Resources / Grayling Particleboard Updates / FAQ
What is the ARAUCO Particleboard Plant project?
The ARAUCO Grayling Particleboard Plant will be a state-of-the-art manufacturing operation that will produce world-class decorative wood panel products used in home interiors and furniture across North America. The plant will feature the latest technology that will meet or exceed all international, federal and state safety and environmental standards. Certifications will include ISO 14001 (Environmental), OHSAS 18001 (Safety), FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and ECC (Eco-Certified Composite) Certified Mill.
In addition to the economic benefits the project will bring to the regional community, the Particleboard Plant will extend the effective and efficient use of forest resources by utilizing wood by-products, like wood chips, from local manufacturers.
Who is ARAUCO?
ARAUCO is a global forestry company that produces market pulp, panels, solid wood and energy. ARAUCO is headquartered in Santiago, Chile. The company’s North American headquarter offices are located in Atlanta, Ga. ARAUCO places top priority on good citizenship. The company respects its surroundings and has a track record of creating sustainable, long-term value in all our communities. You can visit the company’s North American operations website at
Why did ARAUCO choose Grayling, Michigan
ARAUCO is very excited about its new business venture and the significant economic stimulus it will bring to Northern Michigan. We are grateful for the outstanding and positive support we have received from both local and state of Michigan officials.

The township of Grayling offered multiple location advantages over other potential locations:

• Close proximity to abundant wood and raw material resources to supply a large-scale operation on a long-term sustainable basis: surplus forest resources, proximity to residual wood by-product suppliers (e.g., nearby sawmills) and a resin plant;
• Favorable rates for industrial energy supply;
• Proximity to the ARAUCO North America customer base to defray the costs of long distance freight of finished panels;
• Last, but not least, Grayling and its surrounding communities offer an ample supply of potential employees, as well as local community colleges to support training and educational programs.
How many jobs with the ARAUCO Particleboard Plant project create?
It’s expected that the ARAUCO Particleboard Plant will create approximately 200 permanent jobs and approximately 700 construction jobs. It is also estimated that the plant will create 1-2 support jobs for every one permanent job. In all, this plant’s construction and ongoing operation could create close to 1,500 project-based and permanent jobs.
What are some of the expected economic benefits of the new project?
In addition to the additional dollar flow into the larger economy from new payroll taxes generated by both temporary construction and permanent plant jobs, local and regional business are already benefitting from the project. To date, ARAUCO has engaged more than a dozen local or Michigan-based businesses to support the plant’s design and site development. More retailers, suppliers and vendors will be engaged over the course of the next two years and beyond as the facility is constructed and begins full operation.
What is the timing for the project?
Site excavation is complete to support foundational work and we continue to fine tune and finalize the engineering the plant. We are gratified that the state of Michigan has approved and completed our permitting process, and look forward to sharing with the community the next steps toward building this state-of-the-art facility. Depending on the weather, construction will begin in spring of 2017. An expansion of a third lane on Four Mile Road to our plant entrance is scheduled for the summer of 2017. Timing for the plant to start into full operation is expected to occur in late 2018.
What is the size of the project and where is it located?
ARAUCO purchased approximately 600 acres from the State of Michigan/Crawford County adjacent to Four Mile Road in Grayling, Mich., as well as three additional small parcels of land from individual land owners totaling 40 acres that were connected to the primary 600 acres. Those individual properties were purchased because of proximity to proposed plant equipment. Out of this acreage, ARAUCO plans to utilize approximately 150, or 25% for the main production building and operational elements including wood residual and log handling systems and storage. The remaining 75% of the ARAUCO property will remain forested. ARAUCO does not see the need to purchase any additional land.

Please note that out of concern for public safety and the safety of employees and contractors no trespassing or hunting will be allowed on ARAUCO property.
Will there be plant tours available after construction?
Yes, upon its completion, ARAUCO plans to hold an open house tour to showcase this state-of-the-art facility to thank the community for its cooperation and support.  
Will ARAUCO be supporting any local charities in the area?
ARAUCO has a history of active corporate participation in the communities where we have operations. You can expect that we will be a strong, proactive member of the Grayling and Crawford County business community. Besides providing safe and rewarding employment, ARAUCO applies the following principles in its community relations:

• Support activities and charities our employees are active in. (i.e., coaching sports)
• Children and education
• Health and medical systems in the community

Once the Grayling leadership team members are in place, they will develop a plan for our civic philanthropy and sponsorship activities.
When and how can one apply for a job at the ARAUCO Grayling Particleboard Plant and what are the skill and education requirements?
Thank you for your interest in joining the ARAUCO team! In the near future, ARAUCO will be advertising for career opportunities in local Grayling and surrounding community newspapers as well as well-known online job recruitment sites. We also will post all open positions on our company website. Recruitment has begun for key leadership positions. The majority of positions will be posted in a phased in approach beginning in late 2017 with the majority of the hiring process to start in early 2018.

All applications should be directed to our website:

Roles will include plant production operators, as well as trade skills (millwrights, electricians, instrumentation etc.). All of our successful candidates will be required to cross train in several areas of the business and become experts in in at least three areas of operation.

The minimum requirements for successful candidates include:

• Grade 12 education and minimum of three years in related experience, or post-secondary education in a related industry, and
• Successful testing and passing a panel interview.

