Bracell rebrands and launches ‘Project Star’ pulp mill capacity expansion
In Brazil, Bracell Group, which is part of Singapore-based RGE, has announced that it will rebrand its operations throughout Brazil under the newly refreshed Bracell brand. Effective immediately, Bahia Specialty Cellulose (BSC) in Camacari, Bahia, and Lwarcel Celulose in Lençóis Paulista, São Paulo, will operate under the unified Bracell brand. Bracell announced the rebranding shortly after it commenced work on ‘Project Star,’ a major expansion project at its pulp mill in the state of São Paulo.
We have operated one of the industry’s most respected specialty cellulose producers, Bahia Specialty Cellulose, right here in Brazil for over 15 years. Our acquisition of Lwarcel Celulose in August 2018 now provides us with a platform to become one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing dissolving pulp and cellulose operations not only in Brazil but in the world, said Per Lindblom, Executive Vice President, Bracell Group.
Bracell –the new brand
The newly refreshed Bracell brand logo reflects the company’s commitment to the industry and Brazil. The formerly lower-case ‘b’ becomes a capital ‘B’ to symbolize Bracell’s ambition to become the largest dissolving pulp producer in the world. The capital ‘B’ also represents the company’s pride to operate in Brazil and its focus on producing value-added cellulose that aims to become synonymous as ‘Brazilian Cellulose.’
We are changing the face of the cellulose industry, so we will naturally evolve our brand. The Bracell operations in Bahia and São Paulo are at the heart of the cellulose chain, producing high-quality raw materials which are the key ingredients used to create a range of items we use every day, around the world. Bracell’s materials are used in a range of products, from textiles, baby wipes, and eyeglass frames to soft ice-cream and pharmaceuticals, and industrial products such as high-performance tire cords, said Marcelo Leite, Managing Director who has managed the company’s operations in Bahia since 2016.
‘Project Star’ pulp mill expansion in São Paulo State
Bracell’s pulp mill in Lençóis Paulista (formerly Lwarcel) has also officially launched ‘Project Star’, an ambitious expansion effort to increase its current annual production capacity of 250 000 tonnes by an additional 1.25 million tonnes per annum to reach 1.5 million tonnes per annum.
Work on the expansion has already begun, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021. By the time of its completion, Project Star is expected to represent the largest private investment in the state of São Paulo in the last two decades.
Over a two- to three-year period, Project Star will employ up to 7 500 workers during the peak of deployment with a fixed average of 3 500 workers. Upon completion, the operation phase will employ up to 2 100 direct workers on a permanent basis in the mill and forestry operations.
The epicentre of the investment will be concentrated in Lençóis Paulista and Macatuba but is also expected to create employment opportunities in nearby Agudos, Areiópolis Borebi, Bauru, Pederneiras, São Manuel, Barra Bonita, Jau and Igaraçu do Tietê, and throughout the state of São Paulo.
Best-in-class biorefinery concept mill
The new mill in Lençóis Paulista will feature best-in-class technology that will have a flexible line designed primarily to produce dissolving pulp. The expansion project will feature the latest designs in a ‘new generation pulp mill’ which represents the first-of-its-kind in Brazil to incorporate a biorefinery concept to reduce waste and realize value across all potential streams.
The biorefinery incorporates a circular economy and closed-loop approaches to production. According to the company, this approach controls material inputs to maximise recycling and recovery of materials, minimise waste whilst greatly reducing the environmental footprint. This results in low water consumption, low emission, and no fossil fuels.
By the time Project Star is completed in 2021, Bracell will have a total combined annual production capacity of 2.0 million tonnes of dissolving pulp, and will employ 7 300 direct and indirect employees.
Today is a historic day for all of us at Bracell. We’re driven by an ambition to become the largest dissolving pulp operation in the world operating at the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility. We will create much-needed jobs and career opportunities for thousands of people in Brazil as we grow, and also set the world-leading standards for the sustainable use of renewable resources, ended Pedro Stefanini, Managing Director at Bracell São Paulo.
Bracell began operations in Brazil in 2003, with the acquisition of BSC (Bahia Specialty Cellulose) and Copener (Florestal) in Bahia. In August 2018, operations expanded with the acquisition of Lwarcel Celulose in São Paulo. Bracell is one of the world’s largest dissolving pulp and special cellulose producers with two main operations in Brazil in Camaçari, Bahia and in Lençóis Paulista, São Paulo. By the time its São Paulo expansion known as ‘Project Star’ completes in 2021, Bracell will have an annual production capacity of approximately 2.0 million tons of dissolving pulp and will employ approximately 7 300 direct and indirect employees.
In Bahia, Bracell produces special soluble cellulose from wood with high alpha rates and with a purity of more than 98.5 percent. The company manufactures two basic types of special cellulose: dissolving pulp (rayon-grades) and special specialty cellulose (specialty-grades). In São Paulo, Bracell produces and sells bleached short-fiber eucalyptus pulp, used to manufacture all types of paper, supplying the national and international market. In addition to its Brazil mill operations, Bracell Group holds a management office in Singapore and sales offices in Asia, Europe, and the United States (US).