March / April 2018 • Issue 2 • PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA 22 PANEL MANUFACTURING - Oversupply “unlikely” as r obus t hous i ng market and exports will absorb most boards - Increased production will reduce dependence on imports By Marina Khaibulina and Philip Chebyshev, Lesnaya Industriya Journal R ussia will likely see six new Oriented Strand Board (OSB) lines operating by 2020 which, at their full capacity, will triple total output from 1.34 million cbm at present to 3.935 million cbm. These six lines are currently in various stages of construction: One of them is DOK Kalevala’s second line, a planned investment worth 3.2 billion rubles. At full capacity of 300,000cbm annually, the new line will double the company’s production capacity to 600,000cbm. It will be deliveredby Siempelkampand scheduled to begin operations at the end of 2018. Turkish company Kastamonu initially planned to commission its OSB plant—with an annual capacity of 575,000cbm—in 2007 but postponed it to 2018-2019. Ali Kılıç, CEO of the plant in Russia, is observing the market closely. He plans to relaunch the project in 2018. He said, “This is a strategically important project for us. We will focus on the Russian market but also plan to market OSB in other countries too." Kronoshpan Bashkortostan (part of Kronospan) bought over a line fromOris, which previously planned to build an OSB and large-format plywood plant in the Perm region. Now, Kronoshpan will launch this newOSB line in Ufa this year, with an annual capacity of 500, 000cbm. Two other companies that plan to start production before 2020 are SibayPlitProm and Ugra-Plit with annual capacities of 570,000cbm and 250,000cbm respectively. While SibayPlitProm has already finished the plant’s design phase in the Republic of Bashkortostan, Ugra-Plit is still looking for investors and other means of financing. Valery Puchkov, CEOof DOK Kalevala, says oversupply is unlikely as not all announced projects will be implemented until 2020. He also has confidence in the market’s growth as Russia’s wooden house construction and the packaging sector develop—two main consumers of OSB. “The Ministry of Industry and Trade has proposed that 30 per cent of all houses in Russia should be made of wood. This will help the development of the market. In addition, exports will also continue to grow, balancing out domestic demand,” he said. LEADING EXPORTERS AND BUYERS In fact, there appears to be a shortage of domestic OSB. In 2016, OSB production was estimated at 730, 000cbm. Only large manufacturers could increase production then, compared to 2015.