Montevideo, Chile 10 January 2013 -- Early in 2012, and just a few weeks after the Nueva Aldea Plywood Mill was destroyed by a fire, ARAUCO announced the relocation of a number of workers affected by the disaster and the implementation of a support plan for them, in addition to the reconstruction of the mill. This initiatives was termed Project Phoenix and calls for a US$167 million dollar investment.
Saúl Espinoza, head of Project Phoenix, explained that the new mill is under construction and shows 35% progress rate. This new facility, which is being built in the same site as the mill that burned down, will have an annual production capacity of 350,000m3 mainly for exports to the United States, Latin America (mostly Mexico), Europe, Asia and Oceania.
Guillermo Mendoza, ARAUCO’s Public Affairs assistant manager, said “this mill’s reconstruction is good news, since it will employ about 500 people during the construction work, with a peak of 1,100 employees. In addition, once it begins to operate it will create 780 permanent jobs”. Mr. Mendoza added, “Today, we are fulfilling the commitment we made a few weeks the fire”.
The new mill’s structure will be made of fire-resistant concrete. Also, the materials of the firefighting network were completely replaced, making the fire pump room independent and significantly increasing the number of active elements for fire combat within the building and the driers. In addition, an Emergency Committee was formed at the Nueva Aldea Complex. This committee is responsible for safeguarding the adequate coordination of brigade resources, tactics and fast communications media to face possible fires at any of the four facilities (pulp, saw mill, chipper and the future Plywood mill).
Guillermo Mendoza highlighted that coordination meetings have been held with Ránquil municipality and neighbors’ associations to listen to their concerns and provide information regarding the measures that have been implemented for the Nueva Aldea Complex.