WestRock ramps up Porto Feliz box plant; to have grand opening in October

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WestRock ramps up Porto Feliz box plant; to have grand opening in October

August 06, 2019 - 17:55
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SAO PAULO, Aug. 6, 2019 (PPI Latin America) -WestRock’s CEO Steve Voorhees announced that the company’s new Porto Feliz box plant in Brazil is ramping up production. The company expects to have a grand opening in October, Vooches said during a conference call with investors.

“The Porto Feliz box plant is running very well. Our Valinhos box plant is largely down,” the CEO said, calling the Porto Feliz unit “WestRock's largest and most technically advanced box plant.”

The box plant is part of WestRock’s long-term strategic plan to increase integration between the group’s paper mills and packaging plants. The company invested $125 million in the new facility, which will produce 400 million m2/yr (230,000 tonnes/yr) of corrugated board. WestRock has three other corrugated packaging plants in Brazil with total capacity of 280,000 tonnes/yr.

The company also informed that it is on track to expand its Três Barras mill in southeast Brazil by the first half of 2021. “Project is well underway,” Voorhees said. He told investors that the majority of the capital investment on this project will occur during fiscal year 2020.

WestRock announced a $345 million investment at the mill in November, including additional virgin pulping capacity, a new biomass power boiler, a new turbine generator, and debottlenecking of two paper machines. With the expansion, the mill will increase capacity of 520,000 tons/yr (470,000 tonnes/yr) to 750,000 tons/yr (680,000 tonnes/yr).

Financial results. WestRock reported its financial results for April to June – the company’s third quarter in 2019’s fiscal year – showing decreasing profits for its Brazilian corrugated business year-over-year. Net profit hit $8.9 million, 36% lower than in the previous year. Adjusted EBITDA declined 11.4% to $28.7 million, and its EBITDA margin was down from 30.9% to 27.9%. Net revenues declined by 2% to $102.8 million year-over-year.