ARAUCO has received all required official approvals to build its particleboard plant located in Grayling, Mich. The notification of receiving approvals by state and local agencies, as well as by the company’s board of directors, follows the initial Sept. 14, 2015, project announcement.
Once constructed, the plant will feature “North America’s largest single continuous particleboard press,” according to the company, and will be one of the most productive in the world. The 750,000-sq.-ft. facility will have an annual capacity of 452 million sq. ft. 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 underserved Midwest market area.
“This is mainly a customer-driven investment,” says 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, says Charles Kimber, senior VP of commercial and corporate affairs for 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.”