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NZ – Aratu: New owner brings new name

International Forest Industries - Wed, 10/07/2019 - 12:36
New Forests has finalised the acquisition of Hikurangi Forest Farms (HFF), based in Gisborne, New Zealand, on behalf of its investment clients.

As part of the ownership transition HFF has been renamed Aratu Forests Limited. A formal launch of the new rebranded business is planned in Gisborne in September 2019.

The purchase is one of the largest forestry estates in the Gisborne region and includes around 25,000 hectares of radiata pine plantation on 35,000 hectares of freehold, forest rights, and leasehold land. Significant investment has been carried out since the assets were acquired in 1997, building a high yielding and sustainable forest estate that is a significant contributor to the regional economy.

New Forests continues to implement an ownership transition plan incorporating continuity of operations. Aratu Forestry employs 32 staff directly and spends over $40 million annually in the East Coast community. Both companies have undertaken engagement with key stakeholders, including local businesses, Tangata Whenua representatives, councils, and community groups.

“We are encouraged by the positive engagement with stakeholders through the transition period and look forward to further collaboration to support the long- term sustainability of this regionally significant forestry asset,” Matt Crapp, Director Operations for New Forests said.

Aratu Forests Limited will continue to be responsible for the ongoing legal proceedings related to breaches of the Resource Management Act following the Tolaga Bay storm damage in June 2018. “We will be actively pursuing strategies under the relaunched business to ensure that our management practices learn from the outcomes of the Tolaga Bay storm and meet local regulatory and international third-party forest certification standards,” said Crapp.

Mark Rogers, Managing Director for New Forests’ Australia-New Zealand business said, “New Forests and our clients represent long-term, stable, institutional ownership that we believe will be a key enabler for the future sustainable growth of New Zealand’s forest industry.”

Photo: Mark Rogers, Managing Director for New Forests’ Australia-New Zealand

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Tree plantings needs Wood First policy

International Forest Industries - Wed, 10/07/2019 - 12:13

OPINION: Billion Trees will fail without Wood First policy

(Marty Verry is CEO of Red Stag group, which operates the Southern Hemisphere’s largest sawmill and has investments in over 3,000 ha of forestry, a pre-fabrication plant and property developments.)

Would you invest $481 million in growing a product on the assumption that the price and demand for it in China in 28 years will be the same as it is now? Of course not. But you are. We all are through the Billion Trees programme.

China takes seventy-five percent of New Zealand’s logs. You could say we have all our logs in one basket. So the question nobody has asked is, will the demand for our trees be there in twenty-eight years and at what price?

Tens of thousands of hectares of farmland has been snapped up by investors, giddy with grants from the $481 million Provincial Growth Fund allocation to the Billion Trees programme. They have pushed land prices up forty-five percent according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

Farming communities are up in arms at the rapid change, and rightly so in my view. No so much because trees are bad (they are great), but because many of these forests could become investment failures, never to be harvested, and a fire and forest disease risk for decades. A white elephant in every rural road.

So why the doomsday scenario, and what can be done about it? -Firstly, a reality check on relying on China long term for our billion trees. Despite MPI targeting having two-thirds of its 50,000 hectares extra planting annually going into natives, the Billion Tree cabinet paper acknowledges most will be in plantation crops requiring harvesting and re-planting. This seems right given MPI’s own CO2 sequestration look-up tables show natives only absorb one tonne CO2 per hectare annually after fifty years. Hardly a long-term solution to climate change, and certainly not a great return for investors.

What about manuka honey? Manuka is a nursery crop for the larger natives that will eventually take over. So no long term putea for the mokopuna, as the forestry minister might describe the lack of money for the grandkids.

No, the majority of the billion trees will be radiata pine, and radiata pine needs harvesting and re-planting to make the feasibility models work and keep forests healthy. That relies on demand and pricing that covers the cost of land, planting, silviculture, harvesting and transporting the logs.

The problem arises because we are not the only country to work out trees sequester CO2, and launch a billion tree policy. There are a plethora of them around the world. India has planted a billion trees. So has Ethiopia. Pakistan has a ‘Billion Tree Tsunami’ programme underway. A UN billion tree campaign was so successful it was upgraded to a Trillion Tree programme. Even Australia has a billion tree policy.

So, will China need our one billion trees? Ten years ago it temporarily stopped harvesting to replenish its own forest estate. New Zealand’s supply shot up to forty-three percent of China’s log imports. However, it recently announced plans to increase its own forestry estate by 11 billion cubic meters by 2050. China could be producing enough of its own wood products to replace log imports from New Zealand six times over.

This is before one factors in the huge increase in supply targeting China from the rest of world and New Zealand’s own increased production, and the fact that the demand now from China is largely driven by the huge urbanisation programme underway there which will be largely complete by the time our billion trees mature.

