Panel board markets internationally have certainly not been stellar of late, due to a myriad of reasons which can best be summed up as a fall in demand driven by high inflation and interest rates, coupled with geopolitical uncertainty.

Dealing with such diverse world regions for this report, it’s inevitable that there are exceptions to these conditions and it would be a mistake to say it’s all bad.

Indeed, some regions, such as India, do have some good market growth prospects and the financial updates for players in the latter country makes for some very interesting reading.

This Part 2 survey on the global particleboard sector focuses on the Rest of the World – namely Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South America and Oceania and follows our Part 1 survey which centred on Europe and North America.

Particleboard (PB) investment projects are taking place in all these regions, with scheduled completion dates in 2023, 2024 & 2025.

Our main listing tables feature installed capacity as at the end of 2022, so projects which went online during 2023 will be added to the main listings in next year’s survey and are currently featured in the table of future capacity.

This year’s figures show that particleboard estimated installed capacity outside Europe and North America for the year ended December 31, 2022 increased, after adjustments from last year, to 48,734,000m3, a modest rise from a year ago, although it needs to be emphasised that this figure contains some adjustments to the main listings based on new information received. This includes the removal of several lines in Columbia which closed some years ago.

Our future capacity estimate for 2023 and beyond (for known projects planned) is 51,794,000m3.

Adding our Part 1: Europe and North America results to Part 2: Rest of the World we arrive together at an estimated global particleboard installed capacity of 118,359,000m3 as at the end of 2022. That’s up from 116,421,000m3 in 2021. A much bigger rise will be experienced for 2023 due to projects culminating during that year.

As ever, we would encourage global PB mills to contact us with amendments, closure notices, alterations or new investments to lines.


It seems apt to start with India, a country that has surpassed China as the most populous country in the world.

The economic stats are mesmerising and surely point to a large and increasing consumption of wood products for the decades to come.

Nearly one-third of people are now in the important middle-class bracket. That, and an urbanisation trend, is fuelling consumer purchases, including furniture.

The Indian real estate market is poised to contribute 13% of the country’s GDP by 2025 and the market is further projected to grow to US$1 trillion by 2030.

India’s leading wood-based panels producer CenturyPly produces plywood, MDF, laminates and PB. CenturyPly recorded a 12.7% growth in profit after tax in FY 2022- 23 to 366.83 crore.

In its annual report, CenturyPly says it is “investing across the board” to enhance its future-readiness.

These investments include new plants in its plywood, laminates, MDF and PB divisions.

With six plywood plants and one MDF factory, CenturyPly also has one existing PB plant in Chinnappolapuram, Gummidipoondi, Tamil Nadu, which recorded 101% capacity utilisation in FY 2022-2023.

The existing PB operation has a capacity of 72,000m3.

This will expand to 312,000m3 when the new greenfield plant is completed at Chennai, Tamil Nadu in Q4, 2025, with a capacity of 240,000m3. The 550 crore investment is one of four investments being made by the group.

In its annual report, CenturyPly says demand in the PB sector is better compared to plywood as demand and supply equilibrium is in balance.

“The PB sector is growing steady with double digit growth thanks to rising domestic demand and growing consumption in the furniture sector,” it said.

One PB plant completed in India during 2023 was Merino Industries Ltd’s facility in Halol, Gujarat, with the first board in October 2023. This project will be added to the main listing next year.

Merino is one of India’s largest laminates manufacturers, so PB manufacturing is a new enterprise for the company.

It partnered with Dieffenbacher on the project. The German company supplied a CPS+ continuous press, chipping line and flake preparation, forming station and forming line, press emission control system and raw board handling and the pneumatic transport and exhaust system with all necessary safety equipment.

The order also included the drum dryer and Lukki raw board storage system, plus the MyDIEFFENBACHER digital service solutions platform.

Another Indian PB plant – scheduled to be commissioned in 2024 – is Greenlam South Ltd’s 265,000 m³/year project at Andhra Pradesh.

Again, this represents a laminates manufacturer expanding its wood-based panels operations.

