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IndustryWood, manufacturing
ProductsProcessed wood
Revenue€4 billion (2015)
Number of employees
14,500 (2017)

Kronospan is an international company that manufactures and distributes wood-based panels which are used in applications including flooring, furniture and timber-framed houses.

The company manufactures particleboard, medium density fibreboard, laminate flooring, resins for wood-based panels and oriented strand board. It also produces melamine-faced panels, post-formed worktops, wall panels, lacquered HDF and others and speciality and decorative paper.


Kronospan was established in 1897 in Lungötz, Austria, as a family business. Today, Kronospan has developed a supply chain with over 40 production sites and 16 distribution centres in 29 countries and more than 14,500 workers around the world. In 1972 the company opened a UK manufacturing unit in the former coal mining town of Chirk, North Wales. It is one of the top 10 manufacturing companies in Wales and employs more than 600 people with 90% of the workforce living within a 10-mile radius of the Chirk site.[1]


Kronospan has operations in 30 countries:

Chirk Kronospan viewed from Chirk High Street.

Future Investments[edit]

Kronospan is investing $211 million in its enterprises in Belarus during 2017-2018, when approximately 120 new jobs will be created. The director of Kronospan OSB, informed Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus' President, about the company's willingness to work directly with Belarusian state-run timber harvesting enterprises and get the necessary amounts of timber as close to manufacturing sites as possible in order to minimize transportation costs.[2]

The company will also invest EUR 330 million on its production site in Sanem, Luxembourg in the next 5 years, which includes a second cogeneration plant and extension of the plant's production capacity. The project is not only a modernisation of the plat's production capacity but it makes the whole autonomous site energy and thus neutralises the environmental impact of the factory.[3]

Production certification[edit]

Kronospan's products are certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) which applies strict control for air quality and limiting of pollutants, setting the global precedent for eco-friendly manufacturing. The wood-based panel products are also certified by the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®). The timber used for these products comes from verified and well managed forests, which ensures a renewable and sustainable resource. The FSC® label demonstrates to the public and consumer responsible practices, giving credibility with customers and business partners as well as financial institutions and watchdog organizations. Being FSC® certified shows that Kronospan complies with the highest social and environmental standards on the market. The company handles, uses, stores and destroys chemicals in a safe and environmentally healthy way as well as recycling its waste wood. Kronospan has also been awarded with two internationally recognised environmental standards, which cement those certified as leaders in sustainability. The company’s wood-based panels and associated products had their carbon footprint independently measured and certified by BlueGreen Carbon, and since 2009 can officially supply Carbon Positive chipboard products. Kronospan has also achieved CARB low formaldehyde accreditation, further demonstrating its uncompromising commitment to the environment.[4]

A subsidiary of the company, Kronospan Forestry Ltd., manages over 1000 hectares of sustainable forests in the south-west of Scotland. This includes both young forests as well as mid-age plantations offering greater wildlife diversity. In 1999 the company joined the Forest Stewardship Council scheme, which ensures that sustainable practices are used.[5] Kronospan works with Business in the Community Wales (BICW) which aims to address key social issues in the most deprived rural and urban areas of Wales.[6] In 2003 Kronospan was one of the first organisations to sign up with the Carbon Trust in Wales for a pilot programme to manage carbon emissions.[7][8]

In 2010 Kronospan’s workforce took part in a symbolic two-hour shutdown in protest against Government subsidies paid to the biomass industry, which they say directly threaten their jobs, future wood manufacturing and associated industries.[9][10] Kronospan's shutdown supported the European Panel Federation's[11] Day of Action and the company has joined Green campaigners and the UK’s Wood Panel Industries Federation in lobbying Government through the Make Wood Work [12] campaign to reverse the consequences of the Renewables Obligation, which is a result of European Union Climate Change Directives.[13]


In January 2002 Kronospan UK was fined £60,000 for discharging effluent into the River Bradley. The company admitted six offences between 29 March–9 October 2001, with a further four offences taken into consideration.[14][15] In May 2005 Kronospan UK was fined £25,000 by Wrexham magistrates after pleading guilty to five offences of polluting local waterways.[16]

In July 2005 Kronospan UK invested £700,000 on an improved water recycling and filtration process.[17][18]

