Bracell investing R$7 billion in ‘Project Star’ dissolving pulp capacity expansion
In Brazil, Bracell Group, which is part of Singapore-based RGE, presented details of the R$7 billion (≈ EUR 1.66 billion) expansion known as Project Star to increase the production capacity of dissolving pulp underway in the state of São Paulo. The presentation of the expansion project in the city of Lençóis Paulista was delivered to the Governor of São Paulo, João Doria, with journalists at an event held on July 29, 2019, at the Bandeirantes Palace.
Due for completion by the end of 2021, Project Star represents the largest private investment in the state of São Paulo in the last two decades years. The epicenter of the investment will be concentrated in the municipalities of Lençóis Paulista and Macatuba, but it will also create job opportunities in the nearby cities of Agudos, Areiopolis, Bauru, Pederneiras, São Manuel, Barra Bonita, Jaú and Igaraçu do Tietê.
Over a two-year period, Bracell’s São Paulo expansion project will employ about 7 500 workers during the peak of the project, with an average of approximately 3 500 workers. Upon completion, the operation phase will employ around 2 100 direct workers and 1 900 outsourced workers permanently in the pulp mill and forestry activities.
For this project to come to life, we want to work with the best talent and technology available in the world and, fortunately, we are confident that this talent is based here in Brazil, said Pedro Wilson Stefanini, Director of Bracell São Paulo.
Wilson emphasized that opportunities will be generated not only in the area around the pulp mill but also in forest activities present in about 50 municipalities across the state of São Paulo.
Six-fold capacity increase
Bracell has been present in Brazil for more than 15 years through its operations in Camaçari, Bahia (BA), and began the ambitious expansion project by acquiring Lwarcel Celulose in August 2018.
Site preparation work on the former Lwarcel plant, located in Lençóis Paulista, São Paulo (SP), began in April 2019. Once completed, the pulp mill will see its production capacity, primarily dissolving pulp, increase six-fold, from 250 000 tonnes per annum to 1.5 million tonnes.
The new mill will have a flexible line designed to primarily produce dissolving pulp and will feature best-in-class technology. Among the key innovations is a biorefinery that controls material inputs to maximize recycling, minimizes waste, and greatly reduces the environmental footprint, resulting in low water consumption, low emissions, and limited fossil fuels.
Our ambition is not only to be one of the largest dissolving pulp operations in the world, but also one of the most socially and environmentally responsible companies. In addition to creating jobs and career opportunities for thousands of people in Brazil, we will set the highest standards for sustainable use of renewable resources, said Carlos Pastrana, Director of the expansion project.
When the expansion project is completed, Bracell’s total production capacity across its operations in Bahia and São Paulo will be approximately 2 million tonnes of dissolving pulp per annum.
Dissolving pulp is one of the key ingredients used to create a wide range of products, from textiles, baby wipes and eyeglass frames to sausage packaging and pharmaceuticals, as well as industrial products such as high-performance tyre cords.