UPM to Build "Competence Center" at Fray Bentos Mill

UPM, Helsinki, Finland, says it will strengthen its research on eucalyptus fiber and build a competence center at the Fray Bentos pulp mill in Uruguay. The new center, including expansion of the existing laboratory facilities, will be operational during the first half of 2012.

The new competence center will focus on the research of eucalyptus species and their impact on end product properties. The Fray Bentos competence center will evaluate the aspects of the eucalyptus species growing in Uruguay with the aim to accelerate the process of selecting the best trees to be planted in the future.

"At the Fray Bentos mill site we can combine our expertise in the pulp process with the plantation forestry operations know-how in an innovative way. The new competence center will also enable us to strengthen the cooperation with our customers in product development," says Sami Saarela, VP of UPM's pulp production. UPM's approximately 300 R&D professionals work in five research centers around the world. Each research center has its own dedicated focus area.