AFTER THE INAUGURATION OF THE TECHNOLOGY CENTER AND THE RAMP UP OF THE PUMA UNIT, KLABIN’S GROWTH CYCLE ADVANCES, WITH NEW PROJECTS AND EXPANSION ROUTES
— Solid foundation to leverage growth
2017 was marked by important achievements concerning Klabin’s growth plan. The Puma Unit, in Ortigueira (PR), completed its first year of operation with production stabilized at 1.4 million tons of pulp, providing possibilities for further expansions in the future. Another milestone was the inauguration of the Technology Center in Telêmaco Borba, Parana, which represents the expansion of Klabin’s focus on Research, Development and Innovation to handle its growth cycle.
During the year, flexibility, resilience to act in times of crisis, and reduction in cash costs were crucial to maintain Klabin’s competitiveness and expansion and to carry out the planned high return projects.
One of the most significant projects that seeks to improve performance in all segments of the company and develop new markets is the installation of the new line of industrial bags at Lages (SC) plant, whose operation is expected to start around the middle of the first half of 2018.
— New investments
Focused on its financial deleveraging to achieve levels of indebtedness that allow it to implement the planned growth, Klabin is preparing to make new investments based on the progress of its integrated business model.
The new investment fronts, already approved by the Board of Directors, must include, among other initiatives, new kraftliner and board machinery, and an additional line of fluff pulp.
As far as Research, Development and Innovation, the news of the acquisition of 12.5% of the Israeli startup Melodea Bio Based Solutions, at the beginning of 2018, allows a stronger focus on developing solutions for the responsible, efficient and sustainable use of natural resources. Melodea is a company that develops technology for nanocrystalline cellulose extraction, produced entirely from renewable sources. Learn more about it in “Best Practices”, at the end of this chapter.
>> KLABIN PREPARES FOR NEW INVESTMENTS BASED ON THE EVOLUTION OF ITS INTEGRATED BUSINESS MODEL <<
— Our challenge
— Best practices
Klabin is already developing the products of the future
With its participation in a startup company, the company is expanding its focus on innovation and advanced technology to respond to market demands and seek new growth cycles.
It was almost like a “treasure map” that led Klabin to find another path to growth. Klabin obtained a technology roadmap from a Canadian consulting firm in 2016 while seeking research lines to develop solutions aimed at responsible, efficient and sustainable use of natural resources. This tool shows how the market, products, services, and technologies will develop in a certain period.
One of the suggested paths was nanocrystalline cellulose (CNC), produced entirely from renewable sources. Melodea Bio Based Solutions was on the same path, a leading Israeli startup company in the extraction of this product. After studies, assessment and visits to the company in Israel and to the pilot plant at the holding company’s headquarters in Sweden, Klabin took a major step to acquire 12.5% of Melodea. That was the beginning of a great partnership towards the future.
According to Klabin’s Industrial Director of Technology, Innovation and Sustainability & Pulp Business Unit, Francisco Razzolini, expanding the focus in R&D+I as a path to growth is one way to respond to increasingly challenging market demands, mainly in the paper and packaging segments, and support Klabin’s recent return to the global pulp market after the inauguration of the Puma Unit.
“Our goal is to use this kind of pulp to produce more resistant paper and packaging, 100% recyclable, in addition to enhancing opportunities for new business in forest-based products”, he says.
Razzolini explains that the adoption of Melodea’s nanocrystalline cellulose technology base will potentially allow for applications in various sectors. “CNC, in a combination of properties such as high crystallinity and the ability to form highly cohesive, dense structures and films is an innovative route for the development of renewable and sustainable barriers in paper and packaging, providing more resistance to the penetration of air, water, oil and vapors, among other elements; this technology causes less environmental impact”, he explains.
In addition, establishing partnerships to expedite innovation processes within the company is key for developing products and solutions that meet the customers’ needs. “Klabin is invited to submit proposals for almost all processes in which customers require innovative packaging solutions”, says the Corrugated Boxes and Recycled Materials Director, Gabriella Michelucci.
For Razzolini, acquiring part of Melodea strengthens Klabin’s position as reference in innovation in the partnership with its customers, to provide new developments. “This new research front will enable us to advance our business lines and innovate the forest-based system, from an economic and environmentally-viable point of view”, he concludes.
>> THE USE OF CNC PROVIDES KLABIN OPPORTUNITIES FOR NEW BUSINESS IN FOREST-BASED PRODUCTS <<