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HELSINKI, June 2 (Reuters) - Austrian machine builder Andritz has initiated arbitration proceedings against a joint venture in Uruguay, owned by Stora Enso and Arauco, claiming 200 million euros ($273 million), Stora Enso said on Monday.
The claim stems from building the Montes del Plata pulp mill. Andritz built major parts of the long-delayed mill for Celulosa y Energia Punta Pereira (CEPP), a 50-50 joint venture between Stora Enso and Arauco.
Arauco is an arm of Chilean industrial conglomerate Empresas Copec.
CEPP disputes the claims, Stora Enso said in a statement. It added that CEPP will pursue its own claims against Andritz for breach of contract.
The long-delayed Montes de Plata plant is seen as a source of future growth for Stora as a shift to digital devices drives down demand for European print paper.
Stora has been cutting back paper output in Europe for years but sees a brighter future for pulp, which is used to manufacture not only paper but also a broad range of consumer products such as tissue and packaging board.
The global pulp market is expected to grow steadily, helped by booming Chinese demand for different paper and paperboard products.
Latin America is home to many new pulp mills as its eucalyptus trees grow faster than other hardwood species and can be harvested just seven years after planting.
Stora Enso said it had made no provisions concerning the arbitration proceedings. ($1 = 0.7328 Euros) (Reporting by Sakari Suoninen; editing by Jane Baird)