Citizens group in Gualeguaychú, Argentina, protests decision by Uruguay to allow UPM to increase pulp production of its mill in Fray Bentos to 1.3 million tonnes/year, marches to bridge that connects the two countries

LOS ANGELES , June 24, 2014 () – Uruguay’s decision to allow UPM-Kymmene Oyj to increase the production of its pulp mill in Fray Bentos led to a protest march on June 22 by a citizens’ group in, Gualeguaychú, Argentina, to the bridge over the Uruguay River that connects the two countries, the Buenos Aires Herald reported June 22. 

Members of the Citizens’ Environmental Assembly of Gualeguaychú were protesting Uruguay’s permission for UPM to increase the production of the bleached eucalyptus kraft pulp (BEKP) mill to 1.3 million tonnes/year.

The General San Martín International Bridge, which is the link between Gualeguaychú and Fray Bentos, has been the site of protests since the mill was first under construction. The bilateral conflict previously went to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

In the latest protest, the Citizens’ Environmental Assembly of Gualeguaychú said, “Environmental debts also need to be paid” and it is asking, “Will the same happen with promises made beforehand?” the Buenos Aires Herald reported.

UPM said in a June 12 statement that the mill had complied with all requirements of Uruguay’s Ministry of Environment, Housing and Land Planning and “therefore has been authorised to increase its production level to meet the mill capacity as per the company's request in 2011.”

In an Oct. 2, 2013, press release, UPM said Uruguay had granted permission for it to increase the mill’s annual production "from the current 1.1 million to 1.2 million tonnes."

The primary source of this article is the Buenos Aires Herald, Buenos Aires, Argentina, June 22, 2014. Click here to view full version of primary source's original article.

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