The BioCMPC project will make the company’s plant the most sustainable in the Brazilian pulp and paper industry and create over 7.5 thousand new jobs.
The BioCMPC intends to significantly invest in modernizing operations, as well as new environmental control and management measures. The 31 initiatives are split as follows: Nine are implementing new environmental control equipment and adapting existing power systems. Eight new initiatives are addressing environmental management and fourteen are intended to modernize operations.
Once complete, the BioCMPC will result in significant performance gains by the Guaíba plant: approximately an 18% increase in production capacity, compared to our results for the last twelve months. We can achieve this by installing new and modern equipment, such as additional chipping and sorting facilities, making improvements to the digester, the bleaching system and to drying the pulp and the causticizing process. The sustainability and modernization works are fully aligned and will improve a significant number of the company’s environmental performance indicators.
As a result of all these measures, the CMPC plant in Guaíba will become the most sustainable in Brazil, based on its waste management, effluent treatment, atmospheric emissions, gas treatment systems and environmental management. Work is due to begin in 2021, once all the necessary permits have been granted, and it should be complete by December 2023.
The investment of about BRL 2.75 billion is predicted to create around 7,500 new jobs during the works, and about 50% of the suppliers will be local companies. This will make the project not only the largest investment in ESG in the state, but it will also generate a great deal of benefit for supply chains across the country. This is the second largest private investment in the history of Rio Grande do Sul (RS) – behind only the construction of Guaíba 2, CMPC’s pulp production works, which was completed in 2015.
BioCMPC was carefully designed and tied to the company’s purpose: create, live together and preserve. The announcement of the investment flies in the face of the economic retrenchment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and should help with the country’s business recovery. The resources set aside for the project will be injected into the economy throughout the project’s duration, which will be more than two years. Approximately 3.7 thousand direct and indirect jobs wiill be created during the work, as well as a further 3.8 thousand in RS and the rest of the country, as a result of the impact on the supply chain. The municipal, state and federal authorities will also benefit from around BRL 350 million more in tax.
“The proposal for BioCMPC is a firm demonstration of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) in practice. We are increasing our performance further, reducing the likelihood of any of our activities inconveniencing the community and adopting the best social and environmental governance. This initiative will produce significantly better performance, by improving our ability to monitor and control the crucial parts of our operations. These provisions will make us, by various measures, one of the most sustainable pulp producing plants in the country and it will also improve our operational performance, by increasing production capacity by 18%”, explained the CEO of the CMPC companies, Francisco Ruiz- Tagle.
During the Work
The installation works for BioCMPC are also going to be sustainable. As well as using local labor and suppliers, which will avoid the impact of bringing in people from outside the region, there will be no construction site on the company’s premises. The site will be established away from the plant so that it does not cause any issues for the neighboring community. Another important factor is that traffic in the region will not be affected. All the workers, machinery and equipment will access the site through the company’s entrance on to the BR-116, which will not interfere with the local traffic. The times for construction will also be limited to Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. There will be no work at night, at the weekend or on public holidays. In addition, all the waste produced during construction will be reused and recycled. We will monitor the neighborhood to ensure there is no effect on the environment.
“Previously, the community expected companies to try to reduce their impact. Now this is just the starting point. In the 21st Century, people expect companies not to cause any issues at all and also to help the community to deal with their problems. Which is what we are doing. When you think how the pandemic has made unemployment worse, BioCMPC is going to significantly help to generate new job opportunities. The other issue for society is to do with the Greenhouse Effect. In this case, as well as the forests we own that already sequester thousands of tons of carbon, we will be removing a non-renewable energy source and installing a new recovery boiler to produce entirely clean energy. Companies in the 21st century are expected to take such steps, and we are leading this process in the pulp and paper industry in the country. We want our works to be sustainable”, explained the Director General of CMPC in Brazil, Mauricio Harger.
The 31 measures that are part of BioCMPC will significantly improve productivity and sustainability, not just for the Guaíba plant, but also for the pulp and paper industry, as the plant will provide an example of how to approach the environment.
One of the measures is to adapt the gas collection system and make it more effective. As a result, the CMPC plant in Brazil will have the best gas treatment system in the industry, in this country, and one of the best in the world. Another measure that will improve our environmental indicators is the closure of the coal-fired boiler. This will also mean that the plant has one of the lowest levels of atmospheric emissions for the industry in Brazil.
The plant at Guaíba is already one of the best in the world at utilizing the circular economy. It recycles all of the solid waste generated during production. Once the BioCMPC measures are complete, the company will still be a zero waste company, but it will produce considerably less material (chemical compounds from the recovery boiler) and there will be no ash left.
CMPC is also setting up its Environmental Control Center, a pioneering achievement for Brazil, which is a place where the company’s environmental performance can be monitored online. It will have the latest technology for managing the environmental indicators and performance of our operations.
CMPC’s plant is located in Guaíba, in Rio Grande do Sul. It is part of the Chilean CMPC group and produces around 1.9 million tons of wood pulp every year – a biodegradable raw material used to make hygiene products. (Tissue paper), packaging and many other items we use every day. According to the VPG (Weighted Average of Size) index, the company is the largest manufacturer in the state. It is responsible for 45,000 direct, indirect or induced jobs in the state’s economy. It has 6,600 people working in manufacturing, forestry or port operations. . The company has been operating in Brazil since 2009. It is a member of the bioeconomy and its operations are based on the concept of the circular economy; it recycles all of its solid waste into 15 new products, from the raw materials to produce cement and wood panels to soil pH correctors and organic fertilizers. In 2020, the CMPC group completed its 100th year of business and it currently has over 17 thousand employees in 46 plants, in eight Latin American countries.