SAO PAULO, April 27, 2015 (RISI) - Brazilian largest packaging paper and corrugated board producer Klabin announced its greenfield 1.5 million tonnes/yr Puma pulp project was 58% complete as of Mar. 31. The new pulp mill is being constructed at Ortigueira city, in Paraná state, southern Brazil, and will produce hardwood and softwood pulp.
Klabin said 41% of the estimated Real 5.8 billion ($2 billion) investment in the Puma project has been already disbursed as of Mar. 31, 2015. The company plans to start up the new flexible pulp mill at the end of March 2016.
In the first quarter of this year, Klabin invested Real 880 million in the Puma project. The company's Capex in January-March 2015 hit Real 1 billion, the double of a year ago, due to the acceleration of investments in the Puma project, Klabin said.
Klabin's net debt increased 174% to Real 7.44 billion in the period, due to higher investments in the first quarter and the accounting impact of the exchange variation on dollar-denominated debt. As a result, the company's net debt/adjusted EBITDA ratio hit 4.2x on Mar. 31, 2015 versus 1.7x on Mar. 31, 2014.