Lahti, Finland 23 April 2015 -- UPM strengthens its position as the leading plywood manufacturer in Europe and expands the Otepää plywood mill in Estonia. The expansion will bring the mill's production to almost double at 90,000 m3 per annum. In addition to mill expansion, the mill site will also be built a new bio power plant, which will replace the old, partly oil-burning plant. The investments made to Otepää total to about 40 million euros. The mill's personnel will grow with about 40 persons along with the expansion.
"These investments support our strategy, which aims at delivering the highest quality products and the best customer service in the industry. New competitive production capacity improves our capability to respond to growing demand and to serve our key customer industries more reliably and effectively. Our goal is to secure our favorable profitability development", says Mika Sillanpää, Executive Vice President of UPM Plywood.
"The expansion of Otepää mill increases our capability to deliver competitive birch plywood and improves the mills material, resource and operational efficiency. The environmental performance of the mill will also improve as the new power plant will generate all heat energy for the mill from biological fuel", says Sillanpää.
The Otepää mill will be expanded with new plywood production line including all machinery needed for veneer and plywood manufacturing. The expansion will be realised using mainly current buildings, infrastructure and resources. New production premises will be made about 8,000 m2 by connecting exisiting buildings together.
The new bio power plant delivers 18 megawatts of power and it replaces the old boilers, which use oil and wood as fuel. The bio power plant will use the by-products of plywood production like bark, chips and dust as its fuel.
The expansion of the plywood mill and building of the bio power plant will start during this summer and the work will be completed by the end of 2016. The mill's current production will continue normally during the works.
Otepää plywood mill produces coated and uncoated birch plywood e.g. for construction, vehicle flooring and LNG carriers. The mills current production capacity 50,000 m3/a and it employs about 200 persons. The Otepää mill is the largest plywood mill in Estonia and one of the biggest industrial employers in the Valgamaa region.
UPM Plywood manufactures high-quality WISA® plywood and veneer products mainly for construction and transport industries and the new thermo-formable UPM Grada® wood material for the form pressing industry. The sales of UPM Plywood in 2014 were EUR 440 million and it has about 2,400 employees. UPM Plywood has six plywood mills and a veneer mill in Finland, and plywood mills in Russia and Estonia. www.wisaplywood.com
Through the renewing of the bio and forest industries, UPM is building a sustainable future across six business areas: UPM Biorefining, UPM Energy, UPM Raflatac, UPM Paper Asia, UPM Paper Europe and North America and UPM Plywood. Our products are made of renewable raw materials and are recyclable. We serve our customers worldwide. The group employs around 20,000 people and its annual sales are approximately € 10 billion. UPM shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. UPM - The Biofore Company - www.upm.com