The Puma II Project is the result of a R$12.9 billion investment made by Klabin to build two new paper machines, by 2023, with integrated pulp production. The startup marks an important milestone in the Company’s current expansion cycle and reinforces its capacity for sustainable growth combined with technology. “We sought the most modern technology to, as we did with the Puma Unit, make Puma II a global reference in sustainability, technology and innovation, combined with the principles of Industry 4.0, and guided by the mission of supplying the market with high-quality products to create value for the Company and for society, always aligned with the best health and safety practices and focusing on the development of local communities,” said Francisco Razzolini, director of Industrial Technology, Innovation and Sustainability at Klabin.

To anticipate market transformations driven by new consumer habits and profiles, Klabin took advantage of the diversity of its forestry assets and conducted in-depth research that made the development of Eukaliner® possible, a product patented by the Company and whose production is 100% sold, 70% of which through contracts already signed, serving the domestic and international markets. “Eukaliner® is the world’s first kraftliner paper made exclusively from eucalyptus fiber, an innovative product that combines a series of competitive advantages, including a more robust structure, enabling a reduction in density of up to 10% in corrugated board packaging and higher strength, better printing quality and sustainability attributes, since it uses fewer resources to produce the same amount of paper,” explained Flávio Deganutti, Paper director at Klabin.

In parallel with the startup of MP27, the construction of the second paper machine of the Puma II Project, whose startup is slated for 2023, already has begun and is following all mandatory health and safety protocols. MP28, with annual production capacity of 460,000 tons, will focus on the production of paperboard and consolidate Klabin’s position as a global producer of paperboard for liquid (milk and juices) and processed foods (cereals, chocolate, pizza, proteins, etc.), personal and home care products (laundry detergent, toothpaste) and multi-pack packaging for cans and bottles, as well as paperboard for the growing foodservice segment, such as cups and trays, building on the Company’s growth and expansion plans. The decision on the paperboard machine, which was announced in May 2021, was based on an in-depth assessment of market trends, opportunities and conditions. “The sector is in a prosperous moment, and we think the market will remain strong over the coming years, driven by growing demand for sustainability. Paperboard represents good opportunities for our business, which is integrated, diversified and flexible. It also can be combined with barriers, which have been registering strong growth as an alternative to single-use plastic packaging,” said Deganutti.

Sustainability Strategy

The Puma II Project was designed to combine productivity with the lowest possible environmental impact. One of the various initiatives planned is the construction of a sulfuric acid plant that will make the unit self-sufficient in the production of this chemical compound, which is used in the pulp and paper production process and will be produced from gases collected in the mill. Another important initiative is the construction of a Biomass Gasification Plant, which will supply renewable fuel to the Lime Kiln, replacing the use of fossil fuels. At the unit, Klabin also will install Turbogenerator 3 (TG-3), which will transform thermal energy from steam (generated by the Recovery and Strength Boilers from biomass) into electricity.

“Some of the benefits of adopting these technologies include expanding our renewable energy matrix and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These are critical actions for combatting climate change, which is a topic of huge importance and is the guiding principle for this this project and for the Company’s future investments. The initiatives are part of a strategic plan to reach the ambitious targets and commitments undertaken by Klabin,” added Razzolini.

Largest Private Investment in Paraná 

Klabin has had a large position in the state of Paraná since 1934, when it arrived in the state to build Brazil’s first integrated pulp and paper plant. Since then, it has actively contributed to the state’s local development. The municipality of Ortigueira, where the Puma Unit is located, for example, has registered strong economic growth in recent years.

According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), in 2018, the city once again registered the highest GDP growth in the region, which grew by 17.78% to R$2 billion for the first time (R$2.17 billion, eight times higher than in 2010, when GDP stood at R$247.67 million). The construction of the Puma II Project at the same Unit has contributed R$198 million in wages to date, or approximately R$8 million per month on average.

Klabin’s investments over the last ten years in Paraná have surpassed R$20 billion. Moreover, the Puma II Project has so far created over 21,300 direct and indirect jobs. In its construction phase, 76% of workers lived in Paraná, with over half of living in Ortigueira (where the project is located), Telêmaco Borba and Imbaú, and 14% in other cities of the state, of which 76% lived in the Campos Gerais region. In recent years, courses offered by the Company have benefited 127 professionals in the city of Ortigueira alone, with over 80% hired in operational units in the region. For the startup of MP27, Klabin hired 384 professionals. In the Forestry area, Klabin hired 75 professionals to work in harvesting and logistics, mainly in Itararé, Itapeva and Ortigueira.

To hire more people from the region, Klabin invested in technical training, with three technical courses offered to the communities of Ortigueira and Telêmaco Borba: Pulp & Paper Technician, Mechanics Technician and a refresher course for Pulp and Paper technicians, benefiting a total of 127 people. To date, among those hired or in the process of being hired, 80% of trained professionals were hired in operational positions in Klabin’s Puma and Monte Alegre units, in Ortigueira and Telêmaco Borba.

In the area of influence of the Puma II Project, Klabin develops social projects in 12 municipalities: Ortigueira, Telêmaco Borba, Imbaú, Tibagi, Cândido de Abreu, Congonhinhas, Curiúva, Reserva, Rio Branco do Ivaí, Sapopema, São Jerônimo da Serra and Ventania. Over these two years, around R$12 million was invested in areas such as education, family farming, support for public management planning, solid waste, entrepreneurship and actions to combat violence against children and women.

The Puma II Project has a strong Risk Management project applied to all contractor companies and oriented to prevent adverse events in the construction and operations of the Puma Unit. This management encompasses measures to reduce the frequency and minimize the consequences of such events. To prevent, minimize and manage the social, economic and environmental impacts of the construction of the Puma I and Puma II Projects in Ortigueira, Telêmaco Borba and Imbaú, in 2013, Klabin created the Population Monitoring Committee, which is maintained by the Company. Composed by municipal and state representatives from the areas of Social Action, Education, Health and Public Safety, the group holds monthly meetings to analyze data on equipment use, public services and safety, aiming to avoid impacts and carry out integrated actions.