In March 2002, the company was fined £20,500 after 8,000 tonnes of waste timber caught fire at the Chirk plant and burned for several days. The fire was believed to have been caused by spontaneous combustion following a buildup of heat in damp conditions.[19] The plant caught fire again on 17 June 2002 and firefighters were drafted in from stations in North Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire to tackle the oil fire which had started in a boiler room.[20][21] The plant suffered further industrial fires in April and September 2007 and September 2010.[22][23][24] In 2012 firefighters attended industrial blazes at the plant in June, twice in July and again in October.[25][26] On 17 April 2014 fire broke out again at the factory, requiring 5 appliances and an aerial platform ladder. The fire was extinguished 11 hours later.[27]

Worker safety[edit]

In January 2003 Kronospan UK was fined £15,000 after admitting failure to ensure the safety of an employee. While removing waste paper from between the rollers of a stopped machine, the employee was caught as the rollers closed and the machine started up. An investigation found that another worker who was attempting to correct a fault on the machine had pressed a button "that, unknown to him or anyone else at the factory, was a delayed start button which set the machine rolling.[28]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Kronospan plans massive investments in Belarus". Global Wood Market info. 24 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Kronospan plans massive investments in Belarus". Global Wood Market info. 23 May 2017.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Watson, Craig (22 June 1999). "Greenways". The Herald. Glasgow. p. 12. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  6. ^ "Community initiative making major impact". Daily Post. Liverpool. 14 November 2001. p. 2.
  7. ^ "Move to cut CO2 emissions". Western Mail. Cardiff. 3 December 2003. p. 3. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  8. ^ "Climate concern". Daily Post. Liverpool. 14 January 2004. p. 7. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  9. ^ "Chirk factory workers protest over 'subsidy threat'". BBC Wales Today. North Wales. October 29, 2010.
  10. ^ "Kronospan workers urge Government to step in over subsidies". Liverpool Daily Post. North Wales. October 30, 2010.
  11. ^ European Panel Federation website
  12. ^ Make Wood Work Campaign website
  13. ^ "Biomass schemes will boost destructive timber imports, claims wood industry". The Guardian. September 11, 2011.
  14. ^ Roberts, Elwyn (9 March 2002). "Fines for pollution of river reduced". Liverpool Daily Post. Liverpool. p. 3.
  15. ^ "Polluter fined £60,000". Western Mail. Cardiff. 11 January 2002. p. 1. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  16. ^ "Bradley Factory fined". Liverpool Daily Post. Liverpool. 17 May 2005. p. 4. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  17. ^ "Water system on trial". Liverpool Daily Post. Liverpool. 27 July 2005. p. 5. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  18. ^ "Region's firms rack up hefty pollution fines". Liverpool Daily Post. Liverpool. 27 July 2006. p. 4. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  19. ^ "Company fined over blaze". Liverpool Daily Post. Liverpool. 1 March 2002. p. 8. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  20. ^ "Chipboard factory fire". Liverpool Daily Post. Liverpool. 18 June 2002. p. 13. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  21. ^ "70 firemen tackle blaze". Western Mail. Cardiff. 18 June 2002. p. 3. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  22. ^ "Chipboard plant blaze". Liverpool Daily Post. Liverpool. 16 April 2007. p. 8. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  23. ^ "Fire crew puts out factory blaze". Liverpool Daily Post. Liverpool. 17 September 2007. p. 7. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  24. ^ Bagnall, Steve (11 September 2010). "Blaze at chip board factory". Liverpool Daily Post. Liverpool. p. 9. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  25. ^ "Crews at third fire in weeks at Chirk Kronospan factory". BBC News. 8 July 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  26. ^ "Kronospan: fire in wood products factory near Chirk". BBC News. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  27. ^ Williams, Kelly (18 April 2014). "Kronospan Chirk: Firefighters spend 11 hours tackling factory blaze". North Wales Daily Post. Llandudno Junction. Retrieved 11 January 2016.
  28. ^ Hall, John (24 January 2003). "Firm fined £15,000 after worker's arm got stuck in machine". Liverpool Daily Post. Liverpool. p. 18. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).

External links[edit]