Equipment for Norbord Europe’s £95m mill expansion at Inverness has been purchased and will be shipped to Scotland over the next few months as work gathers pace on the construction of the new plant.

The equipment includes the forming line; the screening, blending and resin system; the heat-energy system, dryer and Wesp stack – which have been purchased from Germany and Italy – and the finishing end, which has been ordered from the USA.

Construction of the ‘lay down’ area for the equipment to be stored before installation has been completed, along with the future logging yard.

At present, the foundations – stretching over 200m – are under way for the press, together with the main building and dryer. A new continuous press has also arrived in Scotland and is awaiting delivery once the site is prepared.

The press was decommissioned from Norbord’s Grande Prairie mill in Alberta, where it was deconstructed and packed into 80 shipping containers. These were trucked across Canada and shipped from Thunder Bay, Ontario, across the Atlantic to the port of Nigg, near Inverness.

Alan McMeekin, vice-president, finance and operations director of Norbord Europe says it has been quite a logistical undertaking: “The press foundations are taking shape and everything is on schedule so far. We’ll really see change in the new year as building construction and equipment installation progresses.”

When the new continuous press is operational, it will significantly increase the capacity of OSB production at Inverness and will have the potential for further expansion in the future.

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