No threat to jobs at Waterford board plant

 

THERE is no danger of job reductions or closure of the Louisiana Pacific Coillte strand board plant in Waterford despite heavy losses in the first year of operation, informed sources have told The Irish Times.

The £45 million plant, which is 65 per cent owned by Louisiana Pacific and 35 per cent by Coillte, the State forestry company, is expected to report losses of £5.5 million in the year to the end of December 1996, with Coillte's share of the losses being around £1.5 million.

Louisiana Pacific Coillte was set up last year to process low grade wood pulp into higher value oriental strand board, but production only began last August. This meant that the company had to absorb all the start up costs against only five months production. The company also suffered from over capacity on the US market with anticipated sales failing to materialise.