UPM and the Government of Uruguay have signed an investment agreement, which outlines the local prerequisites for a potential pulp mill investment. The agreement defines the requirements for the operating environment of a world-class pulp mill project. The site of the mill would be close to the city of Paso de los Toros, in the department of Durazno in central Uruguay.
The Government will develop the rail and road network by tendering the construction and long-term maintenance of the network. The total investment by the Government has been reported to be approximately USD 1 billion. This investment is necessary to enable the establishment of efficient logistic infrastructure in the Uruguayan inland. The Government will also promote concession for a terminal specializing in pulp in the Montevideo port with rail access in order to secure reliable and competitive outlet to export markets.
Once the permitting requirements are fulfilled, the Government will grant the mill a free trade zone status, which is necessary to ensure competitiveness on international markets.
UPM will carry out an engineering study and permitting process for a pulp mill with an annual capacity of about 2 million tons of eucalyptus market pulp. The preliminary estimate for a pulp mill investment on site is approximately EUR 2 billion.
In addition, a successful project requires off-site investments in plantation land and forestry, road network and nursery capacity, harvesting and transport equipment, rolling stock for the rail, export facilities and human development.
The investment agreement was signed 7 November 2017. The subsequent second preparation phase consists of an engineering study, tendering and permitting process as well as achieving significant progress in the implementation of the agreed infrastructure initiatives. Any relevant items are to be agreed prior to the possible final investment decision. This second phase is expected to last 1.5 to 2 years.