Arnhem, the Netherlands, June 16, 2006 — Akzo Nobel’s Pulp & Paper Chemicals business, Eka Chemicals, is to meet increasing demand for its expertise in South America by building a chlorine dioxide plant to supply the Mucuri pulp mill in Bahia, Brazil.
The investment of approximately USD 15 million follows the signing of a long-term agreement with Suzano Papel e Celulose S.A. to supply chemicals for Mucuri’s new large-scale pulp mill line, which is scheduled for start-up in August 2007.
Eka Chemicals already operates a 25 tons per day chlorine dioxide plant in Bahia for Mucuri, with the second turnkey facility—which will almost triple the existing capacity—being designed to use a new processing technology resulting in neutral salt cake residue and lower sulfuric acid consumption.
“This agreement represents another major endorsement of Eka Chemicals’ unrivalled expertise in building facilities on site for pulp mill customers across the globe in order to produce the chemicals they need,” explained Leif Darner, Akzo Nobel’s Board member responsible for Chemicals. “Brazil is one of the most important pulp production regions in the world and has an important strategic focus for Akzo Nobel as it is one of the company’s key growth areas.”
The deal with the Suzano group—one of Brazil’s largest pulp and paper companies—also includes a 15-year agreement for the supply of sodium chlorate, which will be delivered from the Eka Chemicals plant at Eunápolis in Bahia. In total, the Mucuri mill will produce 1,250,000 tons of eucalyptus ECF (Elemental Chlorine Free) bleached pulp a year.
“We have built several turnkey chlorine dioxide plants in Brazil since the early 1990s, most of them with long-term supply agreements, and this will further enhance our excellent position in South America’s chlorate market,” added General Manager of Eka Chemicals Americas, Byron Smith. “The added advantage of the technology we provide is that although the chlorine dioxide process can be operated by pulp mill personnel on site, it can also be remotely-monitored by employees at our own factory—in this case located in Jundiai—supported by the Eka Chemicals operations center in Sweden.”
Eka Chemicals is the leading supplier of sodium chlorate for eucalyptus ECF pulp mills in Brazil, with all wood supply to the Mucuri pulp mill based on eucalyptus plantations awarded FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification.