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Arauco takes first step to new 1.5 million BEK mill in Chile

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Arauco takes first step to new 1.5 million BEK mill in Chile

June 15, 2015 - 19:10

SAO PAULO, June 11, 2015 (RISI) - Chilean Arauco has decided to take the first step regarding its expansion and modernization project MAPA, which includes the construction of a new 1.5 million tonnes/yr bleached eucalyptus kraft (BEK) at its Arauco site, in the Bío Bío region. The company announced a $120 million investment to build a new wastewater treatment system at its Arauco pulp mill, designed to serve its current capacity and the future new line.

The new treatment station is expected to begin operations in May 2017 and will be built on 36.4 ha of land. Work is scheduled to start during the second week of June, with site harvesting and clearing activities.

Arauco said the construction of the new wastewater treatment station will employ about 50 workers per month between June 2015 and January 2016, during which time activities will be mainly related to earthwork." Civil works are expected to begin in February 2016 and will require a larger workforce," the company said, adding that an average of 620 workers will be employed during February 2016 and May 2017.

The MAPA project construction is not officially confirmed by Arauco up to this moment, as the company has been facing disputes over its environmental permit with some local indigenous communities and associations that are against it. At its first quarter financial results conference, the company's CFO Gianfranco Truffello explained that the company is waiting for "all legal steps to be concluded" before moving on with construction works. 

The environmental license for the MAPA project was obtained by Arauco in February 2014.