OREANDA-NEWS. Paranapanema, the largest supplier of copper tubes in South America, inaugurated yesterday its seamless tube factory in Santo Andre (SP) with investments of BRL 150 million. The new unit has replaced the older production line, which operated in the same municipality, and it will double the capacity of the company in this segment to 36 thousand tons per year. The company has planned more investments.

Paranapanema expansion plan predicts expenses of BRL 1.2 billion between 2009 and 2015 . According to the interim president of the company, Edson Monteiro, BRL 550 million of the established total has already been spent.

The next steps will be to complete the modernization of Dias D'Avila factory, in Bahia, as well as the modernization of the rolling mill factory installed next to the new plant, with an investment originally estimated at BRL 300 million.

“We have been reviewing the project and our expectation is to execute it still in 2014”, Monteiro stated. “The inauguration today [yesterday] represents a paradigm breaking and it reflects the company's effort to modernize its lines which have a technological operational gap”, he added.

In Dias D'Avila, Paranapanema has implanted the permanent cathode technology, which enabled the increase in electrolytic copper production to 280 thousand tons per year.

According to Monteiro, of BRL 150 million invested in the new seamless tube plant, primarily used in refrigeration and air-conditioning, 70% correspond to resources from Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES) (National Bank for Economic and Social Development). The remaining part refers to its own resources.

The expectation, according to the interim president, is to achieve the production peak at the new plant within at most 10 months. “Let's search the market for such production, but we will also have exportation”, the executive stated.

According to Monteiro, Paranapanema has tried to get a new position in the market and it has introduced itself as “a vanguard company with management transparency”. In the first half, the company's net revenue totaled BRL 2.56 billion, up to 38% year on year.