UNESCO world heritage site Verla Mill Museum to be protected from water

Press Release 28.8.2013 10:00 EEST

(UPM, Helsinki, 28 August 2013 at 10:00 EET) – UPM and KSS Energia will build a protective wall into the incoming water canal at Verla hydropower plant to protect Verla Mill Museum from leaks and flooding. Inscribed on the UNESCO world heritage list in 1996, Verla groundwood and board mill has suffered from problems caused by water and dampness.

“The east side of the groundwood mill museum directly borders the power plant's incoming water canal. Water seeps through the wall to the museum's ground floor from several places. In previous winters, leaking water has resulted in thick layers of ice inside the mill. The constant dampness threatens the preservation of the mill and its machines and equipment,” explains Ville Majuri, director of the Verla Mill Museum.

“The protective wall will not be attached to the mill so that it is possible to repair and maintain the historical structures now and in the future. This way, the wall will help to preserve the world heritage site and also improve safety in the site without reducing hydropower production conditions. Moreover, the protective wall will provide preconditions for developing tourism and for the year-round use of the site,” Ville Majuri notes.

“UPM's predecessor, Kymmene Oy Ltd, constructed the Verla power plant in 1954. Kymmene Oy Ltd sold the power plant to KSS Energia in 1989. At the moment, KSS Energia is undertaking extensive reconstruction work at the Verla hydropower plant. The work includes replacing the main machinery. Therefore, it was sensible to combine the two projects and to build the protective wall now,” says Markku Tommiska, the production director of KSS Energia.

In April 2013, the Ministry of Education and Culture granted an allowance of EUR 140,000 for the project. The National Board of Antiquities favours the protective wall project and regards it as an extremely important step in preserving the site for future generations.

For further information, please contact:

Museum director Ville Majuri, UPM, Verla Mill Museum, tel. +358 204 152 206, ville.majuri@upm.com
Director, Production & Strategic Development, KSS Energia Oy, Markku Tommiska, tel. +358 50 5915 455, markku.tommiska@kssenergia.fi

UPM, Media Desk
Mon-Fri 9:00-16:00 EET
Tel. +358 40 588 3284
World heritage site Verla is a unique monument. The old board mill milieu is located in northern Kymenlaakso by the Verlankoski stream, about 30 kilometres from the town of Kouvola. Verla has been serving as a mill museum since 1972 and it was included on the UNESCO world heritage list in 1996.

Verla Mill Museum is open until 1st September from Tuesday to Sunday, 9:30–17:00 and between 2nd and 29th September from Monday to Friday 10:00–16:00. The museum is owned by UPM. For more information: www.verla.fi

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 (valid until October, 31, 2013). UPM employs approximately 22,000 people. UPM is present in 67 countries and have production units in 17 countries. UPM's annual sales exceed € 10 billion.UPM's shares are listed on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. UPM – The Biofore Company – www.upm.com

KSS Energia is a Finnish energy sector company that is based in Kouvola but that serves customers throughout Finland. KSS Energia actively produces and sells electricity, district heat and biomethane and also sells natural gas. The company also distributes and constructs grids for all of these energy forms. More information: www.kssenergia.fi