SÃO PAULO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Suzano, a global reference in the production of bioproducts developed from the cultivation of eucalyptus, announces the construction of a new plant with annual production capacity of 2.3 million tons of eucalyptus pulp. The unit will be built in the municipality of Ribas do Rio Pardo, in Mato Grosso do Sul state, and should start production by the end of the first quarter of 2024. The project estimates industrial investments of R$14.7 billion, making it one of the largest private-sector investments currently under development in Brazil.
The initiative, called “Cerrado Project”, will expand Suzano’s current pulp production capacity, of 10.9 million tons, by approximately 20%. The industrial unit in Ribas do Rio Pardo also will be the company’s most competitive.
“The new plant represents an important advance in our long-term strategy. Suzano is already part of the lives of over 2 billion people through its products and, as a global leader, is committed to meeting the world’s growing demand for products from renewable materials. The project will also make an important contribution to income generation and job creation in the region, while increasing our carbon capture capacity, thanks to the expansion of our forest base," said Walter Schalka, CEO of Suzano.
Another important contribution by the unit to mitigating the effects from climate change involves expanding the supply of renewable energy in Brazil. The plant will have the capacity to sell approximately 180 MWave of surplus energy to Brazil’s power grid. The unit should become Brazil’s first fossil-fuel free pulp and paper plant, representing a new milestone in ecoefficiency and effectively.
The consummation of the project, which will result in the world’s largest plant with a single eucalyptus pulp production line, is still subject to conditions precedent, such as complying with the parameters established in the company’s Financial Policy and negotiations with suppliers. The main funding source of the project will be Suzano’s cash generation, which could be complemented by financing, provided the cost and term conditions are attractive.
The project should create around 10,000 direct jobs during the peak of construction. After its conclusion, the new unit is expected to employ 3,000 people, and support development of the region’s entire economic chain.