Lorena Echevarria, Senior Manager, Operations Development and Support for UPM Pulp in Uruguay, explains that, at its core, the success of UPM Euca is rooted in the use of two different and well-combined wood species: Eucalyptus grandis and Eucalyptus dunnii.
“These two species have adapted well to Uruguay’s soil and climate, and they have many complementary characteristics. Together, they form a very solid combination,” she says.
For example, Eucalyptus grandis has a high growth rate and high fibre number, while Eucalyptus dunnii has solid frost resistance and high wood basic density.
Find the right balance
Put together, grandis and dunnii constitute an extremely well-balanced pulp, which provides good strength properties, bulk and drainage development in refining.
The resulting UPM Euca pulp is used to produce clean, soft and smooth tissue products – and it can also provide high brightness, good refinability, surface and optical properties for specialties and printing and writing end uses.
“UPM Euca is a product that clearly adds value to the customer’s business,” Echevarria says.
Decades in the making
It’s also a success story with some history. The development of the eucalyptus species in Uruguay, which started more than 30 years ago, is a continuous process to improve forest productivity, mill processability and papermaking properties.
“The eucalyptus genetic material that grows and adapts best to our climate is thoroughly studied in our R&D laboratory, where we select those that are easy to cook and bleach, consume less chemicals and have the best fibre properties in line with what is really valued by our customers.”
The second link in the quality chain is the carefully controlled production process. The Fray Bentos pulp mill, launched in 2007, is a real forerunner in the entire industry, Echevarria says.
“We are already 15 years into the development of the Euca production process with Uruguayan-bred species. The quality stability at the mill is quite excellent – the result of a controlled, optimized process with excellent mill availability.”
Double your pleasure
As the new pulp mill at Paso de los Toros starts up, there will be two mills relying on the superb properties of UPM Euca.
“We are transferring all our Euca knowledge from Fray Bentos to Paso de los Toros. In the future both mills will produce the same great quality.”
Yet another aspect of UPM Euca is sustainability.
“This is a sustainable pulp, produced from sustainable local plantations using an industrial process that operates with the best available techniques and top class environmental performance,” Echevarria says, adding that the company has set very demanding sustainability goals for the future.
“We are committed to being the sustainability pioneers in the industry. This is something that motivates me every day.”
UPM Euca – Pulp facts
- Made from two species of plantation grown eucalyptus (Eucalyptus grandis and Eucalyptus dunnii)
- Eucalyptus grandis has a high growth rate and high fibre number while Eucalyptus dunnii has good frost resistance and high wood basic density
- The resulting pulp is quick to refine
- Used to create clean, soft and smooth tissue products
- Provides good surface and optical properties for printing and writing end uses
- Offers good bulk when refined to required tensile strength
- Especially used for tissue, specialty papers and printing and writing papers
Text: Sami Anteroinen