In Uruguay UPM today operates a eucalyptus pulp mill in the southwestern town of Fray Bentos, as well as a forestry and wood sourcing company – UPM Forestal Oriental – which has two nurseries that produce high quality seedlings for UPM’s tree plantations.
Establishment of these eucalyptus plantations started at the beginning of
90s on former grazing land and they have thus not replaced native forest or arable land. From the beginning UPM has followed a clear vision and strategy on how to establish, develop and manage eucalyptus plantations sustainably. All of UPM’s eucalyptus plantations are certified to both FSC® and PEFCTM standards and all forestry operations are based on the standards of sustainable forest management.
Today UPM manages over 380,000 hectares of plantations in Uruguay. These supply wood for the UPM Fray Bentos mill and will also supply the new mill in central Uruguay.
Eucalyptus trees grow fast and seedlings will provide wood within 10 to 12 years. Still, what is done in the plantations is long term work – seedlings planted today will be available as wood on the mills’ fibre lines 10 years from now.
UPM mainly grows Eucalyptus grandis and E. dunnii species but also hybrids between different species have been developed. A genetic improvement programme which is based on traditional breeding techniques familiar from agriculture has significantly enhanced the wood yield and fibre quality.