The 50-year-old company, which already manufactures plywood and particleboard in Chihuahua state, aims to begin constructing a new MDF plant at its site in Hidalgo del Parral early next year.

The 200,000m3/year continuous press MDF line, to be supplied by the German manufacturer Dieffenbacher, is set to start up in the second quarter of 2015.

With Mexico’s dire shortage of suitable plantation wood the country has seen little interest in MDF investment for years. Growing demand in the big Mexican market has been filled almost entirely by imports.

But a new trend was initiated last month when leading regional panel producer Masisa announced a US$132m project to install a 200,000m3/year MDF line, new lamination line and expand the resin plant at its particleboard site in Mexico’s Durango state.

Masisa Mexico is already the country’s biggest panel maker with a 600,000m3/year capacity since it acquired the operations of national producer Rexcel earlier this year.