The last three years have been turbulent ones in the international wood products markets, arrayed against a background of pandemic and now war.

In our Particleboard Part 2 report two years ago, when the pandemic was still in full flow we predicted there would be less investment committed for new projects and an emphasis on modernisation and improvement.

Then a year later in our 2021/22 report we reported more optimism on the project side and we indicated that the following 12months (now) contained promising indicators for the panel industry.

Looking at some of the main panel plant equipment suppliers, 2022 has certainly seen a good level of projects come to the fore, with previously held investment released – India proving to be one of the interesting markets with good potential for growth in wood-based panels.

But the insatiable demand for wood-based panels that we saw during much of the pandemic was never going to continue at those extremely high levels. Demand for particleboard and mill production levels are falling in several world regions as economic prospects have muted going into 2023.

We should also keep in mind that demand reduction doesn’t necessarily mean investment levels stop. Projects are a multi-year exercise, not a short-term whim. Indeed, there are numerous new project orders being reported around the world and rumours of several more coming.

It is our expectation that particleboard investment will continue steadily but maybe not at stellar levels, with variant boards proving popular for their many benefits.

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.

Our main listing tables feature installed capacity as at the end of 2021, so projects which went online during 2022 will be added to the main listings in next year’s survey.

This year’s figures show that particleboard estimated installed capacity outside Europe and North America for the year ended December 31, 2021 increased, after adjustments from last year, to 48,088,000m3 , a modest rise from a year ago.

Our future capacity estimate for 2022 and beyond (for known projects planned) is 50,902,000m3 .

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 116,421,000 m3 as at the end of 2021.

India is active in particleboard investment and so is China, though the latter is also focused on PB board variations such as so-called Super PB, while Fine OSB has also become popular and is mentioned in this report because the top and bottom layers feature a PB surface to give a smooth finish for surfacing.


We start with India as this is a region with much growth potential. The World Bank forecasts India’s GDP growth at 6.9% for the 2022-2023 financial year, commenting ASIA We start with India as this is a region with much growth potential. The World Bank forecasts India’s GDP growth at 6.9% for the 2022-2023 financial year, commenting that India’s economy has been “remarkably resilient” to the deteriorating external environment, and strong macroeconomic fundamentals have placed it in good stead compared to other emerging market economies.

The World Bank forecasts that the India economy will grow at slightly lower rate of 6.6% in the 2023-24 fiscal year.

One of the most recent particleboard plants to be announced in India is at Greenlam South Ltd.

In September, 2022, plant supplier Dieffenbacher announced it had won an order for a high-end particleboard plant for Greenlam to be built in Andhra Pradesh, India, in 2023.

Greenlam South, a wholly owned subsidiary of Greenlam Industries Limited headquartered in New Delhi, intends to produce up to 265,000m³ of particleboard per year facility by the fourth quarter of financial year 2023-24.

Greelam is a top global laminate producer, with a production capacity of 15.62 million sheets of HPL per annum.

Saurabh Mittal, managing director & CEO at Greenlam Industries, said the particleboard plant would be the company’s third production unit in India and put the Group on a path to becoming a leading wood-panel producer in India.

Dieffenbacher will supply 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, Lukki raw board storage system, as well as Dieffenbacher’s EVORIS digital platform.

Another Indian panel producer – Century Plyboards (India) Ltd – issued an update on November 10 on its website regarding future investment plans.

Its Board of Directors had met to consider a proposal for setting up a new unit in the state of Tamil Nadu for manufacturing of particleboard.

The company’s existing capacity for PB is 75,000m3 with capacity utilization at 97% for year ended March, 2022, while Q2-FY reached 100%.

The proposed capacity addition is 360,000m3 per year in an approximate US$70m investment. This is scheduled to take place in Q4- FY 2024-25.

Century said the rationale behind the investment was increasing product demand, limited capacity of the existing plant, proximity to principal source of raw material and availability of man-power.

 CenturyPly has given various previous updates about potential capacity investments and this latest posting would appear to supersede the plan’s for a 150,000m3 plant in Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh (mentioned in the Pt 2 report a year ago). We said a year ago that plans for that site were being reconsidered due to licensing issues and other options considered, including the expansion of the Hoshiarpur unit, Punjab.

The company appears determined to dramatically increase its particleboard capacity and we would expect further news on this soon

We have updated the capacity at CenturyPly’s existing Chennai PB plant from 54,000m3 to 75,000m3 to reflect a historical increase in capacity.

Another PB plant which is under construction in India is for Merino Industries Ltd.

The 270,000m3 annual capacity plant was originally announced in 2021 and its first board was planned for early 2023, so we would expect further news on its progress soon.

Merino, another of India’s largest laminates manufacturers, ordered the main line from Dieffenbacher. Pallmann is another technology supplier involved in the project – three knife ring flakers, two double stream mills and a re-chipper.


Elsewhere in Asia, China is of course a powerhouse for panel production and there have been some better investment indicators this past year.

We have now inserted the Guangxi Fenglin and Guangxi Xiangsheng projects into the main listings ,with 500,000m3 and 300,000m3 of new capacity respectively.

The Guangxi Fenglin plant is a Super PB project and the first board was produced in March, 2022. 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.

