Kronospan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Kronospan
Private
Industry Wood, manufacturing
Founded 1897
Products Processed wood
Revenue €4 billion (2015)
Number of employees
14,000 (2016)
Website http://www.kronospan-worldwide.com

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, window boards, lacquered HDF and others and speciality and decorative paper.

History[edit]

Kronospan was established in 1897 in Lungötz, Austria, as a family business. In 1972 the company opened a UK manufacturing unit in the former coal mining town of Chirk, North Wales. It is now 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]

Locations[edit]

Kronospan has operations in 31 countries:

Tax evasion[edit]

In 2002 Kronospan was investigated for tax evasion in Germany. In August 2002, Burkhard Dannewald, the senior prosecutor for Bielefeld, issued an arrest warrant for Peter Kaindl, the managing director and co-owner of Kronospan, relating to 27 counts of tax evasion in the sum of 20-25 million.[2] As an Austrian national, Kaindl could not be extradited to Germany on tax matters, but voluntarily subjected himself for prosecution.[3] The charges related to "payments for allegedly useless patents which falsely reduced the profits of the company between 1998 and 2001."[2] Kaindl and 2 other Kronospan employees admitted the offences at Paderborn district court. He was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment, suspended for 3 years, and fined €5 million. Ingo Leiner, executive director of Kronospan GmbH and Kronospan Flooring GmbH, received 17 months probation, and Rainer Barbier, the company's tax consultant and lawyer, received 18 months probation. It was reported that the "lenient sentences reflected the paying back of taxes owed to the authorities by the parties."[3]

Health, safety and environmental[edit]

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.[4] 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.[5] 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.[6][7]

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.[8][9] Kronospan's shutdown supported the European Panel Federation's[10] 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 [11] campaign to reverse the consequences of the Renewables Obligation, which is a result of European Union Climate Change Directives.[12]

Pollution incidents[edit]

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.[13][14] Between May 2002 and July 2003 Environment Agency Wales (EAW) tests showed Kronospan UK discharged pollutants including ammonia "far in excess of agreed levels" into waterways feeding the River Dee. On 1 July 2003 the level of fuel oil pollutants from the Chirk plant were so high that they triggered a "pollution red alert" on the River Dee. To prevent the contamination of drinking water the water treatment plant at Bangor-on-Dee was shut down during the incident.[15][16] An EAW spokesman said: "This case and the level of fine imposed clearly demonstrates how seriously the agency and the courts view companies who fail to ensure their activities do not cause harm to the environment."[17] In May 2005 Kronospan UK was fined £25,000 by Wrexham magistrates after pleading guilty to five offences of polluting local waterways.[18]

In July 2005 Kronospan UK invested £700,000 on an improved water recycling and filtration process.[19][20]

Fires[edit]

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.[21] 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.[22][23] The plant suffered further industrial fires in April and September 2007 and September 2010.[24][25][26] In 2012 firefighters attended industrial blazes at the plant in June, twice in July and again in October.[27][28] 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.[29]

Following the July 2015 explosions at the Wood Treatment Ltd. plant in Bosley, Cheshire, which resulted in 4 deaths, concerns were raised by Chirk Town Council about the safety of the dust stacks at the Chirk plant, and ongoing environmental complaints about residential contamination from dust and formaldehyde.[30]

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. As the rollers were operating in a reverse direction, the worker's arm was extruded toward the man, rather than his body being dragged into the machine. 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." Although the machine had been in use for three years the button had never been pressed before and not even the management knew what it was for.[31]

On 27 February 2013, an employee at the Kronospan plant in Menznau, Switzerland, opened fire with a handgun on fellow employees in the plant's canteen, killing 4 and injuring 5 before killing himself.[32][33][34][35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ - Kronospan - about us
  2. ^ a b "Arrest warrant out for co-owner of Kronospan". Wood Based Panels International. 1 August 2002. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ a b "Kronospan managers sentenced for tax evasion". Wood Based Panels International. 1 December 2003. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ Watson, Craig (22 June 1999). "Greenways". The Herald. Glasgow. p. 12. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ "Community initiative making major impact". Daily Post. Liverpool. 14 November 2001. p. 2. 
  6. ^ "Move to cut CO2 emissions". Western Mail. Cardiff. 3 December 2003. p. 3. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  7. ^ "Climate concern". Daily Post. Liverpool. 14 January 2004. p. 7. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  8. ^ "Chirk factory workers protest over 'subsidy threat'". BBC Wales Today. North Wales. October 29, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Kronospan workers urge Government to step in over subsidies". Liverpool Daily Post. North Wales. October 30, 2010. 
  10. ^ European Panel Federation website
  11. ^ Make Wood Work Campaign website
  12. ^ "Biomass schemes will boost destructive timber imports, claims wood industry". The Guardian. September 11, 2011. 
  13. ^ Roberts, Elwyn (9 March 2002). "Fines for pollution of river reduced". Liverpool Daily Post. Liverpool. p. 3. 
  14. ^ "Polluter fined £60,000". Western Mail. Cardiff. 11 January 2002. p. 1. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  15. ^ Bagnall, Steve (12 November 2004). "Pollution shame of N. Wales factory". Liverpool Daily Post. Liverpool. p. 1. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  16. ^ "Flooring company fined £60,000 for polluting River Dee tributary". Western Mail. Cardiff. 13 November 2004. p. 16. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  17. ^ Evans, Derek (22 November 2004). "Grand Canal Basin suffers a pollution setback". Irish Times. Dublin. p. 23. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  18. ^ "Bradley Factory fined". Liverpool Daily Post. Liverpool. 17 May 2005. p. 4. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  19. ^ "Water system on trial". Liverpool Daily Post. Liverpool. 27 July 2005. p. 5. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  20. ^ "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)). 
  21. ^ "Company fined over blaze". Liverpool Daily Post. Liverpool. 1 March 2002. p. 8. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  22. ^ "Chipboard factory fire". Liverpool Daily Post. Liverpool. 18 June 2002. p. 13. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  23. ^ "70 firemen tackle blaze". Western Mail. Cardiff. 18 June 2002. p. 3. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  24. ^ "Chipboard plant blaze". Liverpool Daily Post. Liverpool. 16 April 2007. p. 8. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  25. ^ "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)). 
  26. ^ 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)). 
  27. ^ "Crews at third fire in weeks at Chirk Kronospan factory". BBC News. 8 July 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  28. ^ "Kronospan: fire in wood products factory near Chirk". BBC News. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  29. ^ Williams, Kelly (18 April 2014). "Kronospan Chirk: Firefighters spend 11 hours tackling factory blaze". North Wales Daily Post. Llandudno Junction. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  30. ^ "Calls for urgent talks over Shropshire border wood firm's dust". Shropshire Star. Telford. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  31. ^ 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)). 
  32. ^ "Three dead in Swiss factory shooting". BBC News. 27 February 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  33. ^ Baehni, Michael; Moulson, Geir (27 February 2013). "3 dead in Swiss workplace shooting". AP Online. Retrieved 11 January 2016 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (help)). 
  34. ^ "Death toll from Swiss Menznau shooting rises to five". The Independent. London. 5 April 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  35. ^ "Gunman used brother's pistol in factory shooting". Swissinfo. 21 March 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 

External links[edit]