equipment, it was able to decrease the mill’s impact
on the ecosystem, even as its production increased.
Today, the expanded mill consumes 60 percent
of the water used at the original facility and recycles
99.7 percent of its solid waste. It is powered entirely
by the steam it creates, but the facility is beyond self-sufficient: CMPC sells excess clean energy back to
the grid, enough to power 120,000 homes.
The team invested in redundancy to avoid accidents that could damage the project’s hard-earned
local support, installing backup technology that
would step in if the system failed.
“With this kind of relationship, we are reducing the
risk of the business,” Mr. Lídio Nunes says. “If you
don’t have a sustainable vision, probably in the future
the society will close your mill or your business.”
The project team also aimed to make a positive
impact on the local workforce. Over its 2.5-year
timeline, the project created 9,429 jobs. But many of
those roles required specialized skills local workers
lacked. So CMPC trained more than 8,000 com-
munity members in fields including civil engineering
and mechanical assembly, which will improve their
future job prospects.
“The goal was to generate jobs for the local community,” Mr. Lídio Nunes says. “If I just build a
project and bring people from other parts of the country, that means we are
not giving the local community the opportunity to participate in the project.”
Worker strikes were another risk the project team identified during a feasibility study. Starting off on the right foot required CMPC to work together
with the unions to learn more about their needs and concerns. Those conversations helped the team create the safest possible working conditions for
the project’s workforce.
For instance, CMPC updated its organizational chart to support a project
team structure that would cultivate a stronger safety culture. The company
put the safety manager at the same level as the construction manager, which
gave him the authority to enforce the team’s strict guidelines, says Alejandro Millan, PMP, project control specialist, CMPC Celulose Riograndense,
“He had the power to stop the work any time,” he says. “We gave him that
power, so that shows our priority.”
The team also used collaborative management tools to identify safety risks.
January 2013: Project approved
May 2013: Project
July 2013: Construction begins
September 2013: Water seal
January 2014: Chemical wash
of the recovery boiler begins
November 2014: Utilities
May 2015: Project closes, mill
60 percent of
the water used at
the original facility
99.7 percent of
its solid waste.