Chile's Arauco plans $1 bln capex for 2014-2015 -CFO

viernes 14 de marzo de 2014 14:29 GYT

SANTIAGO, March 14 (Reuters) - Chile's Celulosa Arauco y Constitucion, one of the world's biggest wood pulp companies, plans around $1 billion in capital expenditures over the next two years, Chief Financial Officer Gianfranco Truffello said on Friday.

Arauco, an arm of industrial conglomerate Empresas Copec , has been pumping cash into expansion projects and acquisitions in Brazil, Canada, Chile, the United States and Uruguay.

"We don't have any construction projects in the pipeline so we should be able to do another year of $500 million. That is basically normal maintenance plus small projects that amount to $100 million and $400 (million) in normal maintenance capex," Truffello said on a conference call to discuss quarterly earnings.

"2015 should be more or less the same ... That should help our deleveraging process," Truffello said.

Arauco ended 2013 with a net debt over Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of 3.8.

The capex estimate does not include the approximately $100 million to acquire three mills in the United States from Sierra Pine, or capital expenditures on the Montes del Plata mill in Uruguay, the executive said.

Its $2 billion Montes del Plata eucalyptus pulp mill, a joint-venture between Arauco and Stora Enso, added $723 million in total debt, the company said. Montes del Plata was nearly complete as of February.