Manufacturer of bleached hardwood eucalyptus pulp.

The UPM Paso de los Toros mill began operations in Paso de los Toros, Uruguay in 2023. The mill has been created as an efficient single-line operation representing state-of-the-art design in the industry. The machines, materials, level of automation and standards enable a high operating rate and maintainability, consistent quality premium pulp as well as high energy output, ensuring excellent safety and environmental performance.

 
2.1 million t/a
eucalyptus pulp
200
employees in pulp production
6% share
of energy generation in Uruguay
1,000+ people
working at mill site
 

Making an impact

 

Mill certificates

ISO 9001
Quality Management System
ISO 14001
Environmental Management System
ISO 45001
Occupational Health and Safety Management System
 
ISO 22000
Food Safety Management System
ISO 50001
Energy Management System
FSC / PEFC
FSC™ (FSC-C014719) & PEFC (PEFC/02-31-80)
 

Responsibility

 
 

UPM’s Paso de los Toros pulp mill project impacts most strongly the central and north-eastern regions of Uruguay. These are the relatively less developed regions in the country when considering the number of households below the poverty line, regional competitiveness, social and financial measurements as well as the road network and infrastructure.

 

We strongly believe that industrial investments will positively impact regional development and improve opportunities for education, employment, connectivity as well as availability and access to services.

A project of this scale brings visible changes in the affected communities. Besides jobs, training and business opportunities for local individuals and entrepreneurs, there will be changes like increasing traffic and social unrest that require mitigation and management.

Potential social impacts have been identified and UPM continues active dialogue and cooperation with local communities, authorities and other stakeholders to jointly seek solutions to prevent and minimise any potential disturbances and to boost the positive opportunities created.

Environmental and social impact assessment

As part of its due diligence and as required by national legislative requirements in Uruguay, UPM conducted Environmental and Social Impact Assessments (ESIAs) for the new Paso de los Toros pulp mill and the associated plantation expansion, as well as the new pulp terminal in the port of Montevideo. 

The impact assessment of the Central Railway project – owned and constructed by the State of Uruguay – was undertaken by the Government, as agreed in the 2017 Investment Treaty between UPM and the Government of Uruguay.

The environmental and social impact assessment for the UPM Paso de los Toros pulp mill, commissioned from independent third-party experts EIA-Estudio Ingeniería Ambiental (Uruguay) and Ecometrix (Canada), consists of descriptions of ​the planned pulp mill​ and the receiving environment, stakeholder engagement undertaken as part of the ESIA process, identification and assessment of potential environmental and social impacts​ as well as the proposed mitigation and management measures and conclusions.​ 

 The assessments have been approved by the relevant authorities and are publicly available on the website of the Ministry of Environment.

Key documents include the ESIA document (“Estudio de Impact Ambiental”) parts 1 and 2 and the associated annexes, and the ESIA Report Summary (“Informe Ambiental Resumen”).

 
 

 

The main river in the interior of Uruguay

Rio Negro originates in the southern highlands of Brazil and flows west across the entire width of the country. UPM's Paso de los Toros mill will utilize water from the river. The operations require about 1,5 m3 of water per second and around 80% of that goes back to the river, the rest is evaporated.

 
 

Based on the environmental studies done by international and local experts for the Paso de los Toros pulp mill and also drawing on the extensive environmental monitoring data systematically gathered for the UPM Fray Bentos pulp mill for over 15 years, the direct impact of the mill on the Rio Negro River is expected to be minimal due to the application of Best Available Techniques (BAT) in water use and effluent treatment processes. The long term average annual use of water is less than 1% of the river’s average flow rate in Paso de los Toros. Water effluent will be strictly monitored by UPM and by Uruguay’s authorities.

Existing data from local environmental studies indicate that prior to the start-up of the Paso de los Toros pulp mill the nutrient load has grown rapidly in the river and water quality is deteriorating. Improving the quality of the water requires actions from all riverside stakeholders and industries. The State of Uruguay has launched the Rio Negro Initiative to improve the status of the river. Four projects have so far been kicked off within this initiative including research and awareness building on the quality of the river water.

UPM has funded the improvement of the municipal wastewater treatment plant and restoration of the municipal landfill in Paso de los Toros as part of its community investments.

One of the main conclusions of the environmental impact assessment is that the existing eutrophication will continue in the river if no measures are taken to improve the water quality​. With the pulp mill and the planned measures, the Rio Negro water quality would remain at the current level​.​ With the implementation of the Rio Negro initiative and ensuring that best practices are carried out by all parties, the water quality could be improved in the medium to long term. 

 
 

Providing feedback or raising a complaint

UPM’s engagement with communities is founded on close co-operation. Local stakeholder can raise their concerns directly to dedicated UPM representatives and via locally provided channels such as email, phone, and WhatsApp, see all contacts. UPM responds to and documents all stakeholder concerns, and their resolution is continuously monitored. 

The UPM Report Misconduct channel, operated in a system called SpeakUp by an independent external service provider, is available for all. The service is available in multiple languages and it can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Submitting a report is fully confidential and can be done anonymously. 

 

Related

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Promoting community safety and wellbeing in Uruguay

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Contact UPM Paso de los Toros

 

Bulevar Artigas and Artemio Correa
Paso de los Toros, Tacuarembó
Postal address: 45.100 

Phone: (+598) 4664 3828
Mobile phone: (+598) 098 909 797

upmpasodelostoros@upm.com