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Finland: A new technique based on gasification

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 15:09
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd has developed a new technique based on gasification, which offers a sustainable way to turn forest industry byproducts, such as bark, sawdust and forestry waste, into transport fuels and chemicals. The new technique reduces carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 90% compared to fossil fuels.

The new approach uses gasification to turn biomass into intermediate products – liquid hydrocarbons, methanol or methane – in production units integrated with communal district heating plants or forest industry power plants. The intermediate products are processed further in oil refineries to make renewable fuels or chemicals.

VTT developed and piloted the new gasification process and evaluated the competitiveness of plants based on the technique in the course of a recently concluded project called BTL2030. The distributed generation process developed by the project team makes efficient use of the energy content of biomass. Approximately 55% of the energy content is turned into transport fuels and a further 20-25% can be used to provide district heating or to produce steam for industrial processes. The new technique reduces carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 90% compared to fossil fuels.

The process is based on VTT’s low-pressure, low-temperature steam gasification technology, simplified gas purification and small-scale industrial syntheses. Thanks to the small-scale approach, the heat generated by the process can be used throughout the year, and the process can be fuelled with local waste. Finland’s previous plans have involved considerably larger gasification-based diesel plants, the raw material demands of which could not have been satisfied with locally sourced waste.

Source: VTT Finland

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China’s forestry output tops 7 trillion yuan in 2018

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 14:54

China’s forestry sector output reached 7.33 trillion yuan (about 1.1 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2018, 2.88 percent up from than in 2017, according to the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

The growth came amid the country’s ongoing drive for environmentally-friendly development, as the government banned grazing on degraded grasslands, increased financial input and stepped up law enforcement in the sector.

China’s desertified land has shrunk by 10 million hectares since 2012, while nearly 34 million hectares of forest has been planted, bringing the national forest coverage to 21.66 percent.

China unveiled a plan last November to enhance land greening and boost domestic ecological resources. Under the plan, China will increase its forest coverage to 23.04 percent by 2020, while the volume of forest resources will expand to 16.5 billion cubic meters.

Source: Xinhua Net

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NZ – $36 million to tackle regional erosion

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 14:28

Te Uru Rakau (Forestry New Zealand) has announced funding of almost $36 million through the Hill Country Erosion Fund (HCEF) to enable much-needed erosion control in the regions.

The HCEF supports proposals to protect our most vulnerable hill country landscapes, where the main treatment is tree planting.

“We’re pleased by the level of interest from councils, with 12 applications received in this latest round – four of which were from regions that had not previously applied,” says Julie Collins, Deputy Director-General Forestry and Head of Te Uru Rakau.

“It shows the importance they are placing on sustainable land management and treating erosion in their regions.”

Ms Collins says the loss of productive land through erosion has a significant impact on the environment and the sustainability of New Zealand land.

“The annual cost associated with hill country erosion is estimated to be between $100 million and $150 million through lost soil, nutrients and production, and damaged infrastructure and waterways,” says Ms Collins.

“The 12 new HCEF programmes will take place between July 2019 and June 2023 and will deliver significant improvements in erosion control. For example, these range from building regional capacity and capability to plant trees, to farm planning and land treatments including planting poplars, willows and other indigenous and exotic species.

“We estimate that over four years, these programmes will result in more than 13 million trees being planted and treatment of more than 21,000 hectares of land,” says Ms Collins.

“These will contribute to the Government’s One Billion Trees Programme, and deliver environmental and a range of other benefits across the country.”

Photo: Julie Collins, Deputy Director-General Forestry and Head of Te Uru Rakau.

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John Deere and Hitachi to end arrangement

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 13:56

From May John Deere Construction & Forestry and Hitachi Construction Machinery (Australia) Pty Ltd. (HCA) have agreed to end a successful 29 year distribution arrangement of Deere branded and manufactured construction, forestry, and compact machinery in Australia. As the joint businesses expanded over the years, so have each company’s priorities in various markets around the globe.

“John Deere Construction & Forestry Company (Deere) and Hitachi Construction Machinery Co., Ltd. (Hitachi) have a long and successful global partnership spanning multiple continents and product lines,” said Dan Fitzpatrick, global director of construction & forestry sales outside of the Americas.

“This partnership served both companies well and supported each company’s global growth over the multi-decade relationship. Over the course of the next five months Deere and HCA will work together to execute a seamless transition of business to John Deere Limited’s newly appointed construction and forestry dealers in Australia.”

