UPM today inaugurated its Paso de los Toros pulp mill in the department of Durazno in Central Uruguay. The inauguration event was attended by the President of Uruguay Luis Lacalle Pou, several ministers and representatives of other stakeholders who have participated in the successful execution of UPM’s growth project in Uruguay.
In his opening speech 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.”
“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 Ehrnrooth.
UPM made its decision to invest in the Paso de los Toros pulp mill in 2019. Despite the 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 summer of 2022, and the new pulp terminal in Montevideo in October the same year. The total USD 3.47 billion investment covers the pulp mill and the port terminal as well as investments in the local infrastructure in Paso de los Toros.
The UPM Paso de los Toros pulp mill has an annual production capacity of 2.1 million tonnes of eucalyptus pulp. The mill represents the latest and best available technology. It is energy efficient with minimal environmental impacts and optimised maintenance.
With an increase of more than 50% 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 – eucalyptus plantation operations, the Fray Bentos and Paso de los Toros pulp mills and related logistics – together with its contractors creates approx. 7,000 direct and 10,000 induced jobs in Uruguay.