Arauco improves the sustainability by expanding water reuse of the Licancel pulp mill in Chile

Arauco improves the sustainability by expanding water reuse of the Licancel pulp mill in Chile

AFRY provided expertise in Arauco’s Licancel pulp mill project, which targeted to enable the expansion of water reuse in the pulp production line as part of the company’s sustainability objectives. Arauco requested AFRY to develop different scenarios of how the treated effluent could be reused in the pulp mill itself. With its special competence in pulp and paper sector, AFRY is strengthening its operations in the Chilean industry.

Arauco’s project aimed to guarantee the continuity of the plant’s operation during periods of drought and low flow of the Mataquito River, when it is not possible to collect water. In more severe drought situations, it is impossible to return the treated effluent to the river.

The AFRY Chile team, with the support of specialists from Brazil and Finland, developed a series of scenarios so that the treated effluent could be reused in the pulp mill itself. Among the alternatives developed by AFRY, Arauco chose to implement one reusing 50% of the treated effluent in production and sending the other 50% for the irrigation of a forest area belonging to a company next to the plant.

To make the reuse of the effluent feasible, occasional modifications to the production line were necessary, mainly involving the replacement of chemicals to reduce the percentage of sulfates. These are a natural component present in the river water but are concentrated in the effluent. Once treated, the effluent returns to the raw water reservoir, which has a capacity of 1.2 million cubic meters. From there, it enters the pulp production process again, creating a closed system and reducing the amount of water needed from the river.

“AFRY is in a unique position to help solving business challenges of Chilean companies, with our deep knowledge of the process industry and our experience in engineering and consulting projects, with a focus on sustainability, that brings innovative solutions for the future” highlights Rodrigo Brisighello, Head of Business of the Process Industry Division at AFRY Chile.

AFRY has been operating in Chile since 2015 on projects in the energy sector and has expanded its operations to the process industry, especially pulp and paper, as of 2019, with a new office in Santiago. A global reference in the sector, AFRY was at the forefront of the implementation of the main and largest pulp & paper factories in the world.

“AFRY’s projects for the pulp and paper sector strengthen our performance in this market and also make us a reference in engineering and consulting projects for other sectors of the Process Industry in Chile” says Brisighello, also highlighting the company’s expertise in the chemical, food and mining industries.


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