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Rise in copper and cellulose prices will favor new projects of Chilean Empresas Copec: boss

SANTIAGO, Apr 28 (Reuters) – Chilean industrial conglomerate Empresas Copec estimates that rising global pulp and copper prices will favor the performance of two major new projects by the group, the chairman of the board said on Wednesday.

In addition to the ambitious MAPA project of 2.35 billion dollars to expand the pulp production capacity of its Arauco forestry unit, the company for copper extraction in Peru Mina Justa has just started the start-up process.

“It is very favorable that very significant investments such as MAPA and Mina Justa can start their operations in a much better context than what we projected a few months ago, amid the uncertainty of construction in a pandemic,” said President Roberto Angelini at the meeting. of shareholders.

The company has an investment plan for 1.88 billion dollars for this year, 65% earmarked for forestry and 30% for fuels.

MAPA, which they estimate to start up at the beginning of the fourth quarter of this year, seeks to renew and increase Arauco’s efficiency and add more than 30% of total pulp production capacity, he explained.

Meanwhile, Mina Justa, in the south of the neighboring country and with a required investment of 1,600 million dollars, recently completed its construction and is expected to produce more than 100,000 tons of copper per year. There it is associated with the mining arm of the local Grupo Breca.

In addition to forestry and mining, Empresas Copec operates in other sectors such as fuels and fishing.

On the other hand, Copec also seeks to exit in Chile from its participation in the National Oil Pipeline Company (Sonacol) and in Gasmar, in addition to evaluating a possible sale of its part in Metrogas and Agesa.

“All these sales, if they materialize, … will help to improve the cash position of the company during a period in which we are making a great investment effort,” Angelini said.

(Report by Fabián Andrés Cambero; edited by Carlos Serrano)

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