Ilim Group has officially inaugurated today its new pulp mill in Bratsk (Irkutsk Oblast), the largest investment project completed in the Russian pulp and paper industry over the last 30 years and the world's largest fiberline. A symbolic "key turning" ceremony was attended by Dmitry Medvedev, Russian Prime Minister, Zakhar Smushkin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ilim Group, John Faraci, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of International Paper, and Sergey Eroschenko, Governor of the Irkutsk Oblast.
Total investments in the Big Bratsk project exceeded USD 800 million. Annual capacity of the new fiberline after ramp-up will reach 720,000 tons of bleached softwood market pulp, with the total annual pulp and paper products output of the Bratsk Mill of OJSC Ilim Group exceeding 1 million tons per year.
This successfully completed project will make the Bratsk Mill more efficient and more environmentally friendly. In addition to the construction of a new fiberline, the project involved the upgrade of the infrastructure, including construction of a new recovery boiler, new woodyard, new chemicals preparation plant, etc. The Mill is now fitted with the cutting edge equipment supplied by the world's leading manufacturers.
In his speech Dmitry Medvedev congratulated the participants of the inauguration ceremony with a start up of the new fiberline. "This is an important and long-awaited event. This industry has not seen such large investments over a long time, and this is a remarkable milestone for the entire industry," said the Prime Minister. "The Big Bratsk project is a good example of well-coordinated efforts of business community and regional and federal authorities."
"We have completed an ambitious project. Rebuild of the Bratsk Mill will give a new impetus to the development of the mill, the city and the region as a whole. New high-qualified jobs have been created together with new opportunities for implementation of social programs, said Zakhar Smushkin. "In the immediate future we will be learning to ramp up the new fiberline. I would like thank all those who have been involved in the implementation of the project: our mill employees, our contractors, and all vendors who have worked with us".
"We have planned large-scale investments and have completed our plans, said John Faraci. I believe that Ilim Group is a spectacular and unique example of a joint venture in this industry. It sets an example of how two international companies may come together and collaborate. To bring this project into life, we needed a joint venture and a true partnership."