The facility was at 88% physical completion as of December 31, 2014. The main milestones achieved in the project's execution to date include the completion of the electric substation, the startup of the water supply system, the hydrostatic testing of the digester and, most recently, the first ignition of the recovery boiler.
Approved by the Board of Empresas CMPC in December 2012, the $2.1 billion expansion of the Guaiba pulp mill will add 1.3 million tons of eucalyptus pulp capacity, bringing CMPC's total hardwood and softwood pulp capacity to 4.1 million tons per year.
The mill is 100% wood self-sufficient, and will lower CMPC's average pulp cash cost. During the construction phase, the expansion employed more than 9,000 highly qualified workers, one third of who were from local communities.
Next steps at the project will include the pre-operational chemical cleaning of the recovery boiler, the steam blow of the pipe lines to the turbogenerators, migration of the control systems to the new control room, putting in operation a chipping line in the woodyard and continuing of the commissioning activities in other systems.
Empresas CMPC is a leading Latin American forestry, pulp, paper, tissue and packaging products producer.