There is no doubt that OSB has been a top performing wood-based panel product in recent times.

Whether you look at the product’s price development, production output or new OSB mill projects being planned, the product has clearly been on a growth curve, with further price rises being implemented in recent months.

As we can see in our North America Focus on OSB report in this issue, at one point OSB prices in 2021 were 300% above the September 2020 price.

OSB producers in other world regions have also been posting some good results, with the likes of Ireland producer SmartPly recently reporting record results, thanks to record panel board prices during 2021, driven by high demand in the construction and home improvement sectors.

But while the Covid-19 pandemic has certainly eased, the Ukraine-Russia conflict has brought with it uncertainties, particularly regarding how some new OSB mill projects in parts of eastern Europe may be impacted. Many of the new investments planned are in Russia.

The focus on this report is the Rest of the World, namely Europe, MENA, Asia and South America. At the end of 2021, we estimate OSB production capacity for these regions combined at around 15,113,000m3, which equates to growth of about 10% when taking into account new investments and amendments made to figures from last year.

North American installed capacity is estimated at 22.55 million m3, broadly the same as a year ago. So total combined world OSB installed capacity we estimate at 37,664,000m3.

One factor to bear in mind is installed capacity doesn’t equal current production output and there are a few OSB mills, particularly some smaller ones in China and some other regions, which data is not readily available for. Without a press size for these, it’s difficult to give an estimation for their capacity, so we list capacity as “not available” (na) or to be advised.

It is clearly useful to reference what leading organisations are saying about production output. The European Panel Federation’s (EPF) most recently available figures – contained in its annual report 2020- 21 estimates European OSB production at more than 7 million m3 in 2020, describing the product as “one of the growth areas in wood-based panels in Europe”.

The top three producers are Germany, then Romania, followed by Poland. Russia and Belarus were the largest OSB suppliers to Europe thanks to their production capacity increases and weak currencies.

The EPF said OSB production was up 4.2% in 2020, with a very strong performance in the second half of 2020 that continued into 2021.

UNECE’s own figures estimate Europe’s OSB output as +3.5% in 2020, pointing out that Russian OSB imports to Europe were up by 43% to 351,000m3.

There was a particularly sharp surge in prices for wood-based panels in the Russian Federation in the third quarter of 2020. Retail prices for OSB between July 2020 and May 2021 increased by a staggering 145%.

UNECE said higher output of OSB in Europe partly offset drops in the production of other panel types and had predicted an upbeat 2021, though figures are not currently available yet.


Moving on to what OSB investments are in the planning or ongoing in western Europe.

Swiss Krono has been active in adding capacity – its project to expand output at Heiligengrabe, Germany was realised in 2021 and this new additional capacity has been added to Table 1 main listing, with a mill capacity of 600,000m3.

Production at Swiss Krono’s sites in Sully, France, and Vásárosnamény, Hungary, are planned to be increased by a similar rate (approximately +25%) as part of a group-wide investment plan.

Both have Siempelkamp ContiRoll presses with a quoted installed capacity of 400,000m3 and 350,000m3 respectively, so the increase in capacity is estimated to be around 100,000m3 and 87,000m3 respectively.

The company’s financial results for the year ending September 30, 2021 revealed its Building Materials/OSB division grew by 31%, with very good demand but also rapidly rising wood, chemical, energy and transport costs, necessitating constant adjustment of selling prices.

Fellow European OSB producer Egger noticed a tail-off in OSB demand and pricing in late 2021 but its expectations pointed to strong worldwide demand for OSB beginning in the Q2, 2022. Revenues in its Building Products Division – including OSB – rose by 75.7% over the previous year to €273.4m and represented 12.9% of Group revenues.

Turning to the UK and Ireland, we gave significant mention to Kronospan’s plans for an OSB mill at its Chirk site, England in our focus report last year.

This project, which has planning permission, has been flagged up for many years, but it is slow progress so far. A source told WBPI that preparatory work on site has been undertaken but environmental permits are still required.

