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Fibria start operations at Três Lagoas ahead of schedule

Brazil-headed forest company and global eucalyptus pulp major Fibria has advanced the operational startup of its new mill at Três Lagoas in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul. Originally slated for the first half of September, the company’s second pulp production line goes operational three weeks ahead of schedule consolidating its global leadership in the sector.

Opened in 2009, Fibria's Três Lagoas mill in Mato Grosso do Sul State has a production capacity of 1.3 million tonnes of eucalyptus pulp per annum. A second line is scheduled to open in September this year (photo courtesy Fibria).
Opened in 2009, Fibria’s Três Lagoas mill in Mato Grosso do Sul State has a production capacity of 1.3 million tonnes of eucalyptus pulp per annum. A second line is scheduled to open in September this year (photo courtesy Fibria).

Fibria announced the expansion of its Três Lagoas unit in May 2015 and works started soon after. For the past 27 months, the project has created approximately 40 000 jobs when taking into account Fibria´s employees and the entire supplier chain and project developers.

In April this year, it announced that the previously scheduled fourth quarter of 2017 operations start-up had been pushed forward to September. This deadline has been beaten by three weeks as the company begins operations.

The result of investments totalling BRL 7.5 billion (≈ US$ 2.37 billion), Fibria’s second mill in Três Lagoas will have a production capacity of 1.95 million tonnes of eucalyptus pulp per annum. Combined with the first unit, already operational in the city, the company will have an annual production capacity of 3.25 million tonnes, which makes Fibria’s operation in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul one of the largest pulp mills in the world.

Including all other units of the company – Aracruz in Espírito Santo state, Jacareí in São Paulo state, and Eunápolis in Bahia state, where it operates Veracel – Fibria has total annual pulp production capacity of 7.25 million tonnes, which consolidates its global leadership in the sector.

In this period spanning slightly over two years, we finished the world´s largest single line pulp mill ahead of schedule and below budget, which proves the commitment demonstrated by the entire team to increasing productivity, reducing costs and always delivering the best, with safety and respect to people and the environment. The startup of our second plant at Três Lagoas represents the start of a new phase for the company, consolidating our global leadership in the industry, said Marcelo Castelli, CEO of Fibria.

Dutch-inspired automated eucalyptus nursery

Fibria’s new unit at Três Lagoas features a series of innovations in construction, operations, as well as industrial and forestry processes. One of the highlights is the automated nursery for eucalyptus seedlings – the greatest technological innovation the field of forestry in recent years.

To meet the demand for 43 million seedlings annually, specialists from the company travelled to the Netherlands to learn about the technology used in flower production. Based on the lessons learned, they devised a strategy to create not only the world’s largest but also the first fully automated eucalyptus seedling nursery.

Based about 60 km from the industrial unit, Fibria’s Mato Grosso do Sul complex covers 225 000 ha of planted eucalyptus and 99 000 ha of protected forest (photo courtesy Fibria).

Fibria’s automated nursery is equipped with technologies, such as automated irrigation, which enables detailed control of plant handling and nutrition, and a private weather station that automatically opens and closes retractable roofs depending on the climate, providing added protection to seedlings in the most sensitive phase. The station also measures the intensity of solar energy in the nursery, enabling the best control over the quantity of water necessary for the plants.

These and other innovations we implemented are the results of extensive research, planning, joint team efforts and the audacity to look at the process always from new points of view. This is how Fibria incorporates in practice the sustainability and operating excellence into its day-to-day operations, said Júlio Cunha, Chief Engineering and Projects Officer at Fibria.

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