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UPM's wood plastic composite clads the Finnish pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai

Archive 22.4.2010 0:00 EEST

(UPM, Helsinki, 22 April 2010, 09:00 EET) - The environmentally innovative wood plastic composite UPM ProFi gives a visually unique marble white facade to the Finnish Pavilion ‘Giant´s Kettle’ at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The 3,700-square-metre surface of the Pavilion is clad in 25,000 modern shingles especially designed for the project by Teemu Kurkela, a Finnish architect from the Helsinki-based JKMM Architects.

The architectural concept of the Giant's Kettle offers a stylish implementation of the Shanghai Expo’s main theme ‘Better City, Better Life’: Increasing the quality of life while decreasing the burden on the environment. UPM ProFi fulfils the task perfectly. The main raw material ingredients of this wood plastic composite are recycled paper and plastic which fall as surplus by-products in UPM’s self adhesive label production. Markku Koivisto, Director of UPM ProFi Business Area, quantifies the environmental benefit of the shingles used in the Finnish Pavilion: “Through this project alone, we gave a new life to ca.20 tons of former label waste that would otherwise have had to be incinerated or land-filled.”

Based on UPM's own research and business development, the recycled and further recyclable wood plastic composite UPM ProFi is an example of UPM's innovative thinking and total lifecycle approach. As the frontrunner of the new forest industry and the Biofore Company, UPM adds value through the use of wood fibre to create new and sustainable products.

UPM ProFi has a number of potential end uses

The UPM ProFi wood plastic composite is a durable and hard-wearing material with low moisture absorption and exceptional UV light resistance. These intrinsic characteristics make the material highly suitable for outdoor applications such as decking, cladding or several others.

“The construction industry has a wide range of products and applications where durability and good weather resistance play an important role. UPM ProFi is a material innovation for which we want to continue to develop new end uses together with our customers, designers and architects,” explains Markku Koivisto.“Cladding is a natural direction to head in from our present decking business,” Koivisto adds.

Teemu Kurkela, the Finnish pavilion’s architect, has chosen to work with UPM ProFi not least because of the extraordinary visual effect of the shingles: “Our aim was to use a material that did not give rise to associations with other materials based on either shape or size. Clearly, the facade is not made of wood or glass, but the actual material is very hard to determine even when examined up close,” Kurkela explains.

The World Expo host city Shanghai is an interesting location for UPM. UPM's Changshu mill site in the Province of Jiangsu is located only about 100 kilometres from Shanghai. UPM has invested over one billion US dollars in the 200-hectare modern mill site covering a fine paper mill, a label stock factory and an R&D centre.

The Shanghai World Expo, which will be hosted between 1 May and 31 October 2010, is expected to become the largest of all times. The Finnish Pavilion will offer up to 20 000 visitors a day a hands-on impression of a Finnish ‘miniature city’ built entirely in accordance with the principles of sustainable construction.

For further information please contact:
Markku Koivisto, Director, UPM ProFi Business Area, tel.: +358 (0) 40 861 2852

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

Images of the Giant's Kettle can be downloaded from www.finlandatexpo2010.fi/image

About UPM:

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.upm.com and www.upmbiofore.com

The UPM ProFi business unit develops, manufactures, markets, and sells high-quality wood-plastic composite products for a variety of end uses. UPM ProFi is an innovative and environmentally friendly material, made mainly from surplus paper and plastic left over from the production of self-adhesive label materials. See also: www.upmprofi.com