South American panel maker Masisa has announced a new investment in the expansion of wood panel finishing capacity at its Chilean board production site of Cabrero.

In late April, directors of the Santiago-based group gave the green light to an US$18.5m project to install a new melamine laminating line and a board painting line at the Cabrero plant.  They will be housed in a new 8,600m2 finishing hall.

The 7 x 8ft press laminating line has an annual capacity of 125,000m3 while the painting unit is capable of finishing 36,000m3 of MDF or MDP panels per year based on 3mm thick board, confirmed the company.

Work has begun immediately on the project and the new finishing facility is expected to be up and running in the first half of next year, Masisa said.

“Both lines will allow Masisa to reinforce and complement our product mix and to offer our clients in South America integral solutions to accomplish their requirements,the firm’s Chile panel operations manager Luciano Tiburzi explained to WBPI.