Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, has unveiled the £95m mill expansion at Norbord’s Inverness plant.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise also awarded Norbord a £12 million development grant, on top of Norbord’s investment, to help fund the expansion.
The expansion and modernisation of the mill has seen it upgraded to continuous press technology, which will increase the capacity of oriented strand board (OSB) production at the site from 350,000 to 640,000 cubic metres. The investment has nearly doubled the size of Norbord’s site in Dalcross, Inverness and helped to secure its long-term future in the area.
The First Minister attended the official opening and had the opportunity to meet members of staff instrumental in bringing the project to life over the past four years. She commented: “Norbord’s £95 million expansion of its Dalcross plant is one of the largest single inward investments made into Scotland. It will significantly increase capacity and demonstrates the vibrancy of the Scottish forestry sector.
“This is a welcome investment for the Highlands that will secure a long term future for the factory. It has received more than £12 million support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and is expected to generate £37 million gross value added of new economic activity for the Scottish economy each year, of which £22 million would be retained within the HIE area.”
Karl Morris, Managing Director of Norbord Europe, added: “The launch event was the culmination of several years of work to dramatically increase the capacity of the plant and a fantastic celebration of our investment and commitment to Inverness. It was a pleasure to welcome the First Minister to witness first-hand the positive impact the project is having on the community. The new line will help ensure we continue to be a leader in OSB production by meeting our customers’ increasing demand for the product.”