Roseburg Announces Historic US$700m investment

2 May 2023

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Roseburg Forest Products has announced that it plans to invest US$700m over the next four years to upgrade and expand its panel manufacturing operations in Southern Oregon.

The investment includes the creation of two new, state-of-the-art manufacturing plants, and technological improvements and upgrades at existing plants in rural Douglas and Coos counties.

The total project represents the largest ever known investment in manufacturing in rural Oregon, and one of the largest private capital investments of any kind in the state’s history.

“Across the business, Roseburg is embracing advanced manufacturing and leveraging new technology and methods to make our current products and develop new ones, with the goal of ensuring we remain competitive in the global market,” Roseburg president and CEO Grady Mulbery said.

The investment includes two new highly technical manufacturing plants at the company’s Dillard Complex, located just south of Roseburg.

Dillard MDF will use wood residuals from Roseburg’s local mills as well as other regional mill suppliers to manufacture standard medium density fibreboard (MDF) panels, as well as thin high density fibreboard (HDF), often used in cabinetry, doors, and other applications. The plant will produce panels with a thickness range from 2mm to 28mm.

“HDF is a new product for Roseburg that meets growing customer demand for domestically manufactured panels of increasing thinness and strength,” Mr Mulbery said. “Dillard MDF will be one of the most technologically advanced plants of its kind in the world, and it alone represents US$450m of our US$700m investment.”

Dillard Components will convert specialty MDF panels manufactured at Roseburg’s MDF plant in Medford, into Armorite Trim, a finished exterior trim product for residential and shed use. Roseburg will invest roughly US$50m in this plant.

The two plants together will be capable of producing 310,000m3 of MDF per year and 

124,000m3 of Primed Armorite exterior trim per year, as well as 90 million feet of interior mouldings.

Roseburg currently owns and operates three MDF plants in North America.

The company anticipates that both new plants will begin operations in 2025, and will employ approximately 120 people once completed.

The remaining US$200m of the investment will go toward improvements at existing Roseburg plants in Oregon over the next four years, including significant upgrades at the plywood plant in Riddle, including two new lathe lines and a new hardwood plywood line.

A new dryer will be installed at the plywood plant in Coquille.

“I want to thank our partners at the Governor’s office and Douglas and Coos counties for helping make this historic investment possible,” added Mr Mulbery.

“These operations are all key parts of our integrated platform in Oregon, starting with our timberlands, and including our primary processing plants making lumber and plywood, as well as our secondary plants that use wood residuals like sawdust and chips to make value-added products such as MDF, ensuring the full utilization of our precious timber resource,” added Roseburg’s director of government affairs Eric Geyer.

In June 2022, Roseburg revealed that it was exploring the feasibility of locating an additional MDF plant or other residual-based operation within its Western operating footprint. That study, combined with a years-long strategic assessment of company operations across the state, resulted in the decision to make this investment in Southern Oregon, where the company was founded in 1936.

An aerial view of Roseburg's Dillard site