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UPM inaugurates its Paso de los Toros pulp mill in Uruguay

UPM inaugurates its Paso de los Toros pulp mill in Uruguay
Held on June 6, 2023, the UPM inauguration event was attended by the President of Uruguay Luis Lacalle Pou (holding the scissors), several ministers, UPM officials, and representatives of other stakeholders who have participated in the successful execution of UPM’s growth project in Uruguay (photo courtesy UPM Uruguay).

Finland-headed forest industry major UPM has officially inaugurated its Paso de los Toros pulp mill in the department of Durazno in Central Uruguay.

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UPM made its decision to invest in the Paso de los Toros pulp mill in 2019. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the mill started up in April 2023, and its first pulp delivery to customers followed in May.

UPM’s third tree nursery in Sarandí del Yí started operations in the summer of 2022, and the new pulp terminal in Montevideo in October of the same year.

Today is a day of celebration for everything that happened in these years and for the reality of what we are inaugurating today. During the tour, we were able to see that in each piece of this work, there is an Uruguayan who put knowledge, talent, and dedication into what they did. That is why it is a joy to share this inauguration. In 1987, not everyone was convinced that the Forestry Law was appropriate for the country, the same was true for the Port Law, and for the investment protection treaty with Finland from the government of Jorge Batlle. Yet it is these milestones that bring us here today. This is something that makes our country strong. Governments, with different sensitivities, with different impulses, with ideologies, which after all are ideas, have not had reformational complexes. In the world, it is called trust, said the President of Uruguay, Luis Lacalle Pou in his remarks.

Today is a historic day. We celebrate the inauguration of the largest manufacturing investment and this in itself is cause for celebration. This would not have been possible without the natural conditions of the country for the generation of raw materials, but also without the vision of the private and public sectors that promoted the sector more than 30 years ago, betting on the development and sustainability that we see today grow and bear fruit, said Omar Paganini, Minister of Industry, Energy, and Mining.

In his opening address, the Chairman of UPM’s Board of Directors Henrik Ehrnrooth highlighted the consistent development of the sustainable Uruguayan forest industry and UPM’s operations in the country.

A key milestone for the Uruguayan forest industry was the Forestry Law which was enacted in 1987. The aim of this law was to diversify the country’s industrial portfolio, ensuring sustainable land use and protecting its natural forests. We can all see how well it has succeeded in all these goals and created a strong new export industry in Uruguay, sustainably, Henrik Ehrnrooth said.

The total US3.47 billion investment covers the pulp mill and the port terminal as well as investments in the local infrastructure in Paso de los Toros.

Today we celebrate UPM’s largest investment in our 150-year of history. UPM’s first eucalyptus seedlings were planted in 1990. The path from then until today has been a great cooperation between authorities, UPM, and its partners. The results of this cooperation will serve the interests of Uruguay and its people as well as UPM for decades to come, said Henrik Ehrnrooth.

Over double UPM’s pulp capacity

The UPM Paso de los Toros pulp mill has an annual production capacity of 2.1 million tonnes of eucalyptus pulp.

An aerial view of the UPM Paso de los Toros pulp mill (photo courtesy UPM).

The mill represents the latest and best available technology. It is energy efficient with minimal environmental impacts and optimized maintenance.

With an increase of more than 50 percent in UPM’s current pulp capacity, this growth investment creates a step change in the scale of UPM’s pulp business and future earnings.

It also has a significant impact on Uruguay’s economy and creates significant opportunities for the country’s people and communities.

Altogether UPM’s value chain in Uruguay – eucalyptus plantation operations, the Fray Bentos and Paso de los Toros pulp mills, and related logistics – together with its contractors creates approximately 7000 direct and 10 000 induced jobs in Uruguay.

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