Sonae Industria (UK) Ltd has restarted particleboard production at Knowsley following completion of a £25m initial phase of reconstruction after a serious fire in June.

An extensive commissioning process is now under way to ensure all the equipment is running correctly, with production levels at 80% capacity and around 1,000m³ of particleboard being produced per day.

The factory is expected to reach around 90% capacity in spring 2012.

“We are naturally delighted that the particleboard production is now operational again and our first boards have been produced,said Nigel Graham, managing director at Sonae Industria (UK) Ltd.

Sonae intends to “radicallychange its previous factory layout and operations in response to health and safety concerns from local representatives and community groups.