SVETLOGORSK, 14 February (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko took part in a ceremony to officially inaugurate the production of bleached sulfate pulp at Svetlogorsk Pulp and Board Mill on 14 February, BelTA has learned.
A new plant was set up with the participation of the Chinese engineering company CAMCE. However, serious difficulties and contradictions emerged between partners in the process of work. As a result, it took a much longer period of time to launch a new production facility. Belarusian contracting organization had to take part to accomplish the project.
In 2019 during pilot production launched by Svetlogorsk Pulp and Board Mill on its own, the plant rolled out 146,900 tonnes of pulp (the designed capacity stands at 400,000 tonnes). Domestic consumption accounted for 20% of the output. At the end of December 2019, the daily production of bleached sulfate pulp exceeded 1,000 tonnes, or 80% of the designed capacity.
Bleached sulfate pulp is in high demand on the international market and is an important part of the country's import-substituting effort. Bleached sulfate pulp is used to make wallpaper, packaging materials, writing paper, cardboard and other products. There are no companies like that in the entire post-Soviet space. As of today, Svetlogorsk Pulp and Board Mill is the CIS only new pulp plant.
Svetlogorsk Pulp and Board Mill is the largest wood processing enterprises in the CIS with the annual capacity of more than 200,000 tonnes of paper and pulp. The volume of sales stands at almost $100 million. In 2019 Svetlogorsk Pulp and Board Mill exported a total of $64.2 million worth of products, including $52 million worth of pulp, which was up 3.7 times over 2018.
At the central control facility Aleksandr Lukashenko had a warm conversation with the workers of the plant. One of them was Egyptian Fedi Khalil who has been living in Belarus with his family for seven years.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, he will pay a visit to Egypt in a few days. “I will even tell President el-Sisi [Egypt President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi] about you,” the Belarusian leader said.