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Norbord announces final phase of Cowie investment

Wood panel manufacturer Norbord has committed to the final phase of a £25million investment programme at its site at Cowie, Stirlingshire.

Norbord announces final phase of Cowie investment

The spend will improve and extend the particleboard operations and will include the replacement of a forming station and pre-press components. It’s likely to start later this year.

Karl Morris, managing director of Norbord Europe, said: “The programme has already involved the installation a state-of-the-art continuous press which has allowed us to grow our market share in flooring and other construction-related products.

“However, this final stage of works will provide us with added operating flexibility, a broader product mix, further quality improvements, capacity growth of over 10% and a reduction in total manufacturing costs.

Wood panels are produced from virgin and reclaimed wood – the same materials which biomass energy plants are being incentivised by the Renewables Obligation (RO), through subsidies levied on consumers, to burn.

Electricity generators can, therefore, afford to pay more than double the price currently paid by the wood panel industry for its primary raw material. This has distorted the market and resulted in wood panel manufacturers seeing an average wood price increase over the last four years in excess of 30%, a trend which will only continue and accelerate.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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