SAO PAULO, Dec. 31, 2013 (Press Release) - Suzano Pulp and Paper on Dec. 30 at 2:30 pm started up bleached eucalyptus kraft (BEK) pulp production at its new mill in Imperatriz, Maranhão state, northeast Brazil. The plant, which has a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes/yr, is one of the most modern in the world and will ship its production especially to the European and North American markets. The company is close to complete 90 years of existence.
100% of Imperatriz's pulp output is already certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which was given by the certification agency Imaflora in October 2013.
Suzano's new pulp mill will be supplied with timber coming from the company's own plantations, as well as from the Vale Florestar Program and partnerships with local producers. In September, the company obtained the FSC Forest Management Certification from the agency SCS-Sysflor.
The Imperatriz mill is reference in technology and has two pulp driers and two lime kilns which bring more operational flexibility and stability. "This is a very special moment which represents a big step to our company. We overcame the first challenge, which was the production startup, and now our team is focused on the plant evolution," says Walter Schalka, Suzano's CEO, adding that the project's learning curve is guaranteed in contract by the equipment suppliers.
Suzano will use a 28 km own rail branch line to transport the pulp produced at Imperatriz, as well as the North-South and Carajás railroads - the later two managed by the mining company Vale. The pulp will go straight to the Itaqui Port and from there it will be exported. "The mill logistics system is one of the distinct aspects of this project", Schalka stated.
The industrial investment initially planned for the Suzano's Imperatriz plant was $2.3 billion. The forest investment is estimated at $575 million.
Suzano estimates that the Imperatriz mill will generate 3,500 direct jobs and 15,000 indirect jobs. The company invested in training programs for workers from that region including construction, industrial assembly, pulp and paper production, industrial maintenance and forest machinery operation.
Suzano is a forest based company and one of the global largest integrated eucalyptus pulp and paper producer in Latin America. Controlled by Suzano Holding and part of Suzano Group, the company has been investing in the pulp and paper sector for 90 years and has operations in around 60 countries. Currently, Suzano has six industrial units: Suzano, Rio Verde, Limeira and Embu in São Paulo state, Mucuri in Bahia state and Imperatriz in Maranhão state. Its total production capacity is 4.7 million tonnes/yr of pulp and paper.