Aracruz Celulose has started construction of a new 1.3 million tonnes per year pulp mill in Guaíba, in Rio Grande do Sul. Aracruz’s operations at Guaíba currently produce 500,000 tonnes per year. The project will include an increase in the area of industrial tree plantations to provide raw material for the pulp, which will be shipped to Asia.
In a press release dated 21 August 2008, Metso announced that it would be supplying the pulping technology for the pulp mill, which it states will have a capacity of 1.5 million tons per year. Metso’s contract is worth €400 million. Metso has this to say about Aracruz:
Aracruz is the world’s leading producer of bleached eucalyptus pulp. Total production today is the equivalent of 3.2 million tons a year, produced by three pulp mills: Barra do Riacho (2.3 million tons), Guaíba (450,000 tons) and Veracel (450,000 tons, or 50 % of the unit’s total capacity). The company employs 12,000 persons and its gross sales in 2007 was $2.14 billion.
No mention, of course, of any of the social and environmental impacts of Aracruz’s operations.