The last update from Natural Resources Wales (NRW), the organisation which decides on environmental permits, was in November, 2021 when NRW said it would undertake public consultation in spring 2022 on a consolidated environmental permit on the Chirk site.

It said a permit proposal for the new OSB production line would “now be considered at a later date” and does not form part of the current site permit application.

So, our assessment is that the main work on this project is unlikely to be happening anytime soon and we estimate a potential 2024 completion date, but it remains on the Table 2 additional future capacity list.

Planning permission for a new 260mx60m warehouse on the site was granted last November.

SmartPly in Ireland is expected to be nearing completion of its second phase investment project – a new €44.4m drying, energy and screen system. Originally slated for a Q2, 2022 completion date, the project will greatly increase factory capacity. Precisely how much extra capacity will be added to the current 500,000m3 capacity is unclear, but we will update when this information is available. The first phase investment cost €59m and involved a new Siempelkamp press.

In Italy, technology supplier IMAL PAL Group told WBPI last year that it was in talks with longstanding board producer customer Ipan about a second OSB/ LSB line. IMAL PAL supplied a continuous press to Ipan nine years ago. Ipan is believed to be seeking permissions for the second plant.

We will update with more information once more concrete information becomes available.

Turning to Turkey, Kupeliler Endustri AS is to establish what is believed to be the first continuous press plant for OSB in Turkey.

Siempelkamp is to supply a ContiRoll press in the format 4ft x 33.8m, extendable to 45.4m, replacing an existing plant in Simav, Kütahya. Kupeliler has been manufacturing under the Westboard OSB brand for a number of years, with products supplied to the construction and packaging sectors.

The new Siempelkamp plant will support Küpeliler in increasing its board quality and implementing higher plant availability.


OSB growth potential has continued to remain strong in eastern Europe

As we emphasised last year, Russia is a key country for OSB investment, with a number of projects either ongoing or in the planning stages.

The continuation of the Ukraine-Russia conflict raises a question as to whether all of those being planned will get off the ground or be delayed in the current geo-political uncertainty. The potential for a deepening of the conflict could have further implications, but a ceasefire and peace agreement could also lead to more stability.

In Ukraine, it is obviously a pressing issue, with several mills having to close due to the conflict, although Kronospan’s Novovolynsk OSB mill in the Volyn Region restarted operations in April, a spokesman told WBPI.

The Novovolynsk mill has been added to our main listing now as continuous operation was established in 2021, after the first board was produced on May 15, 2020.

The company is also building a second OSB mill in Rivne. The spokesperson confirmed the mill is still under construction.

In Russia, one new OSB plant which has just been completed is for Monolit-Stroy LLC (Latat brand) in Tomsk, Russia. This is entered in the future capacity list (beyond 2021) and will be added to the main listing next year.

The project, a landmark project for IMALPAL Group, features a 30m-long continuous press with an annual capacity of 250,000m3 and according to the governor of the Tomsk region, Sergey Zhvachkin, has a value of RUB5bn.

The new plant was built on the site of bankrupt panels producer LPK Partner- Tomsk, with the latter’s assets purchased by Monolit-Stroy in 2017. Monolit Stroy also operates an MDF plant at the site.

Earlier this year another OSB plan was mooted, very close to Tomsk, in Seversk. Local company Sibboard announced its readiness to begin construction works for the building of a new OSB plant within the territory of the Seversk advanced socioeconomic development area and to receive major benefits from the Tomsk authorities.

The company says it will use aspen and birch as raw materials in its production and is planning to invest about RUB340m in the first stage of the project.

Another big OSB plant project in Russia is Swiss Krono’s Sharya investment, to feature a 65m long press from Dieffenbacher. This 600,000m3 project was delayed by the pandemic and is not expected to be completed until 2023.

