GRAYLING, Mich. - Wood products manufacturer Arauco says it received all required official approvals to build its new particleboard plant located in Grayling, Michigan.
The notification of approvals by state and local agencies, as well as by Arauco's board, follows the initial September 2015 project announcement. Once constructed the plant will feature North America's largest single continuous particleboard press and will be one of the most productive in the world. The 750,000 ft2 facility will have an annual capacity of 452 million sq. ft. (800, 000 m3) of particleboard, along with full lamination capabilities.
This $400 million investment will benefit the Crawford County Township, creating approximately 300 jobs during construction, along with 250 permanent jobs to run the plant. When production begins in late 2018, ARAUCO's customers will benefit from improved service and access to the company's composite panel products in a largely under-served Midwest market area. ARAUCO previously stated that one of its main objectives of the Michigan plant is to improve the logistics of the entire chain of production, and support the growth of its customers in the region.
"This is mainly a customer-driven investment," said Kelly Shotbolt, President of ARAUCO North America. "The Grayling plant is poised to have an unparalleled position of board supply for this region with logistical advantages that will create important positive effects for our customers, the environment, our neighboring mills and our suppliers. We are excited to be officially moving forward and adding this chapter to our growth story."
The North American market represents more than 25% of ARAUCO's total sales. The Michigan plant adds to recent acquisitions ARAUCO has made in the United States, including Moncure and Biscoe, N.C. facilities, and seven former Flakeboard plants distributed throughout the United States and Canada.
"Our investment expansion in North America represents our belief in and enthusiasm for growth in this market," remarked Charles Kimber, Senior Vice President of Commercial and Corporate Affairs, ARAUCO. "We are pleased and grateful to the U.S. federal, state and local officials for supporting our plans and we look forward to completing this new growth initiative."
ARAUCO is a global producer of wood products; supplying pulp, lumber, plywood, composite panels, and molding for architecture, design, construction, packaging and remodeling applications. In past decades, ARAUCO achieved sustained growth in terms of production of wood panels, mainly due to its expansion into Argentina and Brazil. The acquisition of manufacturing plants in the United States and Canada, and recently in Europe and South Africa, has established the company as the second largest producer worldwide, reaching a capacity of 10.3 million m3. In 2015, wood business sales were $ 2.633 billion USD, equivalent to 51% of consolidated sales.
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