Under the original Colombian investment deal, Duratex, which paid US$26m for its latest purchase, can acquire a further 15% stake in Tablemac within the next two years. The Brazilian group expects eventually to take control of the producer.

Meanwhile, Tablemac, based in Medellin, has announced it has ordered a new low pressure board laminating line from the German supplier Wemhöner for its newly commissioned MDF plant in Barbosa, Colombia.

The new 7 million m2/year melamine laminating line will finish particleboard turned out by Tablemac’s panel line in Yarumal in addition to the MDF coming off its 132,000m3/year Dieffenbacher continuous press line at Barbosa.

Tablemac pointed out that finished panels have been attracting a bigger margin than for raw board and the finished product market has been growing strongly, justifying the firm’s latest investment of around US$4.3m.

The low pressure line is set to be operating at Barbosa plant by August next year, according the Tablemac.