This supply-demand imbalance is already playing out in China. Log prices there have crashed by fifteen percent in the last month on the back of huge volumes of cheap wood from Russia and Europe being back-loaded cheaply on trains that would otherwise return empty to China. The Silk Road project will make it easier still. At wharf gate returns are reportedly off up to $29/tonne locally, with logging crews reportedly being laid off as foresters can’t justify harvesting.

This is the market reality for our Billion Trees unless New Zealand can widen its markets and demand for wood products. Wood dominates in lower-rise housing in most countries, so the big opportunity is in the market for mid-rise buildings. New mass timber products such as cross laminated timber (CLT) and glulam are the enablers here.

Governments around the world have recognised the key leadership role they can take in this area, given they are typically the largest procurers of buildings in any country. Many have adopted ‘wood first’ policies for their own building procurement.

In its 2017 Election Manifesto, the Labour Party promised if elected that it would require that “all government-funded project proposals for new buildings up to four storeys high shall require a build-in-wood option at the initial concept / request-for-proposals stage. … Due to advances in engineering and wood processing technologies, we will increase the four story requirement to 10 stories.”

Research conducted for this policy established it could lead to a doubling of demand for structural timber in New Zealand.

Without it, planting one billion trees targeting China risks almost certain failure – either for the government achieving its policy goal, or ultimately for the investors holding white elephant forests.

The Wood First policy has strong broader rationale for adoption, including regional jobs and manufacturing, faster build times, cheaper, safer, less polluting construction, and the displacement of mainly imported steel and concrete which each account for around five percent of climate change emissions.

The folly of having all our logs in the China basket is becoming apparent. To date, the government has failed to implement its promised Wood First policy. What credibility does New Zealand have in international climate change accords if it fails to implement its domestic pledges?

 

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OneFortyOne continues to invest

International Forest Industries - Tue, 09/07/2019 - 14:42

OneFortyOne set to invest a further $19M at its Mt Gambier Mill – When OneFortyOne took ownership of Mount Gambier’s Jubilee Highway Sawmill in 2018, it not only cemented the company’s commitment to the Green Triangle region, but it also marked the first of many significant investments to be made at the site. Over the past 18 months, OneFortyOne has invested $19 million in various projects, ensuring the mill remains one of the largest and most efficient mills in Australia, and at the cutting edge of domestic processing.

The company has announced this week a further $19 million investment at the site for two major capital projects. Work is set to start this month with the purchase and installation of a new scanner and two new highly efficient Continuous Drying Kilns, with the projects set to conclude in 2020.

OneFortyOne’s Executive General Manager Australia, Cameron MacDonald said “We are excited to see the positive impact of our ongoing investment across the mill, ensuring it continues to be a world class plant for many years to come.

We know this will provide job security for our team and is another positive for our local economy.”

Maintaining the internationally recognised timber industry in the Green Triangle is critical to ensuring that Australian grown and processed timber products are competitive against those imported from overseas.

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Maximum Power, Compact Size – the new 910G and 1010G Forwarders from John Deere

International Forest Industries - Tue, 09/07/2019 - 10:35

Agile and versatile, the new John Deere 910G and 1010G Forwarders provide loggers with a reliable solution designed with their needs in mind. Equipped with ultra-comfortable cabs and available with a variety of boom, load space, axle and cabin options, the 910G and 1010G machines can be customized for different worksites or operational needs.

“With the addition of the new 910G and 1010G Forwarders, we are rounding out our forwarder product line to offer a solution for every logging operation,” said Niko Solopuro, product marketing manager WCTL Forwarders and Automation. “Compact in size, these versatile machines deliver power and productivity, even in the most demanding conditions. When in the woods, it is critical to have reliable equipment that ensures operators can efficiently finish jobs, no matter what they may face.”

Available in a six-wheeled or eight-wheeled configuration, the 910G and 1010G models are ideal for early-to-late thinning operations and smaller end final felling applications. Both machines feature an improved design, including a shorter frame in front of the engine to reduce overhang, making operation easier in challenging terrain. Balanced bogie axles, rigid front axles on the six-wheel model, and an unbalanced front bogie axle option offer increased durability. Additionally, the 1010G is designed for improved, terrain-friendly operation and performance in soft soil, and available with a low-ground pressure rear bogie axle option. The models can be equipped with one of two large load space options, narrow and wide, and the headboard offers better visibility to the load area.

The 910G and 1010G models are available with a fixed or rotating and leveling cab. The rotating and leveling cabin helps the operator maintain the correct working posture to prevent stress on the back and shoulder areas, even on uneven terrain, and reduces vibration during operation. A cab rotation of 290 degrees provides a better view of the boom and grapple, while large windows allow for virtually unrestricted all-around visibility. Equipped with comfortable ergonomic armrests, a fully adjustable air-cushioned seat and automated climate-control system, the cab reduces operator fatigue and increases productivity throughout the day.

