The São Paulo-based industrial and agribusiness group, which recently ordered a complete Siempelkamp ContiRoll board line for the mill at Agua Clara, intends later to add a second 460,000m3/year panel line on the site, it said.

The Asperbras plant should be fully self sufficient in wood by 2019 following a local eucalypt forest plantation programme. The firm, which already has some plantations, intends to plant 12,000ha around Agua Clara by the end of 2015, of which 7,000ha will be growing by the end of this year, according to board member José Maurício Caldeira.

Investment of almost US$136m is being made in MDF facility with an additional US$34m destined for the acquisition of forest and plantation schemes.

Asperbras expects its first panel mill to attract a number of furniture manufacturers and component suppliers in the Agua Clara district to form a major furniture sector zone for Mato Grosso do Sul state.