2017-04-20 / Front Page

ARAUCO breaks ground on particleboard plant


CEREMONIAL GROUNDBREAKING With the future site of ARAUCO’s Grayling particleboard plant in the background (from left) ARAUCO Se­nior Vice President International & Business Development Gonzalo Zegers, Governor Rick Snyder, President of ARAUCO North America Kelly Shotbolt, Vice President of Operations of ARAUCO North America Jake Elston, ARAUCO North America Vice President Sales and Marketing Kevin Shotbolt, ARAUCO Grayling Plant Manager Lloyd Hotchkiss and ARAUCO Project Manager Tex Giddens all took part in the April 12 groundbreaking ceremony, which marked the start of the plant’s construction. (Photo by Krista Tacey-Cater) CEREMONIAL GROUNDBREAKING With the future site of ARAUCO’s Grayling particleboard plant in the background (from left) ARAUCO Se­nior Vice President International & Business Development Gonzalo Zegers, Governor Rick Snyder, President of ARAUCO North America Kelly Shotbolt, Vice President of Operations of ARAUCO North America Jake Elston, ARAUCO North America Vice President Sales and Marketing Kevin Shotbolt, ARAUCO Grayling Plant Manager Lloyd Hotchkiss and ARAUCO Project Manager Tex Giddens all took part in the April 12 groundbreaking ceremony, which marked the start of the plant’s construction. (Photo by Krista Tacey-Cater) Governor Rick Snyder was among those on hand April 12 to mark the groundbreaking for the new ARAUCO particleboard plant, located on Four Mile Road, Grayling.

As part of his comments, Snyder noted that Michigan has a “wonderful furniture legacy” and ARAUCO will be able to utilize northern Michigan’s re­newable resources in the form of forest products to create jobs and opportunities for Michigan workers.

“It’s exciting to see ARAUCO put down roots in Northern Michigan and be part of our state’s continued come­back,” Snyder said. “Michigan offers the skilled talent and economic climate for an employer of this size to succeed, and we greatly appreciate ARAUCO’s in­vestment here and recognize the positive impact it will have for decades to come in the Grayling community.”

President of ARAUCO North Ameri­ca Kelly Shotbolt said Grayling was cho­sen for the plant’s location because it met all the required business criteria to serve the market, however, the welcoming na­ture of the local business community and Michigan state officials has made the project a win-win for ARAUCO and the community as a whole.

“As we have stated previously, the Grayling project is mainly a customer- driven investment based on its logical and resource fiber fit,” Shotbolt said. “The outstanding support we have re­ceived from local and state government agencies, however, has resonated across our organization to solidify we made the right decision. We look forward to becoming a significant part of the lo­cal Grayling business community and providing career opportunities and eco­nomic stimulus in the North Michigan region.”

State and local officials, key con­tractors, and other project stakeholders joined ARAUCO in marking the con­struction milestone. Participants in the ceremonial groundbreaking included Shotbolt, Snyder, ARAUCO Senior Vice President International & Business De­velopment Gonzalo Zegers, Vice Presi­dent of Operations of ARAUCO North America Jake Elston, ARAUCO North America Vice President Sales and Mar­keting Kevin Shotbolt, ARAUCO Gray­ling Plant Manager Lloyd Hotchkiss, Charter Township of Grayling Assistant Zoning Administrator Bob Dixon and Michigan Economic Development Cor­poration Global Business Development Manager Paul Krepps.

ARAUCO, a global producer of wood products, expects the new, state- of-the-art $400 million Grayling par­ticleboard plant to be operational by late 2018.

An ARAUCO press release stated that the groundbreaking marked the of­ficial start of the construction phase for what will become the most modern par­ticleboard plant in North America and the largest of its kind globally. Once completed, the plant will feature North America’s largest single continuous particleboard press (170 ft.) and will be one of the most productive in the world. The plant’s main structure will measure 820,000 square feet with an annual ca pacity of 452 million square feet.

Particleboard produced at the Gray­ling plant is expected to benefit AR­AUCO’s customers in the largely under­served Midwest market area, the press release stated. Its geographic location will improve the logistics of the entire chain of production, and support antici­pated customer growth in the region. The world-class particleboard products pro­duced at the plant ultimately will be used in commercial and residential furniture, fixtures and cabinetry.

More efficient use of forest resources/ environmental certifications

The press release noted that the Gray­ling plant’s raw fiber needs are going to be 100% supplied by residual wood sourced from nearby sawmills, logging operations and low-grade wood fiber tra­ditionally left on the forest floor.

The improved use of these resources will promote a healthier forest, a more efficient use of forest resources and support sustainable forest management practices in Michigan, the release stated. All ARAUCO North America composite panel plants operate in a safe and envi­ronmentally sound manner and meet in­ternational standards along with federal and state requirements to drive product and environmental best practices and to keep their employees and contrac­tors safe. The community can expect the Grayling plant to meet these same per­formance standards, as well as meet or exceed the permit requirements from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Grayling Charter Township, a press release stated.

Welcome economic stimulus

ARAUCO expects constructing the Grayling plant will create approximately 700 construction jobs, and running the plant will create approximately 200 di­rect jobs.

The majority of recruitment for plant employment will begin in late 2017.

About ARAUCO

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.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2017-04-20 digital edition

Poll

What was Tuesday’s power outage like for you?