This paper aimed to evaluate the energy consumption development of the Brazilian pulp and paper industry through an energy decomposition analysis and an energy efficiency index approach over a 30 years period. An international comparison with other important paper-producing countries (i.e., Canada, United States of America, Finland and Sweden) was carried out. It was concluded that despite a significant increase in the energy efficiency levels, responsible for 5.6 PJ savings in electricity consumption and for 38.6 PJ savings in fuels consumption between 1979 and 2009, a saving potential of 7.8 PJ and 146.2 PJ related to the annual consumption of electricity and fuels, respectively, could be identified in the Brazilian pulp and paper industry. Among the countries evolved in the international comparison, both the Swedish and Finnish industries were the most efficient, followed by the Brazilian, American and Canadian, the latter being the only one where there was a reduction in the energy efficiency levels from 1979 to 2009.
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