All booms come standard with precise boom control, and the CF5 boom is available with optional Intelligent Boom Control (IBC). The IBC feature simplifies boom operation, automatically controlling the lift, slew and the extension of the boom based on the location of grapple, increasing accuracy, productivity, and, ultimately, the number of loads per each work shift. With IBC, the operator no longer needs to control each independent boom joint movement separately, instead controlling the boom tip directly.

Both models are designed to enhance drivability and productivity, featuring a transmission with high tractive force and Adaptive Driveline Control (ADC). A first in the forestry industry, ADC improves drivability and productivity by allowing the operator can select the desired RPM setting (Eco, Normal, Power) for the operating conditions. Once selected, the system automatically adjusts the engine’s RPMs to correspond with the engine load. In high-load situations, driveline control ensures that the diesel engine runs smoothly and uses the available maximum tractive force efficiently.

The 910G and 1010G models feature the TimberMatic™ control system, which includes a configurable user interface, cruise control and inclination display. MECA control modules, simple CAN busses and a streamlined electrical system improve the efficiency of machine functions. Additionally, the machines are compatible with the TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager technology offerings, which provides a streamlined software solution that enhances machine connectivity and communication. An extension of the control system, the TimberMatic Maps solution utilizes a mobile network to share real-time product information between machines, such as harvester and forwarder, as well as with the managers in the office. This data can be accessed using the TimberManager web-based solution, which allows the managers to follow progress of the work site, offering total visibility to the operation from the land harvest to the machines at work.

To learn more about the 910G and 1010G Forwarders, as well as the rest of the John Deere forwarder line, visit your local John Deere Forestry dealer or www.deere.com/forwarders.

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Leal from Uruguay wins the IC Competition for PONSSE mechanics

International Forest Industries - Fri, 05/07/2019 - 14:09

The international championship competition for PONSSE mechanics was completed in Junein Iisalmi, Finland. This year´s winner was Facundo Leal from Ponsse Uruguay service team. This year mechanics from 13 different countries from all over the Ponsse network took part in the challenge.

The other prizes in the two-day competition went to Russia. The second highest scores got Andrey Izyurov who is working as a mechanic at Ponsse´s dealer OOO Lespromservis in Komi region and the third highest scores got Nikolay Kovalenko from Ponsse Groups subsidiary OOO Ponsse. The yearly competition is open for each Ponsse subsidiary and dealer and is organised by Ponsse Global Service in cooperation with Ylä-Savo Vocational Collage (YSAO).

The winner of the International Ponsse Mechanics’ competition Facundo Leal regarded the challenges and tasks very difficult, especially the technical part. “Unbelivable feeling to win, one of the best experiences in my life! This is completely different experience than anything else and was fun to share it with everyone from around the world”, Leal tells about his experiences. “When I was younger I wanted to be an architect but there was a work shop in front of our house and I ended up working there. After that I told my parents that I wanted to study engineering instead”, Facundo Leal says.

The first prize is a trip for two to any Ponsse site in the international Ponsse network.

The competition for mechanics contains both theory related and practical tasks

The competition measures a wide range of skills. It measures the mechanics’ knowledge in theory and skills with practical exercises. The exercises are connected to the technique, service and troubleshooting for PONSSE models.

The purpose of this vocational skills competition is to raise the profile of this important profession. Today, the mechanics’ work is extremely diverse and the mechanics have to be proficient in mechanics, hydraulics, and in information systems, says Global Service Manager Terho Tanskanen who is in charge of the arrangements of the competition.

FURTHER INFORMATION:
Terho Tanskanen, Service manager Global Services
tel. +358 40 504 9789, terho.tanskanen@ponsse.com

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Borregaard to invest in project aimed at increasing the use of bioenergy

International Forest Industries - Fri, 05/07/2019 - 13:44

Borregaard has decided to invest NOK 131 million ($15.4 million) in a project aimed at increasing the use of bioenergy from production residuals at the Sarpsborg site in Norway.

When completed in 2021, the bioenergy produced as a result of this project will be approximately 20 GWh per year, representing a reduction of CO2 emissions of 1,200 tonnes. Longer term there is a potential to increase production to 34 GWh per year, and a corresponding reduction of 1,400 tonnes CO2 emissions.

Enova SF, a state enterprise under the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, has decided to support the project by a grant of NOK 46.2 million ($5.4 million), thus reducing Borregaard’s project cost to a net amount of NOK 85 million ($10 million).

Borregaard owns one of the world’s most advanced and sustainable biorefineries. Borregaard produces advanced and eco-friendly biochemicals.

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Norske Skog to invest Euro 72 mill in energy boiler

International Forest Industries - Fri, 05/07/2019 - 13:30

Norske Skog to invest Euro 72 mill in energy boiler at its mill in Austria. The board of directors in Norske Skog AS has approved a Euro 72 million investment in a new 50MW wide range energy boiler at the Norske Skog Bruck mill in Austria.

