New business to start at UPM's former further processing mill in Parkano

Archive 29.4.2010 0:00 EEST

(UPM, Helsinki, 29 April 2010 at 10.00 EET) – UPM has signed a preliminary contract for selling the real estate of its former further processing mill in Parkano, Finland. The premises are to be taken over by a wood processing company to be established by the mill's former local management.

UPM's Timber Business decided in January to centralise its further processing operations to the Aureskoski mill. At the same time the company announced the closure of the Parkano mill locating about 20 kilometres from Aureskoski.

UPM has transferred production from Parkano and Kaukas further processing mills to Aureskoski mill which has become one of the most significant distribution centres in Finland due to the widening product range.

Agreements of relocation to Aureskoski mill have been made with 12 Parkano employees to work in production and engineering duties. Manufacturing in production lines transferred from Parkano will begin in May.

From-job-to-job -programme proceeds in Parkano, Heinola and Lappeenranta

At the same time UPM announced the significant restructuring of the Plywood and Timber business the company started the From-job-to-job programme to alleviate the impacts of the mill closures. The programme includes, in cooperation with authorities and partner companies, active measures to find new jobs and retraining for the employees. UPM has reserved 1.5 million euros to support the participation in retraining and related material and 1 million euros support starting up new enterprises.

Within three months about 310 people from the 650 who were unemployed have found a new job, study place or entered a pension scheme. The new company that will start to operate in the mill premises aims to employ as many as possible of the former UPM employees given notice.

Only two new enterprises have been established within the From-job-to-job programme what is less than expected. UPM is encouraging employees to establish new enterprises by offering start-up support. The support can be applied for until the end of 2011, and the maximum support for an enterprise 20,000 euros. In addition, UPM supports re-employment training of employees who have been given notice.

UPM continues the work to find new business to the former mill premises. There have been over 250 connections to potential companies in the Heinola and Lappenranta regions. Negotiations concerning either renting or selling the mill premises have continued in both places. Any decisions haven't been made yet and negations continue.

For more information, please contact after 12.45 Finnish time:
Mr Tuomo Visanko, Senior Vice President, UPM, Forest and Timber Business Area,
tel. +358 20 415 6300
Mr Arto Halonen, Senior Vice President, UPM, Timber, tel. +358 40 823 2877
Mr Tapio Laine, Manager, HR, UPM, tel. +358 40 565 8472

UPM, Corporate Communications
Media Desk, tel. +358 40 588 3284

Notes to editors

Aureskoski further processing mill employs around 70 persons and the annual capacity is 130,000 m³ of interior and structural products for construction.

UPM Timber produces sawn timber and further processed timber products to building and construction industry and joinery. The annual production capacity is 2,3 million cubic metres of timber products. UPM Timber has 12 production units in Austria, Finland, France and Russia. In Finland, UPM's sawmills are located in Lappeenranta, Kajaani, Pietarsaari, Korkeakoski and Pori. UPM Timber employs around 1,200 people, of which 800 in Finland.

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 facilities 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.upmbiofore.com and www.upm.com.