Amsterdam, Netherlands, 16 March 2012 -- AkzoNobel is planning to invest EUR 80 million in the construction of a new pulp chemical island facility in Brazil. The plant, operated by the company's Pulp and Paper Chemicals business, Eka Chemicals, will supply the Suzano Maranhão pulp mill. This is AkzoNobel's second largest investment in Brazil in the past 12 months and further expands Eka Chemicals' sustainability-focused chemical island concept.
"This 15-year agreement emphasizes the importance of high growth markets for AkzoNobel and will help drive the company's medium-term strategy of doubling revenue in Brazil to EUR 1.5 billion," said Rob Frohn, AkzoNobel executive committee member responsible for Specialty Chemicals.
The investment will involve supplying, storing, and handling all chemicals for the 1.5 million ton per year pulp mill, which is being constructed in Imperatriz, Maranhão, Brazil. The mill is expected to come on stream in the last quarter of 2013.
"We are very proud to have been awarded this project; it underlines the value our chemical island concept brings to our customers," said Ruud Joosten, Pulp and Paper Chemicals general manager. "The future demand for pulp and paper in Latin America and China is forecast to increase substantially over the next decade and these investments ensure that we are part of that growth."
Commenting on the agreement, Ernesto Pousada, COO at Suzano Papel e Celulose, said, "Eka Chemicals is a long and reliable partner to Suzano Papel e Celulose. Via this deal, we are ensuring our plant will use the latest and most sustainable chemicals available – something which has been key for us."
The new facility will expand AkzoNobel's well-established pulp and paper activities in Brazil. The business already successfully runs chemical islands, as well as other production units, on several customer sites. It also operates bleaching and paper chemical plants in Jacareí, Rio de Janeiro, Três Lagoas, and Jundiaí.
AkzoNobel currently employs more than 2700 people in Brazil, and its 2010 revenue totaled close to EUR 850 million. The majority of revenue is generated from local demand. The company’s ambition is to achieve revenue of EUR 1.5 billion in Brazil by 2015.