The first production line of Project Star, which consisted of the expansion of the former Lwarcel plant, started operations on September 9, and the second line should start up later this month.

With the start-up of operations, which was originally scheduled for mid-August, the company has become the largest producer of soluble cellulose in the world. With investments estimated by the market at around R$15 billion, Project Star increases the production capacity at the São Paulo unit to up to 3 million tonnes per year of kraft pulp from eucalyptus or 1.5 million tonnes of soluble pulp per year.

The two lines at the new plant operate with flexibility. According to Bracell, the production planning for the next two years “will be carried out in stages, with focus on the operational stability” of both products. “After this period, the lines will be used for the production of soluble cellulose or kraft cellulose, according to the company’s demands,” the company says.

The RGE group also owns Sateri – the world’s largest producer of viscose – and April and Asia Symbol, pulp and paper companies, among other businesses. As of Project Star, the plan is to integrate increasing volumes of soluble cellulose from the São Paulo mill into the manufacturing of viscose and kraft cellulose in the paper and paperboard produced in China.

According to Bracell, “a significant part” of the soluble pulp “will be consumed internally” in order to meet the group’s growth plans. “Regarding kraft pulp, part of the production will be destined for the expansion of RGE’s paper and cardboard plant in China. The surplus will be sold to international customers, especially in Europe and the United States,” he adds.

The new operation should permanently employ about 6,650 workers, direct and outsourced, in the industrial, forestry and logistic activities.

Source: Valor international

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