Although the worldwide effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are ongoing, based on current market and customer indications, Koppers continues to expect 2020 sales to be approximately $1.6 billion. By comparison, sales in 2019 (excluding KJCC) were $1.65 billion. Accordingly, Koppers expects adjusted EBITDA will be approximately $190 million to $200 million for 2020, compared with adjusted EBITDA of $201 million in the prior year.
The effective tax rate for adjusted net income in 2020 is projected to be approximately 25 percent, compared to the tax rate in 2019, excluding special tax items, of 26 percent and adjusted EPS is forecasted to be in the range of $3.10 to $3.40, compared with adjusted EPS of $3.18 in the prior year.
Mr. Ball commented, "The diversification of our end markets and our classification as an essential business serving other critical industries continues to put us in position to have one of our better years despite the global pandemic that has disrupted many other business models. The durability and resilience our business has displayed thus far, as we have dealt with this current crisis, only reaffirms the strategy that we deployed five years ago to focus on becoming the global leader in wood preservation technologies."
Koppers does not provide reconciliations of guidance for adjusted EBITDA and adjusted EPS to comparable GAAP measures, in reliance on the unreasonable efforts exception. Koppers is unable, without unreasonable efforts, to forecast certain items required to develop meaningful comparable GAAP financial measures. These items include restructuring, impairment, non-cash LIFO charges, acquisition-related costs, and non-cash mark-to-market commodity hedging that are difficult to predict in advance in order to include in a GAAP estimate and may be significant.
Capital expenditures for July 2020 were $4.7 million, compared with $3.1 million in July 2019. For the year-to-date period ended July 31, 2020, capital expenditures were $31.2 million compared with $21.7 million for the prior year period. Koppers continues to anticipate investments of $50 million to $60 million in capital expenditures in 2020, which are primarily related to improving the safety and reliability of its existing infrastructure.
Additionally, Koppers plans to reduce debt by approximately $120 million in 2020, which includes and will be contingent on the successful closing of its KJCC divestiture.