Pulp and Paper Canada

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Mercer International to expand into U.S. with $50M CLT plant acquisition


August 4, 2021
By P&PC Staff

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Mercer International has received approval from a U.S. bankruptcy court to acquire a state-of-the-art cross-laminated timber (CLT) manufacturing facility in Spokane, Wash.

The forest products company will pay $50 million for the plant. The closing of the sale is expected to occur shortly.

The CLT facility is located on 54 acres of land near Spokane and has an area of about 270,000 square feet. It’s equipped with extensive automation technologies including one of the largest CLT presses in the world.

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The facility has capacity of approximately 13 million square feet of five-ply panels annually or 140,000 cubic meters of annual production based on five-day operations, and represents about 30 per cent of the current North American mass timber manufacturing capacity.

CLT is an engineered wood product produced from multiple layers of lumber and adhesive; each layer laid up with its grain running perpendicular to the layer adjacent and pressed under heat to create large, high strength panels.

The panels are modified by automated CNC machines to incorporate custom window, plumbing, electrical and fastening elements in accordance with the precise architectural specifications of the designer. The finished panels are then assembled in situ at the construction site.

CLT is principally used for commercial and residential building construction. Europe currently is a leader in CLT design and the market in North America is growing. CLT designed construction is attractive for its speed of construction, its low carbon footprint when compared to traditional building methods and its aesthetics.

“We are very pleased with our impending acquisition of the facility,” says David Gandossi, CEO of Mercer International. “It represents an attractive entry point for us into the CLT business with a near-new state-of-the-art facility.

“It fits well with our strategy to expand in the solid wood products space and aligns with a core value to provide sustainable and carbon-reducing alternatives for a warming planet.”

Mercer International operates or jointly operates several pulp and paper operations in Canada and Germany, and runs a timber service in Germany. Consolidated annual production capacity is 2.2 million tonnes of pulp and 550 million board feet of lumber.