Story | 04/01/2022 08:39:14 | 3 min Read time

5 highlights from the UPM Paso de los Toros project

Did you know that UPM has led the new forest industry in Uruguay since 1990, and today, besides eucalyptus plantations, the company manages altogether 30 conservation areas? Read more and take a virtual tour of our operations in Uruguay to find out more.

1. Protecting the natural environment

Based on land classification, UPM’s eucalyptus plantations are established on former grazing land not replacing native forests, agriculture or causing deforestation. UPM has carried out biological surveys on its land since the early 1990s to identify, classify, and protect species and native ecosystems. As a result, 360 species of fauna and 1,300 species of flora have been detected.

In addition, UPM manages 30 conservation areas including native forests, grasslands, continental dunes, wetlands, and unique areas for protecting specific birds and other animals. 

2. Cooperation with communities

Community engagement is an essential part of our daily work. We interact with the communities next to our forestry and mill operations in several ways.

UPM has collaborated closely with Uruguayan organizations and institutes organising workshops, training, scholarships, apprenticeships and visits engaged with the Paso de los Toros project covering diverse topics from traffic safety, digital, customer service and English language skills, and consolidating entrepreneurship to graduate degrees for teachers. In 2021, 23 projects took place in 50 communities.

3. From plantation to mill

At the age of 10-12 years, the eucalyptus trees are ready to be harvested, debarked and transported to the pulp mill. After the start-up of the mill, some 500 trucks loaded with eucalyptus logs will enter the Paso de los Toros mill gate every day to keep the mill running.

At the mill site, the logs arrive to the woodyard, after being scanned for volume measurement and quality. Before entering the process, the logs are cut into small chips which are processed into high quality pulp.

4. Efficient transport

A new 273-km railroad will connect the pulp mill to the Port of Montevideo. The railway is owned by the state and UPM will be one of the paying users of the line. UPM’s freight – pulp and raw materials – is expected to make up half of the freight with up to 14 trains / day and 4 million freight tonnes / year.

Rail is widely considered as the safest and most environmentally friendly alternative for long distance logistics and passenger transport alike. For example, the energy consumption of rail transportation is three times lower than that of road.

5. Gateway to the world

UPM has made a USD 280 million investment into the construction of the new port terminal in Montevideo, with the capacity of handling around 2 million tonnes of pulp annually. From here, UPM Euca pulp is shipped by 80 vessels annually to customers around the world.

When the UPM Paso de los Toros mill is running, Uruguay will be the world’s 5th biggest pulp producer with pulp as its #1 export product. The mill is scheduled to start up in the first quarter of 2023.


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