Company invested about R$550m, expects cost reduction with start of operations
Rodrigo Libaber — Foto: Ana Paula Paiva/Valor
Eldorado Brasil — a pulp producer whose shareholders are J&F Investimentos and Paper Excellence — embarked on Monday the first cargo to China from its new multimodal port terminal in Santos, São Paulo state, the result of an investment of about R$550 million, including a grant. This was the company’s largest disbursement since the construction of the Três Lagoas plant, in Mato Grosso do Sul state, which began operations at the end of 2012.
Already prepared for the expansion project of Eldorado, which produced more than 1.8 million tonnes of eucalyptus pulp last year, EBLog practically triples the company’s shipping capacity compared to the old terminal, with 3 million nominal tonnes per year.
With an area of 53,000 square meters and a warehousing capacity of up to 150,000 tonnes of pulp, EBLog can accommodate up to 72 railcars, as well as the simultaneous loading of up to two ships and the receipt of cargo by both road and rail. Today, 98% of the pulp that Eldorado transports to the Port of Santos is made through trucks, a modal that is even more competitive. But the company is also evaluating other alternatives, including rail and bargers — whose operations were suspended after the water crisis.
“The Eldorado project was conceived from the beginning with an eye on the second production line and a port terminal that would make us more competitive. We do not want to be the biggest, we want to be the best,” said Rodrigo Libaber, the company’s commercial and logistics executive director.
Carmine De Siervi, CEO of Eldorado Brazil, said that the inauguration of the new terminal prepares the company “for the future, meeting the demand in a more agile and efficient way.” The pulp producer, which exports to more than 40 countries, suspended its expansion project amid a legal dispute between the partners that lasted more than four years.
According to Mr. Libaber, the new terminal will bring cost savings, including economies of scale, efficiencies, and reduced travel. “We will be working with fewer people and more pulp in one of the most modern and competitive terminals for pulp,” he said.
Asked about the dynamics of the global pulp market, the executive noted that China, the world’s largest importer of raw material, has shown positive signs, with demand at levels considered “good” and the entry of new paper capacities.
In this environment, eucalyptus pulp prices in the Asian market have stabilized, with monthly increases. The latest, at $20 per tonne, is not exactly new and is within the $30 per tonne adjustment announced for July when only $10 was applied.
“Looking at the second half of the year, I’m optimistic about China. The biggest concern is Europe. That’s the big focus,” Mr. Libaber said. Paper inventories in the European market remain high and have not been consumed at the expected rate. This means that fiber prices may not stop falling until there is normalization in the paper chain.
*Por Stella Fontes — São Paulo
Source: Valor International