Wood Group extends Chile pulp mill innovation

Stephanie Cox, CEO of Wood's Asset Solutions Americas

Aberdeen-based global engineering group Wood plc has announced it is “transforming paper and textile production through innovative design and engineering” on two of the most modern operating pulp mills of the 21st century.

The work is part of a $2.35 billion investment by Chilean forestry company Arauco.

“The first is the MAPA project, as it is known, a Spanish acronym for the modernization and extension of the Arauco Mill in Los Horcones, VIII Region of Chile, where Wood is delivering the engineering for the Balance of Plant design for the whole complex, including the structural designs for all of the engineering, procurement and services (EPS) packages, as well as the EPS full packages,” said the Aberdeen company.

“The project is anticipated to increase annual pulp production by an estimated 2.1 million tons, two times its existing capacity, and will see Arauco become the second largest producer of eucalyptus pulp in the world …

“This project follows Wood’s involvement at Arauco’s Valdivia pulp mill located in the Los Ríos region of Chile, which has undergone a major transformation this year.

“Having been involved in the mill’s original design, Wood is delivering engineering for both the Balance of Plant design and the EPS packages for Arauco’s dissolving pulp project;  a $185 million dollar investment by Arauco to upgrade the existing mill to manufacture dissolving pulp, an environmentally friendly alternative for the cotton and textile fibers.

“With an annual production capacity of 502,000 tons, the mill produced its first pulp bale successfully in June 2020.”

Stephanie Cox, CEO of Wood’s Asset Solutions Americas business, said: “The projects demonstrate Wood’s commitment to unlocking solutions to some of the world’s most critical challenges.

“In this case by increasing the production of a more sustainably derived product to meet the growing demand of the world’s largest paper and textile markets.

“Wood has delivered 80% of all major industrial forestry projects in Chile and maintains a dominant market position in this key Latin American market.  

“This project furthers our commitment to both the region and in expanding our capital project engineering delivery across a diverse range of end markets.”

The MAPA project is Arauco’s largest investment in the company’s history at $2.35 billion and will allow the company to continue to generate clean and renewable energy from forest biomass.

In addition to supplying clean energy to the mill, an energy surplus of 166 MW will be delivered to the national electrical grid.