Customers applaud Uruguay pulp mill investment

Bernd Eikens, Executive Vice President at UPM Biorefining. Photo: UPM

UPM is embarking on the most ambitious investment in its history by building a new pulp mill in Uruguay. This historic leap is also welcomed as great news among pulp buyers, according to UPM.


Located in Paso de los Toros, the new pulp mill will significantly increase the volume of UPM’s pulp trade.


Bernd Eikens, Executive Vice President at UPM Biorefining, recently met with Chinese customers who eagerly anticipate the new production facility. “They wish we could accelerate the project and finish it sooner. It’s encouraging to hear that there is already strong demand for the new mill’s products. In this respect, the road is paved for a successful project,” Eikens states.


With demand for market pulp estimated to increase by approximately 3% annually, UPM’s customers and their hunger for pulp offer good indication of market prospects in the near future. 


Demand is driven by increased urbanisation and the growing purchasing power of the middle class, especially in developing economies. These megatrends are increasing the demand for tissue, packaging and speciality papers.


“If you look at some of the Asian countries and China in particular, there is huge growth potential for pulp even though the tissue market has grown substantially. The same applies to Africa and various other countries around the world,” Eikens explains.


He also points out that pulp has good market prospects in developed countries too, as wood fibre is a raw material required for the manufacture of various products replacing fossil fuel-based plastic.


“As the population ages, demand is growing for fibre-based products such as nappies and other sanitary products.”