Austria's Holzindustrie Schweighofer wins local authority approval to build €150M wood processing facility at Reci, Romania, schedules production to start early 2015; expansions to other Romanian wood-processing operations at or near completion

LOS ANGELES , April 10, 2014 (press release) – Austria’s Holzindustrie Schweighofer expects to begin production early 2015 at its €150-million wood-processing facility in Reci, Romania, after the project got the go ahead from local officials at the end of 2013.

In a statement on its website earlier this year, Schweighofer said the county council of Covasna had given a green light to building the Reci facility, the company’s fifth factory in Romania.

The cutting capacity of the mill will be 800,000m3/year, with glulam production capacity of 100,000m3/year and wood-pellet production of 130,000 tons/year, according to the Jan. 23 statement, which also provided an updated on the company’s other recent Romanian investments that are at or near completion.

In Siret, Schweighofer has completed an expansion of edge-glued panels capacity production to 66,000 m³/year from 45,000 m³. A new cutting line and sewing equipment with automatic sorting were installed, at a total investment of €6 million.

Its €20M investment in blockboard production in Comanesti is almost complete and is expected ultimately to increase the site’s capacity to 135,000 m3/year from its current 95,000 m3/year.

Meanwhile, Schweighofer’s wood-pellet production in Radauti has been expanded to 165,000 tons/year and a new glulam beam plant is being built at a cost of €14 million, which will have an annual capacity of 100,000 m³. Additionally, the planing hall at Radauti was enlarged up to 11,000 m².

An investment of €2 million has gone into the company’s factory in Sebes that will increase wood-pellet production to 124,000 tons/year.

According to Schweighofer’s statement, at the end of 2013 the group employed 2,750 people, of which 2,500 are in Romania, and its total employee numbers should rise to 3,000 this year. The company expects its turnover also to rise, to €800 million.

Company officials told Romanian newspaper Ziarul Financiarul they expect the annual turnover of the new Reci facility to be €200 million, IHB/Fordaq reported on April 9. They also said Schweighofer had started the preparation of land at the new sawmill site at the end of March, IHB reported.

Sebes was the first sawmill Schweighofer opened in Romania, in 2003, followed by Radauti in 2008; in 2009 Schweighofer acquired the production site for laminated wood panels in Siret, its website states. The company acquired the blockboard plant at Comanesti in 2010.

Schweighofer was attracted to Romania by the availability of high quality raw material from sustainably managed forests, the well-trained personnel, and the facilities of the international port of Constanta, from where Schweighofer’s products can be shipped to customers worldwide, the website states.

The primary source of this information is a Jan. 23, 2014, statement on the website of Holzindustrie Schweighofer. To view the original Schweighofer statement, click here.

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