The investment will improve the carbon footprint, further strengthen the mill’s profitability and create new business beyond publication paper. The new revenue streams will be derived from utilizing refuse derived fuels and paper production residuals.

Sven Ombudstvedt, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Norske Skog, commented: “This investment fits perfectly with our long term green diversification strategy. This energy plant will represent a step-change in our Bruck mill competitiveness as a publication paper producer and will generate significant cash flow from the start-up in 2022. ”

Norske Skog’s long-term strategy remains to improve the core business, to convert certain of the Group’s paper machines and to diversify the business within the bioenergy, fibre and biochemical markets.

The boiler project fits well with Norske Skog’s strategy of doing attractive energy investments and further increasing the Bruck mill’s cost competitiveness, along with increasing the Group’s exposure to revenue streams beyond publication paper.

The energy cost saving will come from reduced consumption of gas and no need of purchasing CO2 allowances; thus, the mill’s carbon foot print will be substantially improved. The boiler project will mainly be financed by external loan from Austrian banks at very competitive terms.

Photo: Sven Ombudstvedt, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Norske Skog

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KiwiRail goes long for logs

International Forest Industries - Wed, 03/07/2019 - 14:11
Longer log trains between Waingawa and Wellington will deliver clearer roads and lower greenhouse gas emissions, KiwiRail Group Chief Executive Greg Miller says.

Yesterday KiwiRail announced it has increased the number of wagons on its daily trains transporting logs from Masterton to CentrePort.

“Last year KiwiRail moved 267,000 tonnes of export logs from the Wairarapa to CentrePort. Increasing the number of wagons from 30 – 45 a day, we will be able to move up to 370,000 tonnes a year. That’s about a 40 per cent increase in capacity,” Mr Miller says.

“Our log trains already avoid about 16,000 log truck journeys into Wellington each year. The additional rail capacity will avoid a further 6,000 truck journeys each year on the Remutaka Hill Road, the Hutt motorway and the pinch-point of Aotea Quay.”

“Not only does this help reduce congestion on the highways, it also reduces road maintenance costs, and transport emissions – given rail has 66 per cent fewer emissions per tonne of freight carried than trucks.”

“This is a great example of taking a multi-modal approach to transport. Trucks transport logs from the forest to the Waingawa hub but rail covers the distance to CentrePort. It shows how rail and road can work effectively together to create economic and social benefits for the people of the wider Wellington region.”

Given log harvests in the lower North Island are expected to see a sustained increase in the coming years, KiwiRail is working with CentrePort and the forestry industry on the potential of further capacity increases from the Waingawa hub.

KiwiRail is also currently developing a log hub at Wairoa, to transport logs on the recently reopened Napier-Wairoa rail line to Napier Port and the Government has announced potential funding for another log hub in Dannevirke.
To go to KiwiRail click here.

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Valutec to supply a continuous drying kiln to Vida Nössemark in Sweden

International Forest Industries - Wed, 03/07/2019 - 13:49

Vida Nössemark is investing in a continuous drying kiln from Valutec. This will increase the annual drying capacity at the sawmill by 70,000 cubic meters (29,700 MBF).

Nössemark, in the province of Värmland, Sweden, produces planed structural lumber with a good deal being exported to Asia. Today, the sawmill produces 150,000 cubic meters (63,600 MBF) but has plans to eventually expand to 250,000 cubic meters (106,000 MBF). Investing in a continuous drying kiln from Valutec will increase the drying capacity by 70,000 cubic meters (29,700 MBF), while the quality of the wood will also increase.

The continuous drying kiln is of FB type and has heat recovery. It will be used exclusively to dry 2.45 metre spruce planks to a moisture content of 18 per cent.

The kiln comes with Valutec’s new Valmatics 4.0 control system. This is the only control system that combines adaptive control simulator technology and enables optimisation of capacity, quality and energy consumption at the same time. The delivery also includes a switch to Valmatics 4.0 on two existing compartment kilns from another supplier.

Installation of the kiln and replacement of the control systems will commence in January 2020 and the facility is expected to be operational in April next year.

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German Log Exports To China Soar

International Forest Industries - Wed, 03/07/2019 - 12:42

In January-May, log imports to China from Russia declined 26.2% y-o-y to 3.6 million m3 with import value dropped 27.2% to $439.8 million, according to China Customs data. U.S. log exports to China fell 39.5% to 1.6 million m3, export value decreased 44.6% to $338.4 million. Share of Russia in Chinese log imports slid 4.97 pp to 14.3% and share of U.S dropped 4.16 pp to 6.5%.

