Ireland's Coillte Panel Products marks €2.5B production milestone of 7 million m3 of MDF and 4 million m3 of OSB; plants in Clonmel, Waterford, export 90% of output

Wendy Lisney

Wendy Lisney

Jun 22, 2011 – Coillte

NEWTOWNMOUNTKENNEDY, Ireland , June 15, 2011 (press release) –

  • 11 million cubic metres of panel products worth €2.5 billion produced by Coillte in Waterford and Clonmel to date
  • 90% of products exported
Coillte today announced that Medite Europe, the leading producer of MDF and part of Coillte’s Panel Products Division, has reached a significant production milestone with 7 million m3 of panels produced in its Clonmel factory since it was established in 1983.

In addition, SmartPly Europe in Waterford, also part of Coillte Panel Products, has manufactured 4 million cubic metres of Oriented Strand Board (OSB), a structural panel board used in construction, since it was set up in 1996.

This amounts to a total of 11 million cubic metres of timber panel products produced in Ireland from Irish timber with an estimated value of €2.5 billion. With 90% of these products exported, €2.25bn worth of timber panel products have been shipped from Ireland over the life of these plants to markets all over the world.

Commenting on the achievement, Gerry Britchfield Managing Director of Coillte Panel Products said: “Coillte Panel Products is unique in Europe because we are part of the company which owns the forests and hence the raw material – wood fibre – which we use to make our panel boards. This means we can guarantee supply to our customers in a way which other producers can’t. As markets for these value added products improve, fibre security is increasingly becoming an issue for our customers and highlights the strength of the Coillte Group strategy as an integrated forest products company.

“Coillte’s forests are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified as being managed in a responsible way, as well as our panel products themselves being FSC certified, enabling us to export 90 per cent of what we produce. SmartPly and Medite’s environmental credentials are critical for many of our European customers looking to reduce the carbon footprint of their buildings whilst using highly innovative panel products.”

He went on to say, “These businesses have come through a difficult period since the collapse in the Irish construction sector but with a focus on innovation and customer service and a renewed emphasis on export markets we have turned them around. We are now finding new markets for our products and helping secure over 500 jobs both directly in our plants and indirectly with the companies we do business with in Ireland.”

Waterford-based SmartPly Europe is one of ten Irish companies selected to represent Ireland at the 2011 European Business Awards sponsored by HSBC. From around 15,000 relevant European companies, an independent jury selected the ten best-case companies in Ireland which had clearly demonstrated an ability to grow and thrive despite challenging economic conditions.

Medite is a market leader in MDF and has been very successful in bringing new and innovative products to the market which add value to the wood fibre resource managed by Coillte.

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Coillte Panel Products is owned by Coillte and combines two leading European panel products operations - SmartPly OSB in Waterford and leading MDF manufacturer Medite in Clonmel. Coillte Panel Products is a significant and powerful player in Europe’s composite board marketplace.

Both Medite and SmartPly are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified which enables them to meet environmental standards which are becoming increasingly important to designers, specifiers, architects and clients for both public and private projects.

Coillte is Ireland’s largest landowner and is involved in forestry, land management and renewable energy, as well as panel products. The company employs approx 1,000 people in Ireland, the UK and Europe.

Coillte is celebrating 10 years of FSC Certification in its forestry business this year.

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