Woodbois acquires additional veneer equipment to boost production

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Woodbois Limited (LON:WBI) said it has acquired two additional veneer lines for its Gabon operations from CEMA Bois De L’Atlas, one of Africa’s largest plywood manufacturers.


The forestry and timber group said it will pay EUR800,000 for the two veneer lines, the first of which is currently in the Gabonese capital of Libreville and will be delivered and installed in the late second and early third quarter of 2021. The second line will be delivered and installed in the second half of the year.


READ: Woodbois sharply cuts debts, notes business resilience despite pandemic


The firm also said it has agreed to sell logs to CEMA’s existing operations in Gabon on a monthly basis under an offtake agreement in lieu of cash consideration payments for the lines.


The first veneer line is expected to add approximately 35 cubic metres (m3) per day of veneer production capacity to its existing 30m3 facilities, the company said, adding that the second veneer line has production capacity for an additional 75m3 per day of output.


Woodbois said the purchase of the machinery is consistent with its intentions to further expand its manufacturing presence in Gabon, adding that the additional veneer lines will employ a further 50 local people in 2021 and a further 70 people in 2022.


“We are delighted to be further growing our high margin veneer business through this agreement with CEMA, a business that Woodbois has a longstanding relationship with. The transactions will benefit Woodbois, as we will gain from economies of scale and CEMA, who will secure supply from a trusted source under the offtake agreement”, Woodbois chairman and chief executive Paul Dolan said in a statement.


“This announcement provides further evidence of Woodbois’ ambitious growth plans, but also that Gabon remains at the forefront of the company’s expansion plans: we remain a committed provider of long-term, skilled employment opportunities there”, the CEO added.


Shares in Woodbois jumped 4.3% to 7.2p in late afternoon trading on Thursday.

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