From January through May, log imports to China from New Zealand expanded 15.4% to 7.4 million m3 with import value surged 13.2% to $1.04 billion. Australian log exports to China jumped 29.9% to 2.5 million m3, while average price declined 18.5% to $109 per m3. Log exports from Germany to China soared 243.0% to 959.0 thousand m3, average price fell 39.8% to $153 per m3.

Total Chinese log imports slid 0.59% to 24.9 million m3, while average price decreased 12.1% to $169 per m3.

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Tornator appoints Henrik Nieminen as new CEO

International Forest Industries - Wed, 03/07/2019 - 12:15

Henrik Nieminen, currently the Deputy CEO of Tornator Oyj, has been appointed as the new CEO. He has been working for Tornator since it was founded in 2002.

The Board of Directors and the current CEO, Sixten Sunabacka, have mutually agreed that he will step down from his current position. The change has the full backing of Sunabacka, who will continue to work for Tornator as Senior Adviser until the end of 2019.

Tornator is the leading company in Europe specialised in responsible forestry with own forests in Finland, Estonia and Romania.

Photo: https://esaimaa.fi/uutiset/lahella/dbfe3ecb-e3a1-4ce9-aaac-888c0dc30df5

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Practical focus to international sawmilling series

International Forest Industries - Tue, 02/07/2019 - 12:55

Mark the dates into your diary – if you’re a local sawmiller. Two years ago – over two weeks – the WoodTECH conference series run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) achieved a record turnout of sawmilling companies.

They were drawn from throughout Australia and New Zealand. Over 400 delegates from all major sawmilling companies in the region in addition to leading technology providers from throughout Australasia, North America and Europe converged on Melbourne, Australia and Rotorua, New Zealand.

Two years later, in September 2019, WoodTECH 2019 will again be attracting scanning, sawing, saw and mill maintenance technology specialists, innovators and leading practitioners from around the world into Australasia. The two-day independent programme will again provide New Zealand and Australian sawmills with a unique opportunity to learn about the very latest in technologies and operating practices from around the globe.

“This will be achieved through a series of tailored presentations, practical workshops and on-site exhibitions that have been set up with the industry”, says FIEA Director, Brent Apthorp. “It’s expected again to be the largest gathering of sawmilling expertise yet seen in this part of the world”.

Practical workshops set up for local sawmills
“What makes the 2019 event stand out is the series of workshops that have been set up for local mills” says Mr. Apthorp. “Following on from the success of the 2017 event, a series of practical troubleshooting workshops have been designed for a much wider cross section of sawmill production and operational staff. They’re going to provide a unique insight into how sawmills can extract the best performance out of their saws, machine centers and sawing operations”.

Workshops of between 60-90 minutes are being given on; primary breakdown and machine alignment and maintenance techniques to improve machine reliability, real-time quality control, condition monitoring, saw and guide alignment and trouble-shooting saw guides. In addition to the workshops, presentations throughout the two days in each country have also been geared towards sawmill production staff.

A series of presentations on technology advancements with robotics and automation in the saw shop, some of the new equipment and operating practices drawn from throughout Europe, North America and Australasia together with tips and tools from respected saw doctors will be of real benefit to those working in the saw-shop.

On sawing machine centers, new non-contact, real-time saw temperature monitoring systems will be outlined by leading tech providers out of North America. Saw performance monitoring systems can accurately measure, in real time, the performance of the saw when in the cut for both circular and band saws. This provides real-time feedback of saw performance data to the user which can be used within the mill to evaluate the effect of varying sawing parameters.

“Based on feedback from the major sawmilling event in 2017 and more recent discussions with local mills, we’ve rejigged the two-yearly tech update in both countries. The change in focus is to encourage sawmill teams – management, mill production, saw-doctors and maintenance staff – to take advantage of the line-up of world class international specialists being brought into the region” says Mr. Apthorp. “This will ensure that teams can collectively put the practical learnings into practice once back on site”.

Registrations to both events in the series are now open and can be accessed via the event website, www.woodtech.events. Details of the programmes for both countries likewise can be viewed on line. The series runs in Rotorua, New Zealand on 11-12 September and then again in Melbourne, Australia on 17-18 September 2019

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UK increases 32.4% pellet imports in January-April 2019

International Forest Industries - Tue, 02/07/2019 - 11:53

From January through April, UK pellet imports surged 32.4% to 2.7 million tones, import value jumped 35.8% to €436.0 million, according to Eurostat. Imports to UK from U.S. expanded 10.0% to 1.5 million tones, imports from Canada increased 23.3% to 509.5 thousand tones, imports from Latvia jumped 342.6% to 331.9 thousand tones and that from Estonia soared 554.3% to 102.2 thousand tones. Total pellet imports to UK expanded 32.4% to 2.7 million tones, with import value rocketed 35.8% to €435.0 million.

