Chile-based company Arauco is expanding in the U.S.

The company’s board of directors recently approved projects that will expand particleboard and thermally fused laminate/melamine (TFL) production at its site in Bennettsville, S.C.

An ariel view of the mill to receive the investment.
An aerial view of the Arauco mill in South Carolina.

The particleboard expansion, scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of this year, will increase production by 60 million feet annually through increased dryer capacity. The project will also improve the plant’s flexibility to source a broader range of raw material in response to regional changes in the wood supply mix.

“These capacity and value-add investments translate into improved product-sourcing options for our customers, and in turn generate additional long-term jobs for this manufacturing complex and the Bennettsville community at large,” says Mike Reardon, regional manufacturing director.

To complement the panel expansion, the company is also investing in a next-generation fast-cycle press for TFL production, which is also slated to start in Q4. The installation will add to the three existing fast-cycle TFL presses in the region. The new line will further equip the particleboard and MDF site with a state-of-the-art press featuring higher throughput, faster change-over capabilities, higher pressure for deep textures, and paper-alignment technology for registered emboss designs, according to the company.

In a press release, the company said these investments are being made to meet the growing demand for particleboard and to broaden its TFL design offerings in the region.

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