AkzoNobel starts up new Brazil chemicals facility

AkzoNobel's new €80 million Imperatriz "chemical island" in Brazil is now operational and has started supplying the Suzano Maranhao Pulp Mill in northern Brazil, officials said on Friday.

Operated by the company's pulp and performance chemicals business, the Imperatriz facility represents AkzoNobel's second major investment in the Brazilian pulp industry in the last two years. 

It will supply, store and handle all chemicals for the 1.5 million tpy Suzano mill under an agreement which runs for the next 15 years.

"AkzoNobel is proud to be involved in this prestigious project, we strive to provide innovative and sustainable solutions that meet our customers' operational needs," said Werner Fuhrmann, the AkzoNobel executive committee member responsible for specialty chemicals.

"This investment strengthens our leading position in bleaching chemicals," added Niek Stapel, managing director for AkzoNobel's pulp and performance chemicals business. "Being our fourth chemical island in this region, it emphasizes our long-term commitment to this increasingly important market."

As well as providing long-term employment for around 65 people, the Imperatriz plant will play an important role in ensuring a sustainable eucalyptus pulp supply to the global marketplace.

"We are working with AkzoNobel since our plant start-up; they have met our expectations and we look forward to developing our strategic partnership in the future," said Volnei Hilbert, industrial manager at Suzano Papel e Celulose Maranhao.

AkzoNobel has a well-established pulp and paper chemicals operation in Brazil, where the company already operates the chemical island concept at three pulp mills, served by the Eunapolis, Jupia and Tres Lagoas sites respectively. 

The company also operates production units in Jacarei, Jundiai, and Rio de Janeiro.

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