Botnia investigates prospects for starting pulp production in Uruguay

The Finnish forest industry group Oy Metsä-Botnia Ab (Botnia) is to begin
studying the possibility of starting pulp production in Uruguay, and has set up
a company called Botnia S.A. for this purpose. 

 Botnia's first step will be to begin, in November, an environmental impact
assessment for the pulp mill and to evaluate its socio-economic consequences. A
decision on whether to go ahead with construction of a mill to produce around
one million t/a of bleached eucalyptus pulp will be possible at the end of 2004
when all the necessary investigations are complete and the relevant permits
granted. In addition to these permits, the timetable depends on the owner
companies' fibre needs and the general economic situation. 

 Feasibility studies have identified the town of Fray Bentos as a possible site
for the mill. Situated in western Uruguay by the Rio Uruguay river, this town
of some 20,000 inhabitants lies close to large eucalyptus plantations, a vital
consideration in terms of fibre raw material supplies. Fray Bentos also
provides logistic and other advantages that are important in terms of the end

 Botnia and the Finnish group UPM-Kymmene Corporation are joint owners of
Compania Forestal Oriental S.A. (FOSA), a Uruguayan company specializing in
eucalyptus cultivation. FOSA owns 48,000 hectares of land, of which 32,000
hectares is good quality eucalyptus forest planted on grassland for
reforestation purposes. These plantations have been granted FSC certification
and are located close to Fray Bentos. 

Oy Metsä-Botnia Ab

 Botnia is Europe's second biggest manufacturer of chemical pulp, with a
capacity of 2.7 million t/a of bleached softwood and hardwood pulps. Botnia has
five mills, all of them located in Finland. The company has some 2,000
employees and in 2002 had a turnover of just over EUR one billion. Botnia's
owners are UPM-Kymmene Corporation (47%), M-real Corporation (47%) and
Metsäliitto (6%). 

UPM-Kymmene Group

UPM-Kymmene Group is the world's leading producer of printing papers. The
Group's turnover in 2002 exceeded EUR 10 billion and it has approx. 35,500
employees. UPM-Kymmene's main products include publication papers as well
converting materials and wood products. The Group's total annual papermaking
capacity is 11.5 million tons. The company has production plants in 17
countries. UPM-Kymmene's shares are quoted on the Helsinki and New York stock

M-real Corporation

M-real Corporation is a European paper and paperboard company with
approximately 20, 300 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. 

M-real's turnover in 2002 amounted to EUR 6.6 billion. The company is
headquartered in Finland, and it is listed in the Helsinki Stock Exchange. 

For more information:
Erkki Varis, President & CEO, tel. +358 104 694 671
Jukka Forsström, Senior Vice President, Finance, tel. +358 104 694 674
Heikki Sara, Executive Vice President, UPM-Kymmene Corporation, tel. +358 204
150 040 

About Us

Metsä Metsä Fibre is a leading producer of bioproducts, biochemicals and bioenergy. Metsä Fibre is the world’s leading producer of bleached softwood pulp and a major producer of sawn timber. Currently employing approximately 1,300 people, the company’s sales in 2019 totalled EUR 2.2 billion. Metsä Fibre is part of Metsä Group.