UPM doubles its COVID-19 testing capacity and anticipates new preventive measures at the mill construction site in Paso de los Toros

Press Release 6.1.2021 13:00 EET

For the restart of the works after the construction holiday, UPM is strengthening its sanitary protocols for the different construction sites including the pulp mill in Paso de los Toros, the specialized pulp terminal at the port of Montevideo and complementary works in Durazno and Paso de los Toros. These protocols are complementary to those defined by the Uruguayan government. 


Random swabs will be significantly increased at the pulp mill construction site using Finnish automatic testing system. About 200 daily swabs will be carried out in order to detect early potential cases. Through this process UPM will double its testing capacity. Since the beginning of the pandemic, some 4,000 swabs have been carried out and around 500 random monthly tests have been given to workers. 

All workers at UPM's construction sites will be swabbed in order to maintain a safe working environment and proper care of local communities. For workers who are joining the project for the first time, a negative covid-19 test result must be presented before moving to the region.  

Until now, the successful management of the pandemic has been based on the adaptation and responsible application of the protocols and responsible compliance with the guidelines defined by the Ministry of Public Health of Uruguay. 


Some of the measures that have been implemented since the beginning of the pandemic are as follows: 

  • Work in cells: the organization of work reducing contact between workers in all its phases. Highly effective traceability system in place. 
  • Access to sites: all access routes to the mill site are equipped with devices to measure body temperature. 
  • Transportation: only 50% of bus capacity is used (one worker every two seats) and there is frequent disinfection of all vehicles. 
  • Lunch: service divided into several shifts and sectorized by company. All areas are disinfected before and after each shift. Dividers are used in canteens to ensure social distance. Likewise, ionizers have been installed  with the capacity to eliminate 99% of bacteria and viruses including Covid-19  in air conditioning equipment. 
  • Accommodation: the accommodation plan has been adapted according to the context of this health emergency. Disinfection frequency has been increased in the accommodation sites and recreational activities were implemented within the workers’ housing neighborhoods in order to reduce the circulation of workers in the surrounding communities. 


For further information please contact: 

bcw | burson cohn & wolfe (+598) 27100757