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Kronospan plans $350 million Alabama expansion for OSB production

OXFORD, Alabama — Kronospan, a leading producer of wood panel products, announced plans to invest $350 million to open an Oriented Strand Board (OSB) manufacturing plant on its Alabama production campus as part of an expansion that will create 125 jobs.

Once the growth project is completed, Kronospan will employ 600 people at the Oxford site and its total investment in Alabama will exceed $1 billion.

“This is not only an opportunity to further expand our portfolio of wood panel products in the United States but also meet our customers’ growing need for high-quality construction materials,” said Hans Obermaier, CEO of Kronospan’s North American companies.

“Just like the other plants on our site, the OSB plant will be constructed with our sustainability principles in mind and will further enhance our negative carbon footprint status,” he added.

Kronospan’s Alabama manufacturing center opened in 2008 and produces laminate flooring, medium-density fiberboard, thermally fused laminate, particle board and other products. Located on 460 acres, the company calls it the largest and most vertically integrated wood products site in North America.

The OSB investment project features 44 acres of new development, including substantial areas designated for product storage, rail spur and loading docks.

OSB is a widely used, versatile engineered wood panel made using heat-cured adhesives and rectangularly shaped wood strands arranged in cross-oriented layers.

Groundbreaking for the new facility is slated for later this year. Read Kronospan’s announcement.

“Alabama has developed a close working relationship with Kronospan over the past 15 years, and it’s rewarding to see the company invest in new growth plans for the Oxford production center,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“This not only creates good jobs for citizens in the region but also solidifies the future of an important employer in Calhoun County,” he added.

COMMUNITY PARTNER

Oxford Mayor Alton Craft said Kronospan has been instrumental in the region’s workforce development efforts, initiating a forklift training program, supporting the Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) program at Gadsden State Community College and building classroom partnerships.

“This latest investment by Kronospan pushes them over the $1 billion mark, and that speaks for the quality and commitment from this company to our community,” Craft said.

“We are 100% behind them as they continue to expand their capabilities, and we are grateful that they consistently have chosen to do so right here in Oxford.”

Austria-based Kronospan has launched capital projects totaling over $89 million at the Oxford site, signaling a strong commitment to Calhoun County and the surrounding area.

“Kronospan is very proud of our commitment to job creation in Calhoun County and East Alabama,” says John Connell, director of Human Resources at Kronospan. “As we continue to grow our operations in the U.S., we are very conscious of the impact on our local communities and are consistent in our philosophy of creating a sustainable future for generations to come.”

Don Hopper, the executive director of the Calhoun County Economic Development Council who was instrumental in the initial recruitment of Kronospan, said the company’s continued growth will have a substantial economic impact on the area.

“I firmly believe the greatest compliment a community can receive is when a company chooses again and again to expand their facility in our backyard,” Hopper said.

“Kronospan could have chosen to do this expansion at a variety of other locations across the world, but they chose to expand again right here in Calhoun County.

“We believe that is largely because of the relationships we have built with them.”

(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)

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