Welcome for huge Norbord investment

Confor has welcomed the announcement that member company Norbord is investing almost £100 million to modernise and expand its mill at Inverness.

Chief Executive Stuart Goodall said: "This is fantastic news and we are delighted that one of our largest members has shown such faith in the booming forestry and timber sector in Scotland."

The £95 million investment will upgrade Norbord's mill and nearly double its production capacity, positioning it to meet growing demand for Oriented Strand Board (OSB) in markets across the UK and Europe. It will also secure the long-term future of its employees and the supply chains and service sector jobs sustained by the plant across the Highlands.

Karl Morris, Managing Director of Norbord Europe, said: "Demand for OSB is increasing rapidly and this investment will ensure we can continue to meet customers' needs and remain at the forefront of the European industry. This investment underscores Norbord's long-term commitment to Inverness and the Highlands region, and we look forward to continuing to play an important role in the community."

The expanded mill - at Morayhill, on the outskirts of Inverness - is expected to come online in the second half of 2017, with no disruption to production in the interim period. 

Stuart Goodall added: "This is more great news for forestry and timber in Scotland, following the recent report showing that the sector is worth almost £1 billion. Further investment like this, alongside the Scottish Government's commitment to plant 100,000 hectares of new woodland in the decade to 2022, gives the whole sector confidence for the future." 

Karl Morris features in the new Confor film, Our Forests, Our People, - launched today. In it, he says: "Our product [OSB] is ubiquitous. You might not see it, but it's in your house - in your wardrobe, desk and your kitchen or in the fabric of your house - the walls, ceilings, roofs and floors."

In addition to OSB, Norbord manufactures particleboard, medium density fibreboard and related value-added products. Norbord has assets of approximately US$1.6 billion (UK £1.1 billion) and employs approximately 2,600 people at 17 locations in the United States, Canada and Europe.