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Valmet to deliver key technology for Bracell’s Project Star capacity expansion

Finland-headed energy and forest industry technology provider Valmet Oyj has announced that it will deliver key technology for Bracell’s project to build a new pulp production line at the pulp mill located in Lençóis Paulista, São Paulo state, Brazil. Valmet’s delivery includes an evaporation plant and a white liquor plant, in which the lime kilns are fueled with gasified biomass.

An aerial view of Bracell’s Project Star site adjacent to the existing Lençóis Paulista pulp mill in São Paulo. Valmet has been selected to supply key technology to the estimated R$7 billion (≈ EUR 1.66 billion) dissolving pulp capacity expansion project including an evaporator plant with a super concentrator and a complete white liquor plant with biomass dryers and gasifiers for the lime kilns (photo courtesy Bracell Group).

Bracell Group is one of the world’s largest specialty cellulose producers and the company currently has eucalyptus forestry and pulp mill operations in Camacari, Bahia and in Lençóis Paulista, São Paulo.

Earlier this year, Bracell announced Project Star, its plan for a substantial expansion of the São Paulo pulp mill in Lençóis Paulista (formerly Lwarcel Celulose) to increase its current production capacity of 250 000 tonnes per annum (tpa) by an additional 1.25 million tpa to reach 1.5 million tpa.

The new São Paulo unit in Lençóis Paulista will feature best-in-class technology with a flexible line designed primarily to produce dissolving pulp. This project is the largest private investment in the São Paulo state in the last 20 years and it generates employment opportunities for the entire region, said Carlos Pastrana, Project Director from Bracell.

The estimated R$7 billion (≈ EUR 1.66 billion) expansion project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021. Although the value of Valmet’s delivery will not be disclosed, a project of this size and scope is, Valmet says, typically valued around EUR 200-250 million.

Our technology represents new innovations and is designed for flexible production with high energy efficiency. The project will have a significant employment impact both for engineering and production in Brazil and the Nordics, remarked Bertel Karlstedt, Business Line President, Pulp and Energy, Valmet.

Evaporation- and complete white liquor plant

Valmet’s delivery includes an evaporation plant with a super concentrator. The plant features Valmet’s TUBEL technology for the highest availability and easy washing. The evaporation is designed for high energy efficiency with energy recovery from hot weak black liquor.

The delivery also includes the complete white liquor plant, an essential part of the mill’s chemical recovery process, with recausticizing and two lime kilns. In addition, Valmet will supply two biomass dryers and two biomass gasifiers. The two lime kilns are fueled with syngas from the biomass gasifiers decreasing the need for fossil fuels.

The white liquor plant is designed for producing high-quality white liquor for cooking with lower operating costs with renewable furnace fuels and low specific heat consumption. A non-condensable gas (NCG) handling system to control and minimize odour emerging from the chemical recovery processes is also part of the supply scope.

Valmet has extensive experience in delivering fossil fuel free lime kilns, which are fueled with either wood powder or gasified biomass. Using gasified biomass is a sustainable and economical solution for large mills. Our solution works seamlessly together throughout the whole process from biomass drying, gasification and lime kiln to emission control. Our evaporation technology represents leading energy efficiency and is designed for long lifetime and high availability, said Fernando Scucuglia, Director, Pulp & Energy, South America, Valmet.

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