The project is expected to create 700 temporary construction jobs, 200 full-time jobs in the plant, and hundreds of new jobs in the local forestry and transportation industries.
Lloyd Hotchkiss is the Plant Manager for the new site, owned by Arauco. He said there are a number of reasons Grayling was chosen for the project. “One was the access to raw material and secondly it was close to a lot of our major customers which some of our furniture manufacturers are right here in Michigan as well as northern Ohio and the midwest. So this area was under supplied for particleboard which is primarily for the furniture manufacturing business.”
Hotchkiss said he expects the new Grayling plant to provide millions of dollars in economic stimulus to the community.
“It’ll be the largest in North America, certainly one of the most modern sites we’ve taken the knowledge that we’ve learned over the years from our South American operations and North American and come up with what we thought was the best and most modern design for this size of a plant with this kind of output.”
Hotchkiss said construction is expected to be complete in late 2018.