UPM’s Chudovo plywood mill in Russia has celebrated its 20th anniversary and, according to the company, it continues to set the benchmark for the local plywood industry.

The mill manufactures WISA birch plywood and veneer from locally-sourced wood, with about 75% of its production exported, primarily to Europe.

“Since the early days, the mill’s production capacity has doubled to the current 100,000m³ per year,” said Jouni Töyräs, vice-president of UPM Plywood’s distribution business unit.

“Also, the mill’s operational efficiency and the degree of further processing have consistently increased over the years.”

The mill employs around 600 people, with several hundred more employed indirectly.

The facility represented the first-ever Soviet-Finnish joint venture when an agreement was signed in 1988 by Novgorodlesprom and the Finnish Schauman Wood Oy and Raute Oy.

Plywood production started in 1990, with UPM becoming the sole owner in 2005.