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Uniboard invests $250M in Val-d’Or plant, receives $10M in federal funds


June 22, 2022
By Jennifer Ellson


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Uniboard's Val-d’Or mill. Photo: Uniboard

Uniboard has announced an investment of $250 million in a new state-of-the-art particleboard press line at its Val-d’Or facility. At the same time, the Canadian government announced a $10 million financial assistance for the Val-D’Or plant through the Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED).

The Val-d’Or mill’s new continuous press will feature the latest in particleboard production technologies. Construction will begin in the summer of 2022 and start-up is targeted for 2025. Approximately 190 people will be employed at the plant when the project is completed.

This investment is the third phase of Val-d’Or’s investment plan and affirms Uniboard’s leadership in the North American engineered wood products sector, said Lionel Dubrofsky, chairman of Uniboard.

“When completed, we will have invested over $350 million in the Val-d’Or plant over the course of three phases, making it the most advanced particleboard plant in North America. Uniboard will rank as one of the leading integrated producers of TFL, particleboard and MDF. Val-d’Or is renowned for its black spruce fiber making our particleboard unmatched in the North American market,” added Dubrofsky.

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In announcing CED’s repayable contribution of $10 million for Uniboard, Minister Pascale St-Onge, Member of Parliament for Brome–Missisquoi, Minister of Sport, and Minister responsible for CED said, “Quebec businesses are at the core of our communities as they develop and are part of our government’s economic recovery plan. We are determined to help them prosper and become more competitive and productive. Our government is proud to support Uniboard, especially since its project includes a major environmental component. This forestry business’s contribution to the economic vitality of Val-d’Or is undeniable! Without a doubt, the spinoffs of this project will be felt right across the region and throughout Quebec and Canada.”

The funds have been granted under CED’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program.

The modernization is an important milestone for Uniboard and its operations team, said James Hogg, president and CEO of Uniboard. “This investment continues a 45 year success story and will play a large role in strengthening relationships with existing clients and developing new customers, markets and business opportunities. It will broaden our product offering and availability, ensuring Uniboard as the supplier of choice,” Hogg said.

In addition to having the latest in particleboard production technology, the Val-d’Or plant will be carbon negative through carbon sequestration in long lasting products and low carbon intensity production. Beyond this, Uniboard will enter the market for thin panels, a biocomposite in high demand in the North American market.

“We would like to thank the Government of Canada for its contribution to this key project [that] will allow us to operate the most modern particleboard manufacturing plant in North America,” said Uniboard’s CFO and vice-president of finance André Lemire. “It will be instrumental in developing new markets and product lines while ensuring that we remain competitive and reduce our carbon footprint.”

The Val-d’Or plant is geographically well located to service core markets in Quebec and the United States by truck and rail. In addition to its ability to produce value-added TFL products, the Val-d’Or plant also leverages the capabilities of its onsite Unires resin plant, making it one of the most integrated production sites in North America.