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Columbia Forest Products Acquires Hardwood Veneer Mill In Ecuador

General News

Columbia Forest Products (“CFP”) has acquired a hardwood veneer processing facility from 3A Composites in Ecuador.

This is tied to a long-term sourcing agreement for FSC-Certified wood from fast-growth hardwood plantations in the region that will be used to make Columbia’s “MPX” hardwood plywood panels, featuring PureBond® formaldehyde-free technology.

 MPX panels feature smooth cross-bands of hardwood veneer that have been peeled with state-of-the-art Meinan® lathe technology, which suppress the thickness variation and core telegraphing that’s common with core veneer made of domestic fir and pine.

According to Brad Thompson, Columbia’s President and CEO, “Our customer base has really taken to the advantages of MPX panel construction, and we’re thrilled to have a sustainable new source of hardwood cross-band material. It’s a solution that helps our fabricating customers, and it helps Columbia more effectively extend our domestically-sourced hardwood supply from North America.”

Columbia’s new sourcing arrangement involves the acquisition of a veneer processing facility in Ecuador and an agreement with 3A Composites, who will supply the mill with FSC-Certified wood.

The plantation-grown hardwood core veneer produced at the facility has been tested for over two years at various Columbia Forest Products mills, and has been incorporated into thousands of panels of PureBond hardwood plywood in the marketplace today.

According to Steve Pung, Columbia’s Vice President for Technology, “this core veneer is essentially indistinguishable from conventionally-sourced hardwood core material from North America.  When pressed into a panel, it features the same fabrication qualities as domestic wood; including the smooth-finishing characteristics our MPX panels are known for.”

Thompson added that this new sourcing program directly satisfies one of Columbia’s core strategies from its current 5-year plan.  “We want to make sure we’re lining up strong and sustainable sources of fiber to satisfy the next 50 years of demand for Columbia’s products.  This is a terrific way to ensure a steady, and scalable, stream of high-quality materials to utilize in our North American production network.”

As an ongoing aspect of this transaction, Columbia will continue to increase its presence in high-yield/ fast-growing plantation forests.

About Columbia Forest Products

Established in 1957, Columbia Forest Products is North America’s leading manufacturer of decorative hardwood plywood and hardwood veneer, and innovator of EPA award-winning PureBond® formaldehyde-free technology. An employee-owned company, it operates facilities throughout the United States, Canada and South America.  It is a leader in sustainable forestry, as well as in developing innovative and environmentally-responsible technologies and beautiful products for better indoor living.

Source: Columbia Forest Products, Inc.