As of May 1, 2019, RDO Equipment Pty Ltd (RDO Equipment) will be appointed the authorized John Deere Construction & Forestry Dealer for John Deere Limited in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory. AFGRI Equipment Pty Ltd. (AFGRI) will be appointed the authorized John Deere Construction & Forestry dealer for John Deere Limited in Western Australia.

“John Deere Limited, HCA, RDO Equipment and AFGRI are committed to working together to ensure this transition has minimal impact on customers’ access to machines, parts, and/or service,” said Fitzpatrick.

“Similarly, John Deere Limited, HCA, RDO Equipment and AFGRI are committed to smoothly transitioning customers who have existing agreements and service contracts with HCA. We believe this change in distribution will allow both companies to increase focus on their respective brands and provide a world class experience to customers across Australia.”

The changes announced in this press release have no impact on Deere and Hitachi’s partnerships or distribution arrangements outside of Australia.

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Tilhill Forestry’s professionalism steps up further

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 13:12
Tilhill Forestry has anounced that another six members of staff have gained their Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) Professional Member’s status.

The Company supports the Institute and endeavours to see all applicable staff achieve chartered status. The company pays the membership subscription fee and supports staff members as they plan their route to chartered status.

Tilhill’s Forestry Director, Tim Liddon FICFor said: “Membership of the Institute has long been encouraged at Tilhill Forestry. Externally and internally within Tilhill Forestry, chartered status denotes an individual’s standing within the profession.  It demonstrates a commitment to Continuing Professional Development and a commitment to follow a Code of Conduct and I am delighted that we now have a further six professional forest managers within our forestry team. Many congratulations to them.”

Our staff also consider that achieving ICF status is a significant step up in their careers. Upon gaining his chartered status Byron Braithwaite, Forest Manager Central Borders said: “I am excited for the opportunities that certification will offer me. Thanks to the colleagues that supported me through the process.”

In addition to Byron, Tilhill’s other successful staff were Forest Managers Andrew Fisher, Colin Corkhill and David Crozier, Senior Forest Manager Callum Nicholson and Head of Investment & Property Bruce Richardson.

Dr Stuart Glen, Institute of Chartered Foresters added: “The Institute of Chartered Foresters is delighted with another record number of applicants promoted to Professional Member status last year. Chartered Status denotes standing within the forestry profession. It gives staff parity with other professionals e.g. Architects, Landscape Architects, Engineers, Surveyors, Environmental Scientists, Planners, etc., many of whom employees will encounter on a regular basis in day-to-day activities. This notion of parity and recognition across professions is highly important to many members.”

Tilhill Forestry’s latest ICF Professional Members:

Byron Braithwaite, Forest Manager

Byron Braithwaite joined Tilhill Forestry in 2015 following the completion of his degree at Bangor University. As part of his degree he spent a year working with the Forestry Commission in Central Scotland and he completed Tilhill Forestry’s graduate programme. He now manages a broad range of forests in the Scottish Borders.

Colin Corkhill, Forest Manager

Colin Corkhill is based at Alton in Surrey giving him management responsibilities across a swathe of Southern England. He has been working in the industry for over 10 years, initially studying Lowland Woodland management at Sparsholt Agricultural College, where he was awarded Best Overall Performance by Royal Forestry Society.

Colin is thrilled to be receiving member status and of learning of his success said: “Becoming a Professional Member of the Institute of Chartered Foresters has been something I have aspired to since I began my forestry career with Tilhill Forestry back in 2011.  The recognition by my peers of my hard work and dedication to the implementation of sound forestry and silvicultural practices across southern England is highly gratifying.  This is truly the pinnacle of my career to date and an accolade of which I am extremely proud.”

David Crozier, Forest Manager

Forest Manager David Crozier covers the North West of Wales, managing client properties. He holds a BSc Honours degree in Countryside Management from Harper Adams University. With experience working as an Estates Manager in Derbyshire, David has since developed an interest in forest diversification and adding value to commercial conifer plantations.

Speaking of his success David said: “Last year was a very big and crazy year for me – I had the letter through confirming my ICF status a few days after my son Bertie was born. It was a good week for me and the ICF news was the cherry on top!

“I consider that membership of the ICF is important because it’s a stamp of professionalism that demonstrates trust and competency for anyone with a chartered status. For me, personally, it was a huge relief to ‘get there’ after a lot of hard work and preparation throughout last year