December 5, 2013
Uruguay authorizes increased production at ex-Botnia plant
The President of Uruguay José Mujica has authorised the UPM paper plant to increase its production despite the objections of the Argentine Government, after his visit to Buenos Aires.
The head of state will allow the facility, formerly owned by Botnia and situated on the border of the two nations on the banks of the River Uruguay, to produce an extra 100,000 tonnes, half the amount requested by current proprietors UPM.
The approval also includes other environmental conditions, such as the requirement to construct a cooling tower in order to treat industrial waste and an order to decrease the levels of phosphorus released into the river.
“We have to take care of the environment but I have to look after the jobs of the Uruguayans”, stated Mujica, while adding that the next administration will decide if they authorize the installation of another factory in the country.
In addition, Mujica explained that he was left “without space to negotiate with Argentina” and defined his decision as “painful”. However, the head of state highlighted the historic relationship between both countries and manifested that his resolution doesn’t changes his “affection” for Argentina.
The factory requested Uruguay’s government to allow an increment of 1,3 millions tons after reaching last month the maximum level authorized.