Early in 2011, we announced our biggest ever investment in Latin America. It was a clear signal of our strategic intent to accelerate growth and achieve our medium-term ambition of doubling revenue in Brazil to €1.5 billion. We have committed nearly €90 million, which will be used by our Pulp and Paper Chemicals business (Eka Chemicals) to build a new plant to supply the world’s largest pulp mill.
The agreement – with Eldorado Celulose e Papel – involves supplying, storing and handling all chemicals for the 1.5 million tons a year green field mill, which is being constructed in the northern part of Três Lagoas City. The mill is expected to come on stream in 2012 and the 15-year deal underlines the value AkzoNobel attaches to securing long-term partnerships with customers. “Building the world’s largest pulp mill requires working with reliable partners who can provide the best technology,” explained Eldorado President, Rogerio D’Alcantara Peres. “AkzoNobel’s proven Chemical Island concept, together with the company’s world class expertise and strong commitment to sustainability, meant that they were a natural choice for this major project.”
Work on the new Pulp and Paper Chemicals facility – which will also supply other key customers in Brazil – is already well underway. It will expand on our well-established pulp and paper activities in the country, where Eka Chemicals already operates its sustainability focused Chemical Island concept at several mills, as well as running production units in Jacareí, Eunapolis, Três Lagoas, Rio de Janeiro and Jundiaí. Future demand for pulp and paper chemicals in Latin America is projected to increase substantially over the next 15 years. The Eldorado agreement therefore represents an exciting opportunity for us to further expand in the region, as well as emphasizing the importance of Latin America to our growth ambitions.