An additional OSB plant project in Russia, expected to be built this year in the Krasnoyarsk region, is by the local company Angara Les OOO, which is part the Karat Group of companies, one of the oldest wood processing enterprises in the region.

According to Sergei Tarasyuk, the director of Angara Les LLC, the new plant will be located in the city of Kodinsk in the north of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, while investments in the project will amount to RUB3.1bn (US$44m)

Annual capacity is estimated to be 100,000m3 of finished products and, according to some local analysts, the company will probably consider the possibility of the expansion of the plant in due course.

Mr Tarasyuk revealed in an interview with the Russian TASS magazine, that the mill will be focused on the domestic market.

Analysts believe the investor interest in establishing new OSB facilities in the Siberia region is due to the potential of supplying China, where there is demand for Russian wood-based panel products.

Further projects highlighted recently, include plans by Mega Smart, a producer of furniture from particleboard and MDF from Kazakhstan, which intends to build an OSB production plant in Bashkortostan, Russia, according to Rustam Muratov, first deputy prime minister of the Bashkiria government.

The projected capacity of the plant in Sibay is estimated to be 231,000m3, although implementation – according to WhatwoodRU – is not until about 2027.

WhatwoodRU also cites a 60,000m3 capacity OSB project in the Verkhovazhsky district of the Vologda region, as part of larger woodworking enterprise investment, with implementation by 2025.

Again, it’s important to emphasise that it is unknown how the Ukraine conflict will impact some of these projects – in terms of sanctions and equipment and chemicals availability/pricing.


The Middle East region is not an area associated with OSB production, but there was some innovative news at the end of 2021, when Al Talah Board in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), produced its first “Desert Board” branded OSB products made using recycled date palm tree waste.

The factory produced its first board on December 14 with a Dieffenbacher plant, which will use about 15% of the 500,000 tonnes of palm waste generated yearly in the UAE to produce 120,000m³ of OSB per year.

Al Talah Board contracted with Dieffenbacher in 2019 to create the OSB plant, which will help keep slow-to-biodegrade palm waste out of landfills and industrial composting pits.

Dieffenbacher’s scope of supply included the strand production, drum dryer, screens and material recovery equipment, gluing system, forming station and forming line, CPS+ continuous press with press emission control system, the raw board handling and electrics and plant automation.

“Eighteen years ago our chairman Hatem Farah envisioned using our country’s abundance of palm trees to produce sustainable building products,” said Mazen Dukmak, business development manager at Al Talah Board. “We are the world’s first company to use recycled palm waste to produce premium quality OSB.”

This plant has been added to the main listing.


OSB has made great strides in China in recent years and there is a lot of activity in this segment currently.

When WBPI interviewed Chinese wood-based panels plant supplier Yalian earlier this year, the company said it expected five line orders to produce OSB and Super PB in 2022 (WBPI February/March, 2022). Its message was clear that OSB is “trending”.

“I predict that in 2022 we will have orders for five lines to produce OSB and super-strength particleboard,” it said.

Dieffenbacher has been working on a further plant for its customer Wanhua Ecoboard in Lankao, Henan Province.

This involves the installation of a 8.5ft x 33m CPS with a capacity of 250,000m3. This remains in the future capacity listing but we expect to be able to add it to the main listing next year.

A further Dieffenbacher project for the Luli Group is the latter’s second Fine OSB plant at the Shouguang site. It involves an 8.5ft x 65m press and a capacity of 600,000m3. We have now added this to the main listing of completed plants and it effectively triples the company’s OSB capacity.

Luli’s first plant at Shouguang, also supplied by Dieffenbacher, started in 2015 and has a board capacity of 300,000m3.

Another project we have now added to our main listing is Guangxi Xiangsheng’s OSB/hybrid OSB plant in Chongzou, Guangxi, featuring a Siempelkamp ContiRoll 8.5ft x 40m press with a 300,000m3 capacity.

We expect further details of OSB /hybrid OSB projects in China to be forthcoming in the months ahead.