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Norbord Refocuses South Molton Site
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 24 August 2006 -- Norbord has announced its intention to rationalize its particleboard business at South Molton, Devon. The company will be withdrawing from the sale of melamine-faced chipboard products and closing the smaller of its two particleboard lines on the site.

"This decision has not been taken lightly," said Dave McElroy, deputy managing director of Norbord Europe. "It will result in the cessation or reduction of supply to a few long-term customers, which is most regrettable. However, we will be working closely with all affected customers to assist them as fully as possible to adjust their supply base."

Karl Morris, Norbord's managing director, said "This restructuring of our South Molton site is a consequence of two major factors – continuing increases in the cost of energy and raw materials, and the company's strategic thrust to increase sales of finished flatpack furniture and construction–related products."

He added: "The smaller of the two particleboard lines on the site, which currently produces about 70,000 m³ per year, is not competitive in the current cost environment and has now outlived its usefulness.

"This change will allow us to focus on the continuing improvement of our larger D500 line. This line currently produces circa 170,000 m³ per year and its production will increase to over 210,000 m³ during the forthcoming year."

Norbord is the United Kingdom's leading manufacturer of wood-based panel products. In addition to manufacturing particleboard at two other sites – Cowie, Stirlingshire, and Genk, Belgium – the company also produces oriented strand board (OSB) at Genk and Morayhill, Inverness, along with a full range of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) products at Cowie.

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