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UPM complete Otepää plywood mill expansion

UPM Plywood, a business area within Finland-headed forest industry major UPM has announced that it has completed capacity expansion of its Otepää plywood mill in Estonia. The approximately EUR 40 million investment also included a new 18 MW biomass-fired boiler that supplies all of the mill's thermal energy needs.

The new biomass boiler plant at UPM Otepää plywood mill in Estonia (photo courtesy Urbas Maschinenfabrik).

The expansion of UPM Otepää plywood mill started in the spring of 2015 along with the building of the new bio boiler plant. The expansion increases the mill’s production capacity to 90 000 cubic meters per year. The new bio boiler plant, in turn, enhances the mill’s material efficiency and reduces fossil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 85 percent.

The investments now completed, take Otepää mill to the world-class of plywood mills. Consequent to the increased production capacity, the mill will be able to better respond to the growing demand for high-quality plywood products in our key customer industries in construction, transport equipment industry and LNG shipbuilding, said Mika Sillanpää, Executive Vice President of UPM Plywood.

During the expansion, the mill was installed with the latest technology veneer peeling line and drying line, added veneer jointing and composing capacity and the new gluing and pressing lines. In addition, log sorting and soaking capacity was increased to meet growing production volumes.

The new 18 MW bio boiler plant produces all of the mill’s thermal energy using the production by-products as fuel. Therefore, all of Otepää mill’s wood raw material is used either in plywood production, as raw material to other products or in energy production.

About UPM Plywood

UPM Plywood has six plywood mills and a veneer mill in Finland, and plywood mills in Russia and Estonia. Founded in 2000, Otepää mill is the largest plywood mill in Estonia. It manufactures uncoated and coated birch plywood mainly for construction, vehicle floors and LNG carriers.

95 percent of the plant’s production is exported, mainly to Central Europe. Along with the completion of the expansion, Otepää plywood mill’s personnel has grown by about forty to 240 people. The mill is one of the biggest industrial employers in the Valgamaa County in Estonia.

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