Uruguayan government grants free trade zone status to Botnia pulp mill project
The Government of Uruguay has granted free trade zone status to the planned
Botnia pulp mill project. The status becomes effective upon the granting of the
necessary environmental permit.
The free trade zone will be managed by Botnia´s local subsidiary Botnia Fray
Bentos S.A., which will pay the Uruguayan authorities an agreed annual fee for
the free trade zone status. This decision will ensure the stability of Botnia's
customs and tax treatment in the long term.
The free trade zone is designed to promote the flow of goods and capital
between industrial and developing countries (ILO definition). A free trade zone
is a delimited geographical area in which the host country grants free trade
status. The goal is to attract foreign investments and to create new jobs. On
the global scale, there are currently about 5,200 free trade zones employing
some 42 million people.
Botnia began studying the possibility of starting pulp production in Uruguay in
2003. After a preliminary survey, Botnia selected Fray Bentos, a town of some
20,000 inhabitants in Western Uruguay, as the site of the planned pulp mill.
The results of the environmental impact assessment and the socio-economic
survey were completed in March-April 2004. The decision on the construction of
the plant, which will produce about one million tons of bleached eucalyptus
pulp, will be made separately.
UPM is one of the world's leading producers of printing papers and the clear
market leader in magazine papers. The Group's turnover in 2003 was EUR 10
billion, and it has 35,000 employees. UPM's main products include printing
papers, converting materials and wood products. The company has production
plants in 16 countries and its main market areas are Europe and North America.
UPM's shares are listed on the Helsinki and New York stock exchanges. Further
information on the company's web pages www.upm-kymmene.com.
M-real Corporation is a European paper and paperboard company with nearly
16,500 employees. M-real provides fibre-based solutions for consumer packaging,
communications and advertising end-uses. Through its worldwide sales network,
M-real serves its customers consisting mostly of publishers, printers, paper
merchants, offices and well-known consumer product companies. The turnover of
M-real in 2003 amounted to EUR 6 billion. The company is headquartered in
Finland, and it is listed in the Helsinki Stock Exchange.
Metsä Fibre is a leading producer of bioproducts and bioenergy. The company’s pulp brand is Botnia and the sawn timber brand is Metsä Nordic Timber. The company’s bleached softwood and birch pulp grades have been developed for the production of high-quality board, tissue and printing paper and speciality products. The main applications for spruce and pine sawn timber are products for construction and interior decoration as well as window and door joinery and raw material for packaging industry. Currently employing approximately 1 200 people, the company’s sales totalled EUR 1.4 billion in 2016. Metsä Fibre is part of Metsä Group.