“At Arauco we are very impressed with ANDRITZ’s ability to attack real problems, and then solve them.”
Senior Vice President, Pulp and Energy, Arauco
All of the technology and equipment for the MAPA project was ordered at the end of last year, with a large portion of ANDRITZ equipment being chosen by Arauco. Franco Bozzalla, Senior Vice President, Pulp and Energy, Arauco, says of Arauco’s experience with ANDRITZ, “We have known ANDRITZ for years, but we really got a good idea of how the company operates and is managed when we worked together on the Montes del Plata project, our joint venture with Stora Enso in Uruguay. That was a 100% ANDRITZ turnkey supply, and it was a very difficult project. However, we were really impressed at how the company operated under such difficult conditions, and then how its senior management and experts teamed together to have the mill up and running quickly and with the best possible quality output. At Arauco we are very impressed with ANDRITZ’s ability to attack real problems, and then solve them, at the same time as not avoiding any difficult discussions. The way ANDRITZ handled the Montes del Plata project is still something I admire, and it gives us great faith in the company for other projects.
“So when it came to the MAPA project, we knew pretty much exactly what we wanted ANDRITZ to supply. It makes sense to have the woodyard and the fiberline from the same supplier as one raw material is the same for the other one. And as regards the black liquor evaporation and white liquor plants, there was an open race, and ANDRITZ won those due to excellent technology and good negotiations. We are very happy with the technology we have selected from ANDRITZ for this project. It is also very important to choose the right supplier, as all the way across this industry each company is only as strong as its weakest link; with ANDRITZ we feel we have a strong partner. The project phase ends only after achieving the full capacity of the mill, and we know ANDRITZ is fully committed to contribute to Arauco´s business.”
Senior Vice President, Pulp and Energy, Arauco
The MAPA project, at its start-up in 2021, will result in the most modern mill operating in the 21st century, how far is Arauco going to go with the concept of the autonomous pulp mill – basically a mill that runs itself? “The autonomous mill will be the standard for the future, but it will take some time to get there,” says Bozzalla. “However, for us and the MAPA project, it is all part of the design for the new mill. We predict that we will have a virtually autonomous mill here in five years’ time and we will be able to maintain the mill with techniques that are totally different from what we have here today. We at Arauco consider ourselves to be leaders in this industry, and we are taking this concept very seriously. We are building the new mill here from zero, which means it’s easier to take risks, and we can be more proactive in terms of adapting the new technology into our operations, for instance, machine learning and Big Data analysis.
“The fact is, this is not necessarily about having no people running your mill; this is about having the right people to turn the concept of the autonomous mill into reality. We are now hiring a different type of person to work at our mills; they will be engineers and technicians, but they should bring a different mentality and mindset. We mix this with the experienced people we already have. I will be very open about this; we are going to work very hard to become the first autonomous mill in the industry. We are taking the innovation of digital transformation very seriously and we are putting in a lot of effort to make it happen.”
MAPA Project manager
The ground continues to be prepared at Arauco’s Horcones pulp mill in southern Chile.
This is a greenfield project with a difference; Arauco already has a thriving pulp mill right next to the new site, and therefore has all the infrastructure in place for both raw material procurement and for serving its customers all around the world. The MAPA project appears to be a very smart move.
Héctor Araneda, MAPA Project Manager, says, “This is a very exciting period of my life; MAPA is the most important project in the history of the company, so we have a lot of expectations. At the moment, we are working very hard on making sure that everything is in place for the project, developing the people, making sure all the right equipment has been ordered, and making sure the ground works are on target.”
ANDRITZ is a major supplier to the MAPA project, with its top technology being chosen for a complete wood processing plant, fiberline, black liquor evaporation plant and a complete white liquor plant.