Almost time for full production
Svetlogorsk plant to begin trial production in October
Svetlogorsk plant to begin trial production in October, with an experimental batch of sulphate bleached chemical pulp, followed by mass volumes in December
More than 85 percent of construction work is complete and equipment has been installed for most lines, with testing now being carried out. Construction of external utilities is also in full swing. “Of the planned $580 million for purchase of equipment, $530 million has been spent, with equipment delivered and installed,” notes Yuri Kruk, the Director of Svetlogorsk Pulp and Board Plant JSC.
The total cost of the Belarusian-Chinese investment project is more than $850 million, with about $550 million allocated by a Chinese bank. Andritz (Austria), a world leader in equipment and services for the pulp and paper industry, has delivered machinery. Mr. Kruk tells us, “Twelve foreign experts have helped with installation, testing the set up of manufacturing lines.”
The plant will be able to produce about 400,000 tonnes of pulp, of which 75 percent is planned for export, primarily to Europe, the Middle East and China. Mr. Kruk adds, “At this time, 12 leading world traders in the pulp market are competing for the right to sell our production. Each is ready to buy our total annual output.”
Once the enterprise has reached capacity, its output volumes should rise five-fold, with an extra 500 workplaces created. Each worker’s annual output will be worth $130,000. Belarusian timber and its processing waste is being used as the raw material for pulp manufacture, with 2.5 million cubic metres of timber chemically processed. This will comprise around 20 percent of cut wood in Belarus.
By Vladimir Velikhov