Frontrunner of Russian plywood industry UPM's Chudovo plywood mill turns 20

(UPM, Lahti, 1 November 2010 at 10:00) – UPM's Chudovo Plywood Mill celebrates its 20th anniversary on Wednesday, 3 November 2010. The mill has been the pioneer of the modern plywood industry in Russia and continues to set benchmark for the local plywood industry.

The Chudovo mill manufactures top quality WISA® birch plywood and veneer from local raw material. In addition to standard plywood and veneer, one third of the mill's production is further processed by coating. The mill's products are used primarily in transport and construction industries and carpentry. The mill produces also special plywood for the LNG carriers.

Approximately 75% of the mills production goes to exports, primarily to Europe. The location in Chudovo in the Novgorod region, close to St Petersburg, is very good when it comes to transport infrastructure. Road, rail and sea ports are all easily accessible. The mill has a central role in UPM Plywood's distribution business as well as in birch plywood production in general.

"Since the early days, the mill's production capacity has doubled to the current 100,000 cubic meters per year. Also, the mill's operational efficiency and the degree of further processing have consistently increased over the years. This is largely due to the long term commitment of the local personnel, of which, many have worked there since the very beginning", says Jouni Töyräs, Vice President, Distribution Business Unit at UPM Plywood.

The Chudovo mill has constantly improved its operations. For this systematic development work, the mill has been granted both international ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certificates for quality and environment as well as VTT and DIN Otto Graf certificates. The rating agency Expert RA has also granted the mill the environmental rating Eco A.

The plywood mill is one of the biggest employers in Chudovo area and significant also in the Novgorod region. The mill employs around 600 persons and several hundreds more indirectly in trade and services.

The constituent documents of CJSC "Chudovo-RWS" – the first ever Soviet-Finnish joint venture – were signed on 5 July 1988 by the Soviet Novgorodlesprom and the Finnish Schauman Wood Oy and Raute Oy. Plywood production at the mill started on 1 November 1990. UPM became the sole owner of the mill in 2005.

For more information, please contact:
Mr. Anatoli Zhukovets, General Director, UPM Chudovo, tel. + 7 921 1946080
Mr. Jouni Töyräs, Vice President, Distribution Business Unit, UPM Plywood, tel. +358 40 561 1091

UPM leads the integration of bio and forest industries into a new, sustainable and innovation-driven future. Our products are made of renewable raw materials and are recyclable. UPM consists of three Business Groups: Energy and pulp, Paper, and Engineered materials. The Group employs around 23,000 people and it has production plants in 15 countries. In 2009, UPM's sales amounted to EUR 7.7 billion. UPM's shares are listed on the Helsinki stock exchange. UPM – The Biofore Company – www.upm.com

UPM Plywood offers high-quality WISA plywood and veneer products mainly for construction, transport and furniture industries. The sales of UPM Plywood in 2009 were EUR 306 million and it has about 2,600 employees. UPM has 6 plywood mills and 2 veneer mills in Finland, a plywood mill in Russia and a plywood mill in Estonia. www.wisaplywood.com

UPM in Russia
In Russia, UPM employs about 1,000 people. UPM owns a plywood mill in Chudovo and a sawmill in Pestovo in the Novgorod region. In addition, the company has sales and logistics offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Ekaterinburg as well as the UPM Raflatac slicing and distribution terminal in St. Petersburg. The wood and biomass sourcing business includes offices in St. Petersburg, Petrozavodsk, Novgorod, Vologda, and large logging company in the Leningrad region - Tikhvinskij lespromhoz. www.upm.ru