Greenlam is among the world’s top three producers of laminates, with a capacity of 15.62 million sheets of HPL per annum.

The plant is its third production unit in India and is designed to put it on the path to becoming a leading wood panel manufacturer in the country.

Dieffenbacher is supplying the new plant’s forming station and forming line with prepress, the CPS+ continuous press with press emission control system, the raw board handling system and the dryer. Also included are engineering, electrics and plant automation for the complete plant, as well as EVORIS, Dieffenbacher’s digital platform.


China is the largest PB manufacturing region outside of Europe, the country producing an estimated 18.669 million m3 in 2022.

There has been a trend towards PB and hybrid panel products in the country in recent years. MDF, while a popular panel product, costs more to produce, is heavier and has a higher product price.

Chinese particleboard projects now added to the main listing include Wanhua Ecoboard’s Wanhua 9 in Chenzhou, Hunan province. This plant produced its first board in December, 2022, with a capacity of 380,000 m³/year.

It is a Super Particleboard (Super PB) mill. This means the product uses long, slender flakes in the core to make it a lower density board, resulting in materials and energy savings. By mixing standard core-layer flakes with slender, long core-layer flakes, it is possible to achieve a board density up to 30 kg/m3 lower than usual.

This leads to substantial savings of wood, electrical and thermal energy, and resin without compromising board properties.

Wanhua 9 & Wanhua 10, the latter a further Super PB project which produced its first board in August 2023, both use Dieffenbacher technology and utilise straw in the raw material infeed.

The Wanhua 10 facility, based in Leshan, Sichuan, has a production capacity of 500,000m3 and will be added to the main listings next year.

Wanhua Ecoboard started its first Super PB plant in Chenzhou in October 2017. This represents a tremendously intense period of investment for the company, covering 10 new mills in just six years.

Further Super PB mills going live in 2022 included Laohekou Dingfeng, Xiangyang (first board April 2022) and Guangxi Fenglin, Nanning, (first board March 2022).

Two other Chinese particleboard mill installations have now been added to the main listings – Ao si Bei En Decoration Material Co and Shengchang New Material Co, both with the same capacity – 132,000m3, with Yalian as the main technology supplier.

One further project completed in September 2023 is by A Beautiful Family Plate Making Co Ltd (BFP), Guangxi, China. This is worthy of a mention, as it is a Fine OSB plant, with the product featuring surfaces layers of PB and a core of OSB.

This will not be added to the listings as gauging production capacity of the PB element of the plant would be extremely difficult.


Other parts of Asia seeing activity on the particleboard investment front include Thailand.

In March 2023, the Metro Ply Group produced the first board on its new Siempelkamp particleboard plant at the Surat Thani site. The company now operates five Siempelkamp plants.

Metro Ply Group is rated to be Southeast Asia’s largest particleboard producer, now operating a total of four PB plants (three made by Siempelkamp).

They are located in Sai Noi/Nontaburi, Kanchanaburi and now Surat Thani, Thailand’s eighth largest city.

 The new mill features a ContiRoll press line in 8ft x 40.4m format. Siempelkamp subsidiary Büttner supplied the dryer and the energy plant, while Pallmann, the size reduction specialist in the Siempelkamp Group, contributed the size reduction machines.

The greenfield project is utilising the abundance of rubberwood plantations in Thailand as raw material feedstock.

Elsewhere in Thailand, Egger has made a move to strengthen its position in Asia by acquiring a 25.1% minority stake in the Thai wood-based material manufacturer Panel Plus Co Ltd.

The European panels giant is strategically expanding its presence and sees Asia as a significant growth market. The company had been considering expanding in the region for some time.

Panel Plus Co was founded in 1990 and today produces a wide range of wood-based materials such as chipboard and MDF boards, both laminated and raw boards.

The main production plant is located in Hat Yai in the Thai province of Songkhla.


