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Masisa to Build Medium Density Particleboard Mill in Chile
Santiago, Chile, South America, 05 August 2009 -- /PRNewswire/ -- MASISA's board of directors has approved the investment in a medium density particleboard (MDP) mill in Cabrero, Chile. MASISA's decision to build a new mill is in keeping with the company's plan of adding an innovative product to the market, making its industrial facilities in Chile more efficient, and increasing production to meet future domestic and regional demand.

The construction of this new MDP mill with cutting-edge technology entails an investment of USD $55 million, which will be partly financed with the operating cash flow and divestment of nonessential assets. The mill will have a production capacity of 280,000 m3 of MDP a year, for the domestic and export markets. Part of this project will involve the conversion of a medium density fiberboard (MDF) line that is shut down at the Cabrero complex.

MASISA started to produce MDP at its Montenegro mill in Brazil as of June 2009 with the start-up of the model mill, entailing an investment of USD 140 million, which has a production capacity of 750,000 m3 a year and a melamine line with a capacity of 300,000 m3.

"The development of this new mill is a milestone at this time, and ratifies MASISA's commitment to its customers to create innovative products for the furniture industry; at the same time, it enhances the use of its assets," said MASISA CEO Roberto Salas.

The new MDP mill will generate 145 new jobs in Cabrero when it is operating. Moreover, 250 jobs will be created during the project stage.

The company is currently in the stage of filing an environmental impact statement with the National Environmental Agency (CONAMA). When this is approved, the project will require an 18-month construction term.

MDP is an innovative product that will make its debut in the Chilean market, expanding the complete product mix that MASISA offers its customers. This board is especially suitable for the production of quality furniture of straight lines or organic shapes. Its advantages are its homogeneousness, resistance, dimensional stability, and density. It also is ideal for new uses in printing, painting, and paneling processes.

As with the rest of MASISA's products, MDP will be produced in accordance with strict environmental and health standards.

MASISA produces furniture and interior architecture wood boards in Latin America. It has 12 industrial complexes in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, and Mexico, all of which have ISO 14.001, ISO 9.001 and OHSAS 18.001 certification. MASISA's boards also have low formaldehyde emissions. MASISA has 238,000 hectares of pine and eucalyptus plantations in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela, which are managed pursuant to high environmental standards, such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. In 2008, the company had earnings of USD 1.053 billion and net income of USD 43.6 million.


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