Duratex SA, the southern hemisphere’s biggest wood panels producer, is to add 1.2 million m3/year capacity to its already significant portfolio with a plan to build two new world scale MDF mills in Brazil by 2015.

The São Paulo-based group is investing almost US$766m in both mills.

One is a 520,000m3/year fibreboard plant in Itapetininga, São Paulo state with a completion date of late next year and the second, a 680,000m3/year MDF plant due to be built at a still undisclosed location with a start-up date scheduled in the second half of 2014.
The latest plans finally got the group board’s green light on April 15 when Duratex also signed contracts with unnamed international suppliers to equip both new plants.

Once the two projects are complete, Duratex predicts it will have an annual MDF shipping capacity of 2.7 million m3. Considering current prices and projected sales mix, this will generate revenue of more than US$638m, it stated.

With growth in the MDF market continuing strongly in Brazil, Duratex believes the “full effective capacityof the industry should be achieved by 2013 taking into account additional investments announced by other producers.