Uruguay pulp mill delayed on environmental concerns

HELSINKI Mon Oct 1, 2007 4:03am EDT

Members of the Argentine Citizen's Environmental assembly demonstrate near the Metsa-Botnia pulp mill that is being built on the Uruguayan side of the River Uruguay with a flag that reads '' No and that's It'' September 2, 2007. Metsa-Botnia, Europe's second-biggest paper pulp producer, said on Monday the startup of its new mill in Uruguay had been delayed, awaiting final environmental approval from authorities. REUTERS/Andres Stapff

Members of the Argentine Citizen's Environmental assembly demonstrate near the Metsa-Botnia pulp mill that is being built on the Uruguayan side of the River Uruguay with a flag that reads '' No and that's It'' September 2, 2007. Metsa-Botnia, Europe's second-biggest paper pulp producer, said on Monday the startup of its new mill in Uruguay had been delayed, awaiting final environmental approval from authorities.

Credit: Reuters/Andres Stapff

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HELSINKI (Reuters) - Metsa-Botnia, Europe's second-biggest paper pulp producer, said on Monday the startup of its new mill in Uruguay had been delayed, awaiting final environmental approval from authorities.

Botnia's mill was scheduled to begin operations by the end of September, despite a major diplomatic dispute over its environmental impact. The start-up of the 900-million-euro plant has been delayed due to a row between Uruguay and its neighbor, Argentina.

Botnia said the mill was nearly ready and it would start as soon as the permit is given.

M-real and UPM, who own stakes in Metsa-Botnia, said the plant's delay would have no material impact on financial results this year.

Botnia's mill will produce up to 3,000 tones of pulp daily, or about 1 million tones per year. It is among Uruguay's largest-ever private investments.

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