The combination makes it good for applications in home furnishings and decor, flooring, custom furniture making and many other areas.

Dieffenbacher was the main plant technology supplier for this project and has had considerable success with Super PB.

A further two plants from the German supplier are being installed at Wanhua 9 and 10 to produce straw-based Super PB, with the first boards planned for 2023. Each of the plants will have an annual capacity of 380,000m³.

This brings us onto another production variation – Fine OSB, which incorporates both OSB- in the core and PB on the top and bottom layers in order to give a smooth surface for finishing.

Being a hybrid composite wood panel makes it difficult to categorise in our survey reports as it is probably impossible to separate the PB and OSB manufacturing component capacities. For transparency we have decided to include the product in our survey but identify it as Fine OSB in our capacity tables so readers know only part of the capacity relates to chip production.

A Beautiful Family Plate Making Co Ltd is the latest company to contract with Dieffenbacher for a complete Fine OSB plant in Guangxi, China. Installation of BFP’s new plant is scheduled for the second quarter of 2023. The first board is to be produced in fall 2023.

Dieffenbacher will supply everything from chip flaking to raw board handling. The contract includes the dryer, screens, particle preparation and material recovery, glue preparation and dosing, gluing system, forming station and forming line, CPS+ continuous press system and electrics and plant automation. The plant will be able to produce 500,000m³ of Fine OSB per year.

Two other Chinese particleboard mills which we expect to add to the main listing next year are Yalian installations Ao si Bei En Decoration Material Co and Shengchang New Material Co, both with the same capacity – 132,000m3 .

Meanwhile, in Thailand a project for MetroPly will add a fourth particleboard line for the Group.

The pressline order was originally signed with Siempelkamp in April 2021, with assembly having scheduled to start in early 2022. We don’t have a finalisation date for this, with no word from Siempelkamp on the plant progress, so would expect to add it to the main listing next year.

Siempelkamp’s scope of supply includes the forming and press line (believed to be 8ft x 40.4m), board handling and interim storage, while its subsidiary Büttner is contributing the energy plant and the dryer and another Siempelkamp Group member Pallmann supplies the chipper, flaker and double stream mill.

IMAL-PAL Group previously announced on its website that its involvement in the project extends to the supply of wet/dry silos, screens, air sifters and the complete blending area.


In Brazil, Berneck is making moves to increase its particleboard capacity. It placed an order in the spring of 2022 with Dieffenbacher for a power plant and a drum dryer at the Curitibanos particleboard works in Santa Catarina.

With a length of 36m and a drum diameter of 7.8m, the dryer achieves a throughput of 43t/hr with a material moisture content of 155%. Dieffenbacher says this is the world’s biggest chip dryer ever delivered.

According to Dieffenbacher, by extending the frontend, Berneck intends to increase the production capacity of the particleboard line put into service in Curitibanos in February 2016 from 1,300 m3 /day to approximately 2,700 m³/day.

“I can’t wait to see our Curitibanos site more than double its particleboard capacity,” said Daniel Berneck, following the signing of the contract with Dieffenbacher.

Another particleboard investment we expect to see take shape over the next couple of years is Aglomerados Cotopaxi’s new plant in Ecuador, with equipment expected to be supplied by Siempelkamp Group.

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.

This project has been mooted for a while but WBPI understands that negotiations and a financing plan had held things up. Now, we understand, contracts are being placed with various suppliers, so we’d expect this to be realised.

WBPI reported some eight years ago of a plan to supply a 700m3 /day continuous line. This would equate to approximately 230,000m3 annually, though capacity may have been revised.

Currently, we have the company down as only with a PB production of 40,000m3 annually with a Siempelkamp single-opening press.


In South Africa: panel products producer PG Bison successfully commissioned its latest expansion project, with the installation of a higher capacity dryer and chip preparation facilities at its at eMkhondo (Piet Retief) manufacturing facility, in Mpumalanga.

The R560m investment, completed in March, 2022 provided additional capacity in a market that has experienced increasing demand in recent years.

The eMkhondo plant has increased its particleboard output capacity by 37% to 1,000m³ a day, bringing its capacity in line with PG Bison’s Ugie board plant. Büttner supplied the energy plant and  dryers, screening equipment, a new flaker and a new conveyor system.

For the same site, Büttner will deliver a further dryer and energy system for a new MDF line scheduled for commissioning in mid-2024.

“These expansion projects, employing the latest global technology, will improve our global competitiveness and position the company for growth, both in the local and export markets,” said PG Bison CEO Gerhard Victor.

The facility was upgraded in 2017 with a new forming line and latest Siempelkamp Contiroll technology press as a first phase.

In Algeria, a particleboard project is progressing for Ghamoud of El Eulma-Sétif. Its order with Dieffenbacher for a CPS+ was originally announced in October 2019. The project is being executed together with Dieffenbacher’s Chinese subsidiary Shanghai Wood-based Panel Machinery (SWPM).

In December 2021, Dieffenbacher said installation had not started yet due to the pandemic. But in May, 2022 SWPM’s David Ye told WBPI that SWPM had been working on the final stages of foundation plant construction, with installation to have started soon after for a 2023 completion.

The planned capacity for the Ghamoud project is 115000 m³/year.