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West Fraser Pays $280M for Idle OSB Mill

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October 26, 2021 | Bill Esler

Allendale, SC—West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. will pay $280 million to acquire and restart Georgia-Pacific’s oriented strand board (OSB) mill near Allendale, SC.

The Allendale facility, opened in 2007, has been idle since late 2019 and has an estimated stated capacity of approximately 760 million square feet (3/8-inch-thick basis). West Fraser will invest roughly $70 million more to upgrade and optimize the facility in preparation for its restart in about nine months. West Fraser says the mill will employ 135, and be one of the lowest-cost OSB mills in its portfolio when it reaches full capacity about 18-24 months after its restart.

West Fraser, based in Vancouver, BC, became the world’s largest OSB producer when it closed on the $3.1 billion acquisition of Nordboard in February 2021. OSB engineered panel is used in building construction and as frames for upholstered furniture. The company says it has expertise in successfully reinvesting in and restarting idled OSB mills. Recent West Fraser OSB mill restarts include Chambord, QC in March 2021 as well as Huguley, AL (2017) and Jefferson, TX (2013).

West Fraser Furniture Engineered Strand Board is used in upholstered manufacture.

“After modernization, the Allendale facility will enhance West Fraser’s OSB portfolio with its attractive location in the U.S. South where fiber is abundant and low-cost,” West Fraser says in a statement.

West Fraser says its new lumber manufacturing complex in Dudley, GA remains on track. When completed and fully ramped up, annual production capacity at the site will increase by 170 million board feet to 270 million board feet, expected to be achieved over the next several years.

The Dudley site represents the second full site modernization in the southern U.S. by West Fraser since 2017. The OSB mill in Chambord, QC obtained APA–The Engineered Wood Association certification of its commodity OSB grades, and will says it will reach its annual production capacity of 550 million square feet (3/8-inch basis) after 18-24 months.

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