Arauco names Grayling Particleboard Plant project leadership

GRAYLING/Atlanta, GA–ARAUCO, a global producer of wood products, today formally announced the two leaders that will manage construction and operation of the company’s new $400 million particleboard investment located in Grayling, Mich. 

Tex Giddens, Project Director, to lead on-site construction activities

 “Tex has a long history of helping our company execute capital improvement projects across our entire North American asset base.”

“The dedication he exhibits to ensuring that projects are completed successfully and safely is unequaled.”

“We can’t imagine running a strategic project of this magnitude without Tex on site,” said Jake Elston, Vice President of Operations of ARAUCO North America. “It gives us confidence that Tex is managing the construction of the biggest, most important investment we’ve made in North America.”   Lloyd Hotchkiss, Plant Manager, to prepare the Grayling plant for start-up and full-time manufacturing operations.

 “As a former Manufacturing Director for Arauco’s Canadian Operations, Lloyd comes to Grayling with a wealth of knowledge and extensive industry experience in all aspects of panel board manufacturing operations,” said Kelly Shotbolt, President of ARAUCO North America. “His strong technical skills are matched by his leadership traits, which will be critical as we continue the construction and launch of one of North America’s most productive and modern composite panel product facilities.”

Construction on Schedule; Economic Stimulus Underway

Construction plans for the ARAUCO Grayling facility are progressing on schedule, and the project has received all required environmental permits. Actual construction will begin when weather permits in the spring of 2017 and board production is expected to begin in late 2018. Once complete, the plant will measure 820,000 sq. ft. with an annual capacity of 800,000 m3 or 452 million sq. ft. of particleboard, along with full lamination capabilities.  

The company has hired Amec Foster Wheeler (Amec) for construction management services. The company has a physical location in Traverse City, Mich. In addition to Amec, ARAUCO has engaged multiple local and Michigan-based companies in support of the plant’s design and site development, delivering welcome economic stimulus to the Grayling Charter Township, greater Crawford County, Roscommon County and Otsego County areas. For more information on local vendors and for project updates, the community can visit the project website at

Recruitment to Begin in Late 2017

The ARAUCO Grayling plant will create approximately 700 construction jobs and approximately 200 permanent jobs. In addition to the Giddens and Hotchkiss appointments, Arauco has begun recruitment for some specific leadership roles. Open positions can be found on the company website at Recruitment for the bulk of plant positions will begin in late 2017 and span into the beginning of 2018. 


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