South America has seen some pockets of panel board investment interest in recent years. The Latin America economies bounced back well from the Covid crisis and 2022 was a good year for economic growth, but 2023 was a wake-up call with the economic bloc seeing its economic growth halve to 1.9%, according to Deloitte. The important Brazilian economy is projected to see growth almost halve in 2024 to 1.5%.

Brazilian wood-based panels producer Berneck celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2023.

The company entered the particleboard segment in 1984. In 2006, it started producing BP-coated panels, before entering MDF the following year.

Berneck has been investing large amounts in increasing both PB and MDF capacity.

The Curitibanos particleboard works in Santa Catarina has been the subject of extensive improvement work, with a central feature being a new drum dryer from Dieffenbacher – believed to be the world’s biggest chip dryer ever delivered.

The extensive front-end improvements to the Curitibanos plant will double the production capacity to approximately 2,700m3 a day.

We expect this extended capacity to be added to the main listing in 2024.

Another particleboard investment in Latin America worth highlighting is Aglomerados Cotopaxi’s new plant in Ecuador.

After several delays, equipment contracts were placed and deliveries and installation are believed to be taking place in 2024, with suppliers including the Siempelkamp Group, Imeas and others.

The established manufacturer already produces PB, MDF, mouldings and sawn timber, with the PB plant being constructed back in 1978 and the MDF plant in 1996.

We are expecting further news on the progress of this project during the course of 2024.

An original estimation was for production capacity in the region of 230,000m3.

Elsewhere in the region, we have made several amendments to the main listings. This includes deleting all three closed Pizano mills and adding Primadera, all relating to Columbia.


The largest particleboard line in Australia is on its way, following agreement in 2023 for Siempelkamp to supply Australian Panels (a Borg company) a PB line at the Mount Gambier location in the South of Australia, halfway between Melbourne and Adelaide.

A 2025 completion date has been set for the project, which will feature an annual capacity of more than 650,000m3.

The Siempelkamp press line is in the 8ft x 55.5m format with NEO infeed. The scope of supply also includes the cooling and stacking line. Siempelkamp Group companies Pallmann and Büttner, will also be supplying the project.

In 2016, the Australian company ordered a similar Siempelkamp particleboard line in New South Wales in 8ft x 50.4m format.

There is no further news about another potential PB project – by Guangxi Fenglin in Gisborne, New Zealand. We will keep this project on the list of potential future capacity.

The most recent update was a possible 400,000m3 capacity PB mill in Gisborne, after earlier plans in Kawerau were abandoned due to site and lease issues.

Lastly, in Africa, a new particleboard project for Ghamoud in Algeria has progressed but there are delays.

It was first held up by the Covid pandemic and is progressing slowly. Main supplier Dieffenbacher is believed to have supplied all its equipment, but the customer installation process was not expected to begin until Q1, 2024.

We understand it is possible that the plant, with a capacity of 115,000m3, could be completed towards the end of 2024.

The project features a CPS+ press from Dieffenbacher, Eppingen and a wide scope of supply from Dieffenbacher’s Chinese subsidiary SWPM.

An Africa project added to the main listing is PG Bison’s expansion project at the eMkhondo (Piet Retief) manufacturing facility, in Mpumalanga.

Completed in 2022, the mill has increased its particleboard output capacity by 37% to 1,000m3 a day.


The WBPI listings published in 2020 were reviewed and modifications made using other published sources and data received directly from the mills. Published information was reviewed for news of mill capacity changes.

The mills’ own reported capacities are used wherever possible but where this information is not available, published sources are used, usually on the basis of 330 operating days per year.

Conversion of ft2 to m3/year is made with 1,000 ft2 equal to 1.77m3.

With regard to press types, the following abbreviations have been used in the listings:

MO=multi-opening/multi daylight

SO=single opening/single daylight


Mende=Bison-Mende (Calender)

na=not available

The following press makes have been identified and are shown in the listing as:-

Bison (pre and post-Metso acquisition)

BVH Becker & van Hüllen

C Compak Dieff



Küsters (pre and post-Metso acquisition)

Mende Bison Mende









Washington Iron Works

na Information not available

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