Montes del Plata eucalyptus pulp mill startup delayed for at least another four weeks until sometime in May, as company awaits environmental permit from Uruguay; shipments now expected to arrive in markets in July at earliest

LOS ANGELES , April 9, 2014 () – Startup of the 1.3 million tonnes/year Montes del Plata bleached eucalyptus kraft pulp (BEKP) mill in Punta Pereira, Uruguay, has been delayed for at least another four weeks, until sometime in May, Euwid reported April 9.

The first deliveries of pulp would not arrive in markets until July at the earliest.

A company spokesperson said construction has been completed but Uruguay’s environmental agency Dirección Nacional de Medio Ambiente (DINAMA) has yet to issue a permit, Euwid reported.

As Industry Intelligence Inc. reported March 2, there was a Stora Enso briefing to the effect that heavy rains had caused major problems with the effluent treating system and that it would have to be repaired and then to run for a while before authorities would issue a permit, all of which would last into mid-April or so.

Industry Intelligence reported April 6 that the timing of the startup, which is a joint project of Celulosa Arauco y Constitución SA in Chile and Stora Enso Oyj in Finland, appeared to have been pushed back again.

The mill had originally been set to start up in the second quarter of 2013, as market pulp industry consultant Brian McClay showed in his Market Pulp Monthly reports in 2012 before changing the timing in his October 2012 report to show “mid-2013.”

There has been a series of delays since then. Euwid noted that Uruguayan trade unions struck a number of times, thus foiling a plan to start up at the end of the third quarter of 2013.

In a statement in October Arauco said that the startup had been rescheduled to the first quarter of 2014, and that the project was “well underway and its construction is 94 percent complete.” It said the main objective was “to achieve perfect commissioning of the equipment, which is a key factor to ensure a successful startup.”

In the March 12 release of its fourth quarter earnings report, Arauco wrote that Montes del Plata “is giving its best effort to begin the start up process in March 2014.” It said that as of February, it had reached 98% of completion.

Arauco and Stora Enso will each be selling its share of pulp separately.

In an Oct. 22 fourth-quarter earnings statement Stora Enso said the timetable for completing the Montes del Plata project had been revised during the quarter after the main technology contractors informed the company that they could not complete their work on schedule. It said its share of the mill’s production in 2014 was expected to be approximately 500,000 tonnes, down from its earlier estimate of 650,000 tonnes that had assumed a startup by the end of September 2013, and that it would be late 2014 before the mill is in full swing.

The primary source of this article is Euwid, Gernsbach, Germany, on April 9, 2014, and Industry Intelligence archives. Click here to view full version of primary source's original article.

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