Santiago, Chile, 20 May 2010 -- Arauco’s Constitución pulp mill resumed operation on 20 May 2010. Following the earthquake and tidal wave on February 27, the facility was subject to a number of thorough cleaning, repair, and reconstruction processes, after which the pulp mill can now resume its operations in compliance with all the operational, safety, and environmental standards required by authorities and current regulations.
The reopening of Constitución pulp mill is a further step taken by Arauco toward normalization of the company’s operations following the natural disaster that hit on 27 February. The reopening of Line 2 at Arauco pulp mill remains pending.
Reopening ceremonies were attended by hundreds of the company’s direct and indirect workers and Matías Domeyko, Arauco's CEO. During the ceremonies, which ended with the production of the first bale of pulp, Chilean minister of Labor and Social Welfare Camila Merino recalled that Constitución was one of the cities that was most affected by the earthquake and tidal wave, “and we now see that one of Chile’s major companies, Arauco, was able to put this facility back on its feet in less than three months after the tragedy, in addition to keeping its hired work force, who also helped to rebuild the facility that provides their sustenance. Enormous effort has been undertaken here. Let’s not forget that this pulp mill provides work – directly and indirectly -- to nearly a thousand people. The government congratulates Arauco and its workers.”
Domeyko thanked all the company’s workers for the effort they put into resuming operations. “We understand how important this pulp mill is for the economy of the city of Constitución." Arauco’s CEO assured attendees that the company would deepen the relationship between the pulp mill and the community of Constitución. “The earthquake forced us to deal with the challenge of reconstruction, but we can’t rebuild going back to how things used to be. We have taken on this challenge, we made it ours and we are fully committed to the PRES Constitución Sustainable Reconstruction Plan.”
Constitución pulp mill has an annual production capacity of 335,000 tons of unbleached softwood kraft pulp, which currently accounts for 10.4% of Arauco’s total production capacity. In addition, the mill has an electric energy cogeneration unit with an installed capacity of 40 MW, and an average generation of 30 MW, of which 8 MW are available to the Central Interconnected System, Chile’s national energy grid. The mill currently provides work for 294 people hired directly and about 700 contract workers.