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Norbord to invest £35m at its Inverness factory
Wood panel manufacturer Norbord is ploughing £35 million into the second phase of development of its Inverness factory – taking overall investment in the past two years to £145 million.
Almost one year on from a £110 million expansion programme to significantly increase capacity, the company will now invest a further £35 million in a second wood room, heat plant and a dryer at the Morayhill mill.
The development – due to be completed by 2021 – will enable the mill to meet increased consumer demand for oriented strand board (OSB) across the UK and Europe.
Alan McMeekin, Norbord Europe Managing Director, said: “The plan was always to invest further and we are pleased that the market has enabled us to make this investment much earlier than originally anticipated.
“The £35 million investment will increase capacity and will deliver an increased level of support to our strategic customer base – further enhancing Norbord’s status as the world’s number one OSB producer.”
The Inverness plant opened more than 30 years ago and was the first OSB mill in Europe.
Last year, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon unveiled the new manufacturing line at the plant following the investment, which was supported by a £12 million development grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
HRH The Duke of York KG also recently visited the plant to help commemorate one year of production on the new line.
Jerry Jones, General Manager at the Inverness factory, added: “This investment is a vote of confidence in our highly loyal Inverness workforce and supply chain, and the significant growth potential within the European OSB industry. I’m very proud to be at the helm of the Inverness factory at this very exciting time.
“The level of investment demonstrates how we’re evolving as a business in response to customer demand and puts Norbord in an even better position to efficiently serve our customers’ growing needs across the UK and in continental Europe.
“We have a great team here and we’re looking forward to building on our success.”
Drew Hendry, MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey, concluded: “This is a fantastic inward investment in the area and demonstrates the continued stability of the business.
“The wood panel industry is facing some challenges at the moment but Norbord continually tackles these head-on. That’s a sign of a good business with a dedicated workforce, and I have witnessed that growing over a number of years.
“Norbord is not just a business in isolation: it’s a big part of the community in Inverness and the wider constituency as a keen supporter of charities and organisations.
“It’s great to see a business doing well at this time of uncertainty, and I am sure the Norbord team will continue to thrive.”