UPM is beginning a study at its Blandin paper mill in Minnesota, to determine the economic and environmental feasibility of building a new publication paper machine at the site. A comprehensive study generally takes at least a year to complete, but UPM will work to complete the assessment as soon as possible.
"UPM is committed to the U.S. and Canadian markets on a long-term basis. The Blandin mill is centrally located to many of UPM's largest North American customers. Blandin has gone through a restructuring programme over the last two years, which has made the facility a site for potential further development. However, the economic feasibility of a new paper machine must be demonstrated and necessary permits obtained before a final decision can be made", says Jyrki Ovaska, President of UPM's Magazine Paper Division.
Besides conducting the feasibility assessment, UPM will proactively prepare a Minnesota Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
The Blandin mill currently operates two paper machines, which have a combined annual capacity of more than 350,000 metric tonnes (385,000 short tons) of coated groundwood, the paper on which most magazines and catalogs are printed. The mill currently employs 500 persons.
For further information please contact:
Mr. Jyrki Ovaska, President, Magazine Papers Division, tel. +358 204 15 0564
Mr. Olavi Kauppila, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations, tel. +358 204 15 0658
Ms. Rebecca Theim, Director, Communications, North America, tel. +1 630 850 4990
July 1, 2004