Helsinki, Finland, 29 April 2010 -- UPM has signed a preliminary contract to sell the real estate of its former further processing mill in Parkano, Finland. The premises are to be taken over by a wood processing company to be established by the mill's former local management.
UPM's Timber Business decided in January to centralize its further processing operations to the Aureskoski mill. At the same time, the company announced the closure of the Parkano mill, located about 20 km from Aureskoski.
UPM has transferred production from Parkano and Kaukas further processing mills to Aureskoski mill, which has become one of the most significant distribution centers in Finland due to the widening product range.
Agreements of relocation to Aureskoski mill have been made with 12 Parkano employees to work in production and engineering duties. Manufacturing in production lines transferred from Parkano will begin in May.
UPM also announced the significant restructuring of the Plywood and Timber business and the start of a from-job-to-job program to alleviate the effects of the mill closures. The program includes, in cooperation with authorities and partner companies, active measures to find new jobs and retraining for the employees. UPM has reserved EUR 1.5 million to support the participation in retraining and related material and EUR 1 million support starting up new enterprises.
Within three months, about 310 people from the 650 who were unemployed have found a new job, study place, or entered a pension scheme. The new company that will start to operate in the mill premises aims to employ as many as possible of the former UPM employees given notice.
Only two new enterprises have been established within the from-job-to-job program, which is less than expected. UPM is encouraging employees to establish new enterprises by offering start-up support. The support can be applied for until the end of 2011, and the maximum support for an enterprise EUR 20,000. In addition, UPM supports re-employment training of employees who have been given notice.
UPM continues the work to find new business to the former mill premises. Negotiations concerning either renting or selling the mill premises have continued in both places.
Aureskoski further processing mill employs around 70 persons and the annual capacity is 130,000 cubic meters of interior and structural products for construction.
UPM Timber produces sawn timber and further processed timber products to building and construction industry and joinery. The annual production capacity is 2.3 million cubic meters of timber products. UPM Timber has 12 production units in Austria, Finland, France, and Russia. In Finland, UPM's sawmills are located in Lappeenranta, Kajaani, Pietarsaari, Korkeakoski, and Pori. UPM Timber employs around 1200 people, of which 800 in Finland.
UPM leads the integration of bio and forest industries into a new, sustainable, and innovation-driven future. The company's 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. For additional information, visit www.upmbiofore.com or www.upm.com.