The new owners have no immediate plans to use the SierraPine facility in Springfield.
The wood panel company Flakeboard America that bought SierraPine’s factory in Springfield days ago may use the site in the future, but right now Flakeboard has no intentions to bring the particleboard production line back into running, a company official of flakeboard said today.
Flakeboard, as a unit of the Chilean company ARAUCO, is in the process of acquiring the land, factories and equipment in the SierraPine’s Springfield factory. “It is not our intent to run the existing facility in the future,” said Mr. Gregory, a manager for Flakeboard’s operation. SierraPine’s officials expect the sale of its chipboard mill in Springfield to close by the end of March.
On Tuesday, SierraPine President Jeff Johnson said the California-based company would shut down the Springfield factory on April 4 and leave the plant’s workforce of 87 people umemployed. Gregory, the Flakeboard official, said there’s no reason for Flakeboard to keep the Springfield particleboard plant running right now. “Essentially the particleboard that Springfield Plant makes is same to the product we make in Albany, and there’s a lot of available capacity in the West Coast region,” he said.
“The demand of particleboard was hurt badly by the recession, so capacity utilization has not been good in the western region for at least the past five years,” Gregory said.
He said the Springfield plant is “certainly a candidate for something in the future, but as to what that is, we don’t know right now,” he said. Flakeboard manufactures particleboard, medium-density fiberboard which is also called MDF board, which are used in furniture, countertops, cabinets and store fixtures. In addition to the particleboard factory in Albany, Flakeboard has a MDF production line in Eugene, two mills in South Carolina, two mills in North Carolina, a plant in Malvern, Ark., and two sites in Canada, he said.
Flakeboard has more than 1,000 employees companywide, Gregory said. In 2012, The particleboard Giant ARAUCO bought Flakeboard with $242.5 million.