Foreign enterprises are chopping into local wood supplies to set up their own medium density fiberboard (MDF) manufacturing plants in Vietnam.
Tran Ngoc Thuan, general director of Vietnam Rubber Group, said Vietnam used around one million cubic metres of MDF annually, 70 per cent of which had to be imported.
To serve the local potential market, MDF VRG Dongwha’s $125 million MDF manufacturing plant, Asia’s biggest, has just kicked into gear in southern Binh Phuoc province’s Minh Hung III Industrial Park.
Work on the 38.46 hectare plant started in June 2010 and it has a designed capacity of 35,000 tonnes of formaline, 54,000 tonnes UF resin and 300,000 cubic metres of MDF.
“This is the biggest MDF plant in Asia with equipment and production lines imported from Europe,” said Le Minh Chau, chairman of MDF VRG Dongwha, whose 49 per cent is owned by Vietnam Rubber Group and 51 per cent by Korea-based Dongwha Group.
The plant’s main products are a series type of MDF, especially thin MDF products which have not been manufactured in any other MDF plants in Vietnam yet, said Chau.
After two months of production testing, the plant reached 80 per cent of its full capacity of 300,000 cubic metres of MDF. Moreover, the plant’s products are also exported to the US, Japan, India and Middle East.
MDF VRG Dongwha plant utilises abundant sources of rubber trees, as well as acacia, eucalyptus, pine in Vietnam.
Most raw materials for production were domestically supplied from southern and Central Highland areas, except methanol for formaline production, said Tran Ngoc Thanh, vice director of MDF VRG Dongwha.
According to MDF VRG Dongwha, its revenue in 2012 is expected to achieve VND900 billion ($43 million) and around VND1.5 trillion ($72 million) annually.
Veco, a joint venture between Japan’s Sumitomo Forestry and Sumitomo Forestry Singapore, also started commercial production of its $110 particle board plant in Vietnam in May, 2012.
This facility applies an integrated particleboard line capable of producing 250,000 cubic metres of particleboard from low value wood annually, covering 20 hectares in southern Long An province’s Phu An Thanh Industrial Park.
Long An, particularly, has a abundant forested melaleuca, the main material for our plant’s production, said Soichiro Kitamura, CEO of Veco.
Vietnam Rubber Group has set up a wood production and processing development strategy aiming to raise its MDF manufacturing capacity up to 500,000 cubic metres by 2015 to meet the local demand and for export.