The expansion of UPM Chudovo plywood mill, started in the autumn of 2017, was inaugurated, UPM announced. The expansion has increased the mill's production capacity to 155,000 m3 per year. The new bio boiler plant, in turn, enhances the mill's material efficiency and reduces fossil fuel consumption. The investments total to approximately Euro 50 million.
“The two-year investment project has expanded UPM Chudovo mill production capacity and the product portfolio, which increases the value we can generate for our customers in our key industries in construction, transport equipment industry and LNG shipbuilding,” says Mika Sillanpää, Executive Vice President of UPM Plywood. “Not forgetting the advancements we will achieve in mill’s environmental performance, such as wood efficiency and carbon emissions”.
The expansion consists of new plywood production lines, including all machinery needed for veneer and plywood manufacturing. A new 19 MW bio heat boiler has also been built at the site. The mill's annual production capacity will increase by 45,000 up to 155,000 cubic meters per year and it is estimated that around 100 new jobs are created — both directly at the mill and indirectly, in wood procurement and logistics, for example.
The investment also expands the product portfolio of the UPM Chudovo mill with two new products: WISA-BirchLG, Long Grained panels, and WISA-Form BirchMBT, with new Moisture Barrier Technology (MBT) to better control face veneer moisture movement in concrete formwork panels.
“The successful and timely realization of the investment project at the Chudovo mill was possible due to highly professional and motivated project and mill teams as well as over 350 subcontractor employees. They were able to run the mill in a normal operational mode and take care of the construction and installation of new equipment at the same time. We are also proud of the safety culture during the project, as there were no lost-time accidents,“ thanks Mika Kekki, Vice-President, Production and Operations, UPM Plywood.
More than 40% of the subcontracting related to the investment was sourced locally.