This company began its life in panel production with a wetprocess hardboard production line in Chunan, Zhejiang Province, in 1980. The company was then known as Zhejiang Chunan Wood Based Panel Plant.

That wet process line was converted to MDF production in 1996. However, Chunan, Hangzhou is located in an extremely picturesque part of China – home to the two famous scenic areas of The Thousand Islands Lake and The Thousand Islands Lake Stone Forest. Because of this location, and the expanding city, in 2006 the company was asked to move its factory but decided it was no longer mainstream for its business and closed it down.
The company also had one particleboard line which was very small, explained general manager and engineer at the latest factory, Fang Xiao Hua, and that was closed in 2007.
Today, Anhui Fuyang Huqian Fiberboard has two factory sites with a total of four MDF lines in Fujian Province; one MDF factory with one line in Jiangsu Province; and its latest, continuous, MDF line in Funan Industrial Park, Funan, Anhui Province. The factory is about a one-hour drive from Fuyang airport.
All except the last named line employ multi-opening press lines from Shanghai Wood Based Panel Machinery Co Ltd (SWPM).
The company’s first MDF line, after Chunan, was built in Fujian in 1998 and the second, in the same province, in 1999. The third line followed in 2002 in Jiangsu and the fourth and fifth appeared in 2003 and 2006, again in Fujian Province.
Total capacity for the company’s six MDF lines today is 600,000m3.
The move to continuous pressing for the sixth line came about because the company wanted to produce thin board and all its other lines mainly produced thicker panels.
The contract for the new line was signed in March 2007 with Siempelkamp of Krefeld, Germany, following research around the industry in China by Mr Fang and his team.
Also in 2007, the land for the ContiRoll continuous press line was purchased,  with the area being chosen because of the availability of poplar plantations within a 200km radius. The site covers an area of 233,000m2. But that is not the whole story.
“Yes, the wood supply is cheap and available but also, we are in the midnorth of China and we now have a lot of market in the north and northwest of the country. Until now, most MDF plants have been built in the northeast so we chose to build here and go for those booming markets in the north and northwest,said Mr Fang.
Anhui Fuyang does not intend to rely long-term solely on that local wood supply though, as Mr Fang explained. “We are now thinking about setting up our own plantations,he said when WBPI visited the new factory in March this year. “We have been focused totally on building the new factory, but now we are in discussions with the government on planting our own trees near here.
We do have our own plantation in Fujian Province to feed our four lines there, where we have an area of 33 million  m2 planted with pine and mixed species.”
On August 8, 2008 – the day the Olympic Games opened in Beijing – Anhui Fuyang started digging its foundations. “We had a big celebration, with many fireworks!said Mr Fang.
The imported machinery arrived on site in April 2009 and then things must have really started to move because the first board came out of the end of the ContiRoll in the August, followed rapidly by full production in the October.
The main part of the line came from Siempelkamp, including the cut-to-size line from Siempelkamp Handling Systems (SHS).
“We cut to size in the line before sanding and I think we were the first MDF mill in China to do this – and it is working well so far,said Mr Fang.
The forming line was supplied by CMC Texpan of Italy.
The conventional pre-press from Siempelkamp is followed by a special compactor from the same supplier, with a perforated stainless steel endless belt to compress the mat further before the main press and facilitate the production of thin board of under 3mm, favoured by the customer.
The ContiRoll is eight feet wide and 28.8m long and the design capacity is 220,000m3 a year.
The minimum thickness that the press is designed to produce is 1.6mm, with a design speed of 2,000mm/second. It was only the fifth line of this design in the world and the first in China.
Unusually, the ContiRoll press is preceded by an SHS flying diagonal crosscut saw which is also a new feature. This is only necessary for producing very thin board at speeds above 1,200mm/second because the airflow can produce a concave edge on the mat.
The saw only operates when the nose of the press is open – at the beginning or end of the mat. The energy plant came from GTS Energy Technology Co Ltd of Shanghai. The refiner came from Andritz of Austria and is a 54/58in unit. Andritz was also responsible for the whole ‘green end’ of this line.
The chipper is from Bruks Klöckner. The drum debarker was made locally to Andritz specifications and the Austrian company also supplied the sifters. Chinese manufacturer Sufoma supplied the wide-belt sander.
Anhui Huqian has its own resin plant as is common in China with its widespread panel industry and it produces E1 and E0 resins (the Chinese government formally  abolished E2 resins in April 2010).
The glue kitchen and blending were supplied by Imal of Italy.
The water treatment plant for treating the process water was made in China and cost eight million RMB (yuan).
Total investment in the site was RMB460m (US$68m).
There is a lot of talk about the MDF market in China approaching saturation but Mr Fang is confident for the future.
“We think there is a huge market in China, especially as we are the first to produce such thin board. Maybe others will come along but as the first producer we see a great potential.
“We are also trying to export to closer countries such as South Korea and are already talking to potential customers there.”
The factory does not produce any value-added products but sells to customers who laminate in the downtown area of Funan. Mr Fang feels the very real risk of damage when transporting surfaced boards is not worth taking.
“However, we have reserved a plot of land close to this plant and maybe we will carry out secondary processing of some kind there in the future,he said. “We have no plans for additional raw board capacity at present, but in the future we may need to increase capacity to meet demand.
The main market for the thin board is in packaging, such as gift boxes and for decoration applications, he explained.
“Personally, I am very optimistic about the development of our industry because it is much related to the economy of China and is relatively stable at this time, even though we did experience a downturn,said Mr Fang. “We are coming out of that now and the government’s policy is to create a lot of new housing and that will create a demand for furniture. I think there will be rapid development of our industry in the future in China.”