ARAUCO is committed to sourcing employees from the local population, when possible.
I am looking to forge a business relationship to support the plant?s construction and/or ongoing operations as a vendor and/or as a wood resource supplier. Where can I send my information?
Thank you for your interest in supporting the ARAUCO Grayling Particleboard Plant business operations! You can send your company’s information to the ARAUCO Grayling, Mich., Particleboard Plant business office:

Please send mail to:
Attn: ARAUCO Grayling Particleboard Plant
5851 Arauco Road
PO Box 667
Grayling MI

You also can email us at: We will be sure to pass along your message to the appropriate person within our organization.

The Grayling business office location is:

502 Norway Street
Grayling, MI 49738
How will ARAUCO protect the natural resources near and on its site and the larger regional environment?
Environmental and Safety Certifications
All ARAUCO Particleboard Plants and Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) Plants in North America operate under internationally recognized standards to drive environmental improvements and help to keep our employees and contractors safe. Specifically, we will be certified under the ISO 9001 (quality management system) ISO 14001 (environmental management system), and OHSAS 18001 (safety management system). All of ARAUCO’s operations also are certified as compliant with the Forest Stewardship Council® Chain-of-Custody standards, verifying that the wood fiber in finished products has been sourced responsibly. The Grayling Particleboard plant will meet or exceed these standards, as well as the permit requirements from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and Grayling Charter Township.
Forest Management 
ARAUCO will not directly manage logging operations, but instead purchase wood and wood by-products from local sawmills and logging companies. As always, we will apply sound and sustainable forest management practices in working with our wood and fiber suppliers.

Because wood chips are the base material in composite panels, our plant will extend the effective and efficient consumption of regional forest resources by utilizing more of each tree, as well as apply new commercial use to wood by-products from local sawmills.

It is also important to note that one of the reasons ARAUCO chose the Grayling location was the abundant wood supply in the region. The ARAUCO plant will not increase logging operations as compared to historical levels because due to business contraction in the industry in recent years, the region has built up a significant surplus of forest resources.

To put our intended use of the local forest resources in perspective, we anticipate utilizing only 30% of the surplus regional forest resources on an annual growth basis when we are at full operating capacity. At the same time, the forest will continue to grow.

Water Quality  

The particleboard manufacturing process is essentially dry and does not require much water. The water supply Particleboard Plant operations will need is mainly for potable (drinking) water, utility water and fire suppression. The limited amount of waste water treatment will be supplied by Crawford County. ARAUCO and the county are collaborating to install a new water supply system. ARAUCO is funding the majority of this project with some funding assistance from a state of Michigan grant.  

There also is a construction site storm water management plan developed that was  approved by Crawford County, and an operational storm water management plan that needs to be approved by MDEQ when we get closer to mill start-up.     Last, Michigan state laws are in place to protect forests and waterways and these laws will be enforced by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in overseeing our plant operations.

Kirtland’s Warblers (A protected bird species)
A survey was conducted to validate that there are no signs of Kirtland’s Warblers on any of the ARAUCO property. Should any appear, we will take appropriate actions. Keeping in mind we have purchased 640 acres and will only be utilizing 150 of it. In addition, because hunting will not be allowed hunting on our property, there should be less human disturbance to the forested area.

We will be using Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) technology, to incinerate process emission streams as well as advanced air filtering equipment. The MDEQ has approved the air permit after a rigorous review to ensure the mill meets all air quality standards.

The water-based glue we will use to bind our wood chips into decorative home panels is a resin called Urea Formaldehyde. It is very safe and is used in the manufacture of hundreds of industrial and consumer products – from vaccines to beverages. Formaldehyde is one of the most extensively regulated chemical compounds. Government regulations including US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), CARB, Michigan DEQ and the US EPA set standards to protect human health and the environment. These standards allow for the safe production, storage, handling and use of this important building block of a wide range of construction and consumer goods, including composite panels and finished products made with them.

The resin we use meets the toughest North American standards and possibly the world, and for the Arauco Grayling plant will be certified under the ISO 14001 – Environmental Management Standard.  

Our state-of-the-art technology will be engineered for low noise impact. In addition, our site has the benefit of a natural topography that separates our facility from local residential neighbors by a hill. This natural topography will block a lot of sound organically, plus we are creating organic berms on top of the hill for further noise abatement.

Out of the 640 acres we purchased, we will be situating our facility on about 150 acres, or 25% on the far west side of the acreage – nearer to I-75 – leaving a remaining 75% of the acreage forested land for the benefit of the community and further natural noise abatement.

Any infrequent and intermittent slight odor emitted from the ARAUCO Grayling Particleboard Plant would be that of a sweet smell similar to wood saunas or burning wood, i.e., wood drying and heating. Emissions from our wood handling, manufacturing equipment, and energy production will meet or exceed international, federal and state standards.

The ARAUCO Grayling Particleboard Plant site is located on what is an existing industrial corridor, but our calculation is that our traffic impact will be no more than a 7-14% increase on weekdays and even less than that on weekends. Also, the community should expect additional traffic on Four Mile Road from the newly developed Kirtland Medical College.

Our calculation is based on historic data from Michigan Department of Transportation. Most of the trucks delivering wood resources and carrying finished panel product will be coming off and onto the I-75 Highway ramps, i.e., west and prior to driving by any of the nearby residents. In addition, in the summer of 2017, the Michigan Department of Transportation will build a third lane from the Kirtland College entrance to the ARAUCO entrance for local traffic safety and convenience.

I have a specific question about the ARAUCO Particleboard Plant, who should I contact?
Thank you for your interest. For any general inquiries, please email us at: We will be sure to send your question to the appropriate person within our organization.