Porto Alegre, South America, 27 August 2008 -- Aracruz Celulose is laying today the cornerstone for its new pulp mill in Guaíba. A 300,000 m² plot of land is already being prepared in advance of the construction of the facility, with some 500 workers currently at the site. The new installation will produce 1.3 million tons of bleached eucalyptus pulp per year and will be one of the world's largest single-line pulp mills. The operation will be fully integrated with the existing mill, with overall production of 1.8 million tons/year, and will incorporate the most advanced environmental technology currently available. This investment will place Guaíba Unit on a competitive footing with the most modern pulp mills in the world.
The mill is part of an expansion project currently being implemented in Rio Grande do Sul. The total value of the investment is BRR 4.9 billion, which also encompasses the expansion of the company's forestry base and installation of a logistics system that involves waterway infrastructure on the Jacuí River (for wood transportation) and the Lagoa dos Patos (for pulp transportation). The investment also includes a maritime port terminal for the export of pulp, located in the municipality of São José do Norte. The unit's production will be earmarked for Asia, where much of the pulp produced by the company is shipped.
According to Carlos Aguiar, Aracruz's president and CEO, the project is bigger than the company's own strategy for growth. "It is a project for the growth of the state, as well. With this investment, we are contributing to the revitalization of the Rio Grande do Sul economy, generating economic and social benefits for the region," he said.
During the construction period it is estimated that some USD 300 million will circulate in the region due to Aracruz's activities, mainly wages and mandatory social taxes paid by the companies involved in the construction work to their employees. Moreover, the company estimates it will surpass USD 300 million in the contracting and purchasing of various services, equipment and products.
The generation of jobs during the expansion was expected to reach 7000 positions by the end of 2009, with emphasis on the hiring of local manpower for many different project sectors. With this objective in mind, Aracruz will invest BRR 15.5 million in vocational training programs, in partnership with the Labor and Jobs Ministry and other organizations, to train and qualify some 10,000 workers.
Learn more about Aracruz's expansion project in Rio Grande do Sul at http://www.aracruz.com.br/projetosdeexpansao.