Arauco in Chile restarts Licancel and Constitución pulp mills; inspections reveal no damage from March 25 earthquake
March 30, 2012
– Chile’s Celulosa Arauco y Constitución SA (Arauco) has restarted two pulp mills it took down following a 7.1 earthquake on March 25, following an inspection that showed there was no damage, a company official said today.
He said the company’s Licancel mill restarted yesterday and that the Constitución unbleached kraft pulp (UKP) mill was restarting today. He said a total of about 5,500 tonnes of UKP production were lost.
The earthquake occurred in the Maule Region, in the central part of Chile, where the two mills are located. Both mills were shut down as preventive measures and for safety of the mill personnel, the official said.
The company conducted thorough checks of all of the equipment, including specific tests on major equipment, and with no damage found at either mill, it was safe to restart to normal operations, he said.
The Licancel mill has a capacity of 140,000 tonnes/year, half of which is bleached radiata kraft pulp (BRKP) and half of which is bleached eucalyptus kraft pulp (BEKP).
Capacity of the Constitución mill is 355,000 tonnes/year.
Two years ago, on Feb. 27, 2010, a massive 8.8 earthquake struck Chile, damaging most of the country’s market mills. Some were shut for months as repairs were made. The affected mills accounted for about 8% of the world’s market pulp capacity and led to an immediate run-up in market pulp prices.