UPM'S FRAY BENTOS PULP MILL IN URUGUAY
On 8 December 2009, UPM, Metsäliitto, M-real, and Botnia closed the transaction according to which Metsäliitto's and Botnia's share of the Fray Bentos pulp mill and the eucalyptus plantation company Forestal Oriental in Uruguay were transferred to UPM. UPM has a 91% ownership in the Fray Bentos pulp mill and 100% in Forestal Oriental.
Construction of the Fray Bentos pulp mill began in 2005. The total investment was 1.2 billion US dollars. The mill started pulp production in November 2007.
The annual capacity of the mill is 1.1 million tons of eucalyptus pulp for which the mill uses around 3.5 million cubic metres of eucalyptus wood. The mill employs around 200 people.
The pulp mill in Fray Bentos is one of the most modern in the world. Designed with the most recent technologies available, the mill operates in compliance with the strictest standards set by the European Union and Uruguayan legislation.
Construction of the mill has been subject of a dispute between Argentina and Uruguay. Since 2006 it is being handled by the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The dispute has its origin in the concerns for the mill's environmental impacts expressed by some residents of the Argentinean city Gualeguaychu, located across the river some 25 kilometres from the Fray Bentos pulp mill. The international bridge between Argentina and Uruguay has been blocked by a group of activists since 2007.