The Austrian Pfeifer Group is increasing its production capacity to 100,000 m³ cross laminated timber (CLT) annually with the second expansion stage.
In addition to the German core market, neighboring countries such as BeNeLux, France, as well as Scandinavian and Eastern European countries are moving into the sights of the manufacturer in the medium term.
A year ago, the Pfeifer Group started active sales of cross laminated timber at the Schlitz location in Hesse. And despite challenging circumstances caused by the pandemic, the company’s first cross-laminated timber line soon achieved satisfactory capacity utilization. While the capacities in the first full year of production were designed for 50,000 m³, the second expansion stage began as planned before the turn of the year. In order to achieve the targeted 100,000 m³ / year, Pfeifer is currently installing a further finger jointing system as well as additional beam capacities. At the same time, process optimization and the acquisition of additional specialists for production and the technical back office are running. An expansion up to 3-shift operation is planned in order to always be able to process the growing order volume promptly.
To date, Pfeifer has invested 30 million euros in the new CLT plant on a total of 6 hectares. Another 6 million will flow into the second expansion stage – an investment that should be worthwhile due to the increasing proportion of timber construction in the construction industry, reports Bernd Gusinde, Technical Sales Manager CLT at Pfeifer: “A social paradigm shift has not only been emerging since the Coronavirus crisis, ecology and resource conservation a much higher priority than in the past. In addition, the German real estate market is still booming. Possible short-term corona-related losses, for example in the public sector and in the tourism sector, are compensated by dynamic residential construction. The public sector has also recognized the advantages of timber construction”
After completion of the second expansion stage in spring 2021, the company’s medium-term strategy provides for a further expansion of timber construction capacities, reports Gusinde: “We are following the market and its trends very closely. In addition to specializing in the DACH region and in Italy, we would like to appear even more internationally in the future. The approval for France is currently in progress, and we would also like to gain a foothold in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and interesting overseas markets. “
The Pfeifer Group has around 2,000 employees at 8 locations in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. 4 million cubic meters of wood are processed in the group’s fully integrated sawmills into sawn timber and planed goods, concrete formwork panels, formwork beams, cross laminated timber (CLT), glued laminated timber, glued solid wood panels as well as pallet blocks, briquettes, pellets and bio-electricity. It is exported to 90 countries worldwide.