2019: That’s a wrap!

From leisurely boat rides in eastern Finland to the building of a new pulp mill in Uruguay, last year UPM covered the globe. Join us as we take a look back over 2019 and look forward to the next decade.

2019 was one of the most exciting and progressive years in UPM Pulp’s history. The announcement that we will build a state-of-the-art pulp mill in central Uruguay and pulp terminal in Montevideo has caused a huge buzz and represents our biggest investment in any single project. 

As well as breaking ground on the new mill, this has been a year of building relations with the local community, engaging in projects and creating job wealth in the region. The next stage of the project will take place in 2020, with the mill expected to be completed by the second half of 2022.

However, there has been a raft of other advancements and news throughout the last year of the decade. From medical advancements to boat restoration, from harbour construction to the implementation of digital technology, 2019 has been packed full of good news as we prepare for the ‘roaring ‘20s’.

Here, we take a look back at some of most exciting, interesting and thought-provoking articles of the year.


S/S Hurma

Tucked away in eastern Finland is a throwback to a calmer age of travel and transportation. The S/S Hurma, having undergone a modern, greener upgrade, is now delighting its passengers on the waterways around the city of Lappeenranta.

Lessons from the burning of the Amazon

The forest fires in the Amazon were headlines news in 2019. As the destruction was brought under control, we looked at what lessons could be learnt from the disasterand and how UPM prevents forest fires in Finland and Uruguay.  

Hoist the Ventifoil!

Harnessing the wind to create power is not new but strapping a wind propulsion system to the hull of a ship in the North Sea certainly is! Find out what happened when a UPM-chartered vessel took to the high seas for a groundbreaking green experiment.

Saving the planet could be as easy as one, two, tree

Medical technology continues to move at an astonishing pace and now pulp could help it move even faster. Scientists are now close to substituting worn out human cartilage and bone using nanocellulose, a natural fibre found in pulp. But the potential doesn’t stop there…

New pulp mill in Uruguay

USD 2.7 billion is being invested in a world-class eucalyptus pulp mill. The Uruguay-based plant provides jobs, opportunities for training and entrepreneurship as well as enhanced infrastructure to the local community. Find out more about the mill in this article

What’s in store for 2020?

The consensus at UPM is that the new decade will bring with it exciting opportunities and no let-up in the pace of change.

“In 2020, we intend to break new ground in sustainable forestry, putting climate and biodiversity at the center of our development efforts,” says Bernd Eikens, Executive Vice President of UPM Biorefining. “In Uruguay, our new mill is starting to take shape as the construction work proceeds, and we will continue to share updates on the project. The local community and global stakeholders are keen to see the progress, our customers are actually already asking when we will start shipping! That will still take couple of years, but 2020 looks like it will be a busy and exciting year.”

While it is essential to look forward, being sympathetic to a range of opinions is essential for the company.

“Forests continue to be a hot topic,” says Eikens. “Just yesterday I was speaking at the 150-year anniversary of my old high school about the forest industry in the era of climate change – there are quite a lot of concerns, as well as misconceptions about forest use, so I always appreciate the opportunity to discuss these topics.”


Text: Craig Houston 


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