Denmark’s pellet imports fell 33.6% to 1.1 million tones, average price of pellets exported to Denmark jumped 13.5% to €154 per ton. Italy decreased 22.9% pellet imports to 414,6 thousand tones with import value declined 26.0% to €82.0 million.

In first four months 2019, pellet exports from U.S., the biggest supplier of pellets to EU, slid 2.99% y-o-y to 2.0 million tones with export value was up 2.3% to €330.8 million. Canada’s pellet exports to EU declined 11.7% to 527.6 thousand tones with export value dropped 7.36% to €80.9 million. Pellet exports from Russia surged 22.7% to 487.6 thousand tones, export value jumped 35.8% to €73.3 million.

Total pellet imports to EU slid 3.38% to 5.4 million tones, average price for pellets imported to EU  dropped 7.59% to €166 per ton

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John Deere to invest in customer service centers in Scotland, Sweden and Finland

International Forest Industries - Tue, 02/07/2019 - 11:31

The new customer service centers supporting John Deere’s forest machinery business will open in 2020 in Perth, Scotland; Ockelbo, Sweden; and Laukaa, Finland. The investments will improve the geographical scope of our customer service and the efficiency of customer service.

Construction work on the approx. 9000 m² plot in Perth, Scotland, has already started. The new customer service center will also serve the road construction machinery customers of Wirtgen, a company fully owned by John Deere. The new 1300+ m2 building will house a four-bay machine repair shop, a wash station, a spare parts and accessories store, a spare parts warehouse, a conference room and social facilities for employees. The plot will also have a cold storage and space for new and used machines. This is a growth investment, so customer service will also remain at the current facility in Carlisle, England.

The new customer service center in Ockelbo, Sweden, will replace the previous facility in Alfta. Construction of the new 1250 m² facility will start in June 2019 and will be completed in early 2020. Moving the location to Ockelbo will help the new center to provide service to customers beyond the Alfta area in Sweden. The center will have a four-bay machine repair shop, a wash station, a spare parts and accessories store, a spare parts warehouse, and a conference room and social facilities for employees. The approx. 13,000 m² plot will also have a cold storage and space for new and used machines.

The plot in Laukaa, Finland, is 10,000 m2, and the customer service center will exceed 1,100 m2. All functions from the current Suolahti site will be moved to Laukaa. The center will also have a four-bay machine repair shop, a wash station, a spare parts and accessories store, a spare parts warehouse, and a conference room and social facilities for employees. There will also be a cold storage and space for new and used machines. Construction of the center has started with the earthmoving work, and the actual construction will begin in autumn 2019.

“The central locations of the new customer service centers and the modern facilities will enable more comprehensive and efficient spare parts, maintenance and training services for our customers. Occupational safety, ergonomics and wellbeing for our own employees have been a priority in the planning of the investments. A better customer experience and higher customer satisfaction will also be visible in our machine sales in these regions,” notes Janne Märkälä, General Manager, Europe Sales Operations.

Further information:
Elina Suuriniemi
John Deere Forestry Oy
Tel. +358 400 466 476
SuuriniemiElina@JohnDeere.com

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Wood pellet shipments up 21 percent

International Forest Industries - Tue, 02/07/2019 - 11:07

Global trade of wood pellets jumped more than 21% year-over-year in 2018 when a new record of 22.3 million tons was shipped, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review. The five major pellet exporting countries (the US, Canada, Vietnam, Latvia, and Russia) have remained the top exporters for over five years. They accounted for about 69% of the world’s export volume in 2018.

Following the “big five” in 2018 were Estonia, Austria, Malaysia, Denmark and Germany, in descending order. Pellet production in the US South continued at record pace in, driven by a European move away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. From the 1Q/18 to the 4Q/18, exports from the region were up almost 50%, further manifesting US’s role as the world’s largest producer and exporter of wood pellets, reports the NAWFR. The United States ships practically all its pellets to three countries: the United Kingdom, Belgium and Denmark. Only a small share of the pellet production in the US is consumed domestically.

Demand for imported pellets in Japan and South Korea continued a three-year growth trend in the 4Q/18 when import volumes reached new record highs of 339,000 tons and 993,000 tons, respectively. In 2018, the total annual import volume for the two countries was just over 4.5 million tons, more than doubling in just two years. With the increased trade, prices for pellets landed in both Japan and South Korea have moved upward over the past three years.

In the 4Q/18, the price for pellets imported to Japan averaged $182/ton, up almost six percent from the 4Q/17. Pellet import prices to South Korea, which were nominally lower than those in Japan, rose almost 25 percent during the same period. The lower average cost for South Korea can be explained by that country’s reliance on pellets from low-cost countries in nearby Vietnam and Malaysia. This is unlike Japan, whose major pellet supplier is British Columbia, a more expensive producer of high-quality FSC and SFI certified pellets.

Source: Wood Resources International LLC, www.WoodPrices.com

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ABARES snap shot of Australian wood processing

International Forest Industries - Tue, 02/07/2019 - 10:51

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) released the ABARES National Wood Processing Survey: 2016–17 report on Thursday 13 June 2019. Although maybe already out of date (it does though provide broad trends over a ten-year period), key findings from the survey include;

ABARES estimates that a total of 299 mills (excluding value-add only) operated in 2016–17, comprising 182 hardwood sawmills, 58 softwood sawmills, 23 wood-based panel mills, 19 post and pole mills and 17 cypress pine sawmills.

The number of sawmills in Australia has decreased significantly since 2006–07, with hardwood sawmills decreasing by 64 per cent and softwood and cypress pine sawmills by 31 per cent. The volume of hardwood and softwood sawlogs harvested for domestic processing has also decreased by 38 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively, over the same period. However, the decline in mill numbers has slowed since 2012–13 and total sawlog processing volumes have increased.

In 2016–17, a total of 10.63 million cubic metres of sawlogs was processed in Australian sawmills, which comprised 1.91 million cubic metres of hardwood sawlogs, 8.58 million cubic metres of softwood sawlogs and 147,000 cubic metres of cypress pine sawlogs.

A total of 4.71 million cubic metres of sawnwood was produced in 2016–17, comprising 742,000 cubic metres of hardwood sawnwood, 3.91 million cubic metres of softwood sawnwood and 57,000 cubic metres of cypress pine sawnwood. In 2016–17 an estimated 280,000 cubic metres of posts and poles and 1.79 million cubic metres of wood-based panels was produced.

An estimated AU$2.48 billion of revenue was generated in 2016–17 from the sale of sawnwood processed in Australia, comprising AU$930 million from hardwood sawnwood sales and AU$1.55 billion from softwood sawnwood sales.

ABARES estimates that Australia’s sawmills and post and pole mills employed 8,029 people in 2016–17, of which around 89 per cent were full-time workers (including managers and owners). Males accounted for around 90 per cent of the workforce. Wood-based panel mills employed a total of 2,390 people in 2016–17.

Source: ABARES

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Australia – Tarpeena sawmill upgrade underway

International Forest Industries - Tue, 02/07/2019 - 10:31
Timberlink continues to significantly invest into its Tarpeena sawmill as it transforms into an internationally competitive radiata pine business. The company is investing AU$90 million over the next 3 years to secure local jobs in the region for the next generation, this is in addition to the significant spend that has already taken place at the mill since Timberlink’s takeover in 2013.

Key to the early stages of the project is the construction of a new electrical substation for the town of Tarpeena. This is expected to improve the reliability of electricity supply for the township with all new hardware, modern design features and more reliable components.

The mill upgrade, to be completed in 2021, will increase both the volume of renewable plantation pine logs that can be processed and the yield per log. This will transform the mill into a workplace of the future, with high tech machinery improving accuracy, safety and job security. Timberlink is committed to training and upskilling our staff to run the new machinery and there will be no job losses as a result of the upgrade.

Around 20% of Australia’s softwood timber is imported, and to ensure Timberlink remains internationally competitive, the business is expanding and investing in new technologies to improve efficiency and create more structural timber for the domestic market. The investment includes a completely new saw line, the installation of a new stacker and edger, coupled with addition of a contraflow kiln and a new batch kiln for drying timber. A new drying shed will also be built as part of the project.

The Timberlink Tarpeena mill supports 680 direct and indirect jobs in the area whilst contributing over AU$180m to the local economy. This generational investment will create 200 jobs in the construction phase and secure the 210 permanent full-time jobs at the mill for the next generation. The AU$90m Tarpeena upgrade project will source the best technology from around Australia and the globe to ensure that Timberlink remains an essential supplier to the construction industry in Australia, whilst securing jobs and futures for many families in the Mt Gambier region.

Source: Timberlink

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Tigercat Factory Support Continues To Grow In Australia

International Forest Industries - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 13:08
Tigercat has announced that Nick Cate has been appointed to the position of product support representative for Australia.

Based in Perth, Cate will focus on providing after-sales technical and operational support to Tigercat’s growing customer base in Western Australia.

He previously worked for New Zealand Tigercat dealer, AB Equipment, as a field service technician and has a strong background in engine reconditioning. Cate has a variety of practical experience with the Tigercat product-line and has completed Tigercat training related to skidders, harvesters, track carriers and forwarders.

“Nick brings excellent hands-on technical skills to the Tigercat team with experience that will help us support and grow Tigercat’s customer base in Western Australia. Nick is a valuable addition to the support team and we are very happy to have him onboard,” says Glen Marley, Tigercat district manager for Australia and New Zealand.

After recently visiting the Tigercat factory Nick appreciates how Tigercat cares for its employees and how the company takes that same care all the way to its customers in the field. Nick explains why he is excited to work for Tigercat stating, “Tigercat is one of the superior brands in the forestry world. The company is always trying to improve, and takes customer ideas seriously.”

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Komatsu Forest presents new features of its 2020 models

International Forest Industries - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 11:53

At SkogsNolia 2019, Komatsu Forest launched an upgraded product range, with the majority of the machines new 2020 models. The machines are equipped with a brand-new engine installation conforming to the latest emission legislation. The new, future-proof control system, MaxiXT, was also launched.

Alongside these, the company presented a number of quality improvements and new functions to simplify day-to-day tasks for machine operators and to increase profitability. These include the new MaxiVision service, which takes production planning to a whole new level.

All 2020 harvester models have been upgraded, from the agile Komatsu 901 thinning harvester through the bestselling eight-wheel Komatsu 931XC to the stately Komatsu 951. Among the forwarders, the three largest – the Komatsu 855, 875 and 895 models – have been upgraded.

One standout feature is the brand-new engine installation, which conforms to the latest emission legislation (Stage V). It also offers many other benefits, such as an all-new AdBlue system, a new exhaust system and hydraulic tappets. Despite the new, larger engine installation, the machine boasts the same slim design with good all-round visibility and views – right down to the wheels.

Another new announcement is the MaxiXT control system, the machine’s nervous system, controlling everything from the engine to the crane and the head. In connection with this, the Automatic Central Lubrication option is now integrated with MaxiXT, making it easy to monitor from the cab. What’s more, on harvesters the grease tank has been doubled in size, meaning less refilling for the operator. MaxiXT brings with it improved anti-theft measures as the operator must log in to the system to start the machine, or else use a remote key with a unique operator ID.

Yet another added feature is the ability to record signal sequences to send to support, for simpler and speedier troubleshooting.

As for the forwarders, they have been upgraded in a number of areas. Smaller but important details, such as better wear plates on the front blade, longer wiper blades on the side windows and less reflection from the gate. A much-requested new forwarder feature is the SpeedShift option – a smart solution that enables the operator to use the machine’s full speed range without having to stop to change gear. This makes travelling to the landing faster and, as the collapsible steering wheel has been replaced with a handy mini steering wheel, driving there is also more straightforward.

Another new addition is the Overspeed Protection option, protecting key transmission components from over-revving.

On the harvesters, offroad manoeuvrability has been improved in several areas. Parts of the rear axle have been redesigned, providing higher ground clearance and making it easier to tackle steep ditches and other obstacles in challenging terrain. On top of this, both the tractive force and the power steering have been refined, improving offroad manoeuvrability and increasing productivity. Harvester operators will also notice a large number of additional storage spaces, as well as practical finesses such as a portable lamp to better facilitate servicing.

Moving on to the heads, there is the new Komatsu C164, which is a perfect match for the Komatsu 951. This head is based on the same technology as the C124 and C144 models, with the stem held up by the feed rollers and the delimbing knives used primarily for delimbing. The head has four powered feed rollers and the Constant Cut function, ensuring an even cutting speed throughout the cutting cycle.

In addition to the new machine features, a brand-new service – MaxiVision – was launched as part of MaxiFleet. MaxiVision helps the operator to visualise the current state and conditions of the forest. Different map views provide the operator with data about ground conditions and the rest of the team’s production, enabling them to plan their work as efficiently as possible and with minimal forest impact. Since the service is cloud-based, updates occur in real time and any changes are immediately seen on-screen in the cab.

The 2020 models were launched in conjunction with SkogsNolia in mid-June.

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Komatsu Forest launches a new digital visual aid tool MaxiVision

International Forest Industries - Tue, 18/06/2019 - 11:11

Komatsu Forest launches MaxiVision, a new digital tool that helps the forest machine operator to visualise the state and conditions of the forest.

Different map views provide the operator with data about ground conditions and the rest of the team’s production, making it possible to plan the work as efficiently as possible and with minimal forest impact. Since everything is cloud-based, updates occur in real time and any changes are immediately seen onscreen in the cab.

With MaxiVision, the operator can combine maps of the area with the latest data on ground conditions into a single image and, at the same time, see both the own production data and that of the colleagues – all updated in real time. The work overview is a great tool for planning production and enables the operator to make well-founded decisions. MaxiVision also allows for effective collaboration between harvesters and forwarders as each team member can see what their colleagues are doing.

The MaxiVision service not only offers team members a good overview of each other’s work, but also helps to facilitate communication between operators. By sending messages to each other or marking particular areas on the map collaboration can be improved and the outcome likewise. This unmatched integration between harvester and forwarder provides an optimised workflow and increased productivity.

Komatsu Forest is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of forest machines. The company sells its products all over the world and is wholly owned by the Japanese company Komatsu Ltd.

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by Dr. Radut