(UPM, Helsinki, 12 February, 2015 at 14:00 EET) - UPM and the Technological University of Uruguay (UTEC) have signed an agreement to build a new Regional Technological University (ITR) in Fray Bentos to advance technical skills and engineering expertise in rural Uruguay. The regional university will specialize in mechatronics, renewable energy, transport and logistics.
The region is home to a community of over 4,000 students who will now be able to complete university studies without having to leave their hometowns. The construction of the Fray Bentos ITR is estimated to take 14 months.
“This investment is a token of UPM’s commitment to Uruguay. It shows how our company strengthens the communities in which it operates by supporting education and the development of the local forestry sector. We are happy to announce this cooperation now that UPM is celebrating its 25th anniversary in Uruguay,” says Juha Kääriäinen, Vice President of UPM’s Uruguay Operations.
“Being able to hire highly qualified local talent is very important to us. This investment in education will create further development opportunities for generations to come, enhancing the overall competitiveness of the forest industry in Uruguay in the future,” adds Kääriäinen.
Under the agreement, UPM will fund the university, which will be based on a cooperative model between industry and the academia, maximizing mutual benefit from each other’s capabilities. Students will be able to participate in internships and hands-on training in the Uruguayan agro-industrial sector. Both parties will encourage UPM technicians and professionals to participate in Fray Bentos ITR courses. UPM and UTEC will also work on joint R&D projects.
For more information, please contact: Juha Kääriäinen, Vice President, UPM Uruguay Operations, tel. +598 99 802 888 Matías Martinez, Communications Manager, UPM Uruguay, tel.+ 598 456 20100 int. 265
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Notes to the Editors:
UPM in Uruguay
UPM’s operations in Uruguay include the Fray Bentos pulp mill, the forestry and wood sourcing company UPM Forestal Oriental which has two nurseries, as well as the UPM Foundation, which in cooperation with local organisations contributes to education, entrepreneurship and improving the quality of life through projects focusing on the rural areas where the company operates.
The Fray Bentos pulp mill started operations in 2007 and it is still one of the world’s most modern and efficient pulp mills. Its annual production capacity is 1.3 million tonnes of chemical eucalyptus pulp. Besides pulp, the Fray Bentos mill is a significant biomass based energy producer - its electricity production accounting for 10% of Uruguay’s total energy production. The mill’s wood raw material comes from sustainably managed local plantations.
UPM Forestal Oriental owns about 230,000 hectares of land, of which about 60% is planted with eucalyptus. The rest of the land is protected or is used for forestry-related infrastructure, cattle grazing and other non-plantation operations. All of UPM's forest plantations are certified to FSC® and PEFCTM standards. About 70% of the Fray Bentos mill’s fibre wood comes from the plantations managed by UPM Forestal Oriental and the rest is supplied by the company’s long term partners.
In Uruguay, UPM has 550 direct employees and employs indirectly around 3,400 people. The value chain of UPM’s Uruguay operations creates altogether 6,400 jobs and its contribution to Uruguay’s GDP is approximately 1.3%.
UPM 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 EUR 10 billion. UPM shares are listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. UPM – The Biofore Company – www.upm.com