New investments in Mato Grosso do Sul lift Brasil’s national pulp production from 7.4 up to 20.9 million metric tons. It means that Brazil will surpass the pulp production capacity in China and Canada, and will be only behind U.S.
Pulp production in Brazil
Mato Grosso do Sul is a region in Brasil that has vast expanses of cerrado (tropical savannah), which was long time ago turned into eucalyptus plantations. In terms of “short-fibre” cellullose pulp production, this region is a land of milk and honey, for wood industry. The “short-fibre” cellulose pulp is used to make, for instance, newsprint, nappies and banknotes.
Fibria, is the world’s biggest producer of “short-fibre” cellulose pulp. Based on Fibria 2015 report , expansion of the Três Lagoas unit will consolidate company’s global leadership position in eucalyptus pulp, with total capacity of 7 million tons/ year.
Fibria owns around 568 000 hectares of eucalyptus plantations, which lie within 200km of its mills. This gives Fibria a competitive advantage over other local competitors, such as, Eldorado, which has a mill on the other side of Três Lagoas.
Brazil has conquered 40% of the global short-fibre market, and the best summary why it happened was given by Joe Bormann, from Fitch a credit-rating agency, who said that: [eucalyptus] “grows like a weed”
Fast growing eucalyptus and close distance to pulp mill make great conditions for companies focused on “short-fibre” cellulose pulp.
Alexandre Figueiredo, production manager at Fibria plant said,
“That’s our competitive advantage”.
How Technology Helps Businesses Go Global
A fast-growing eucalyptus speicies were introduced in Brazil, in the late 1990s. The rotation cycle takes only 7 years, while in the northern hemispehere the cellulose pulp production takes at least 20 years. Naturally, Brazil has its main advantage in the fast-growing stock.
According to Economist, Fibria is building a high-tech nursery with technology devised by Dutch flower growers. On the other hand, Eldorado started to use of drones to map the topography of its woods and optimise planting and harvesting.
The start up of the Klabin (1,1mil m tons per year of short fibre), Ortigueira ( 400,000 metric tons per year of long fibre pulp plant) and the completion next March of the Fibria 1,95 million tons per year unit at Tres Lagoas (MS) will lift the installed national capacity from 7,4mil m tons to 20,9mil m tons, surpassing the capacity in China and Canada, and being second only to the US.
Main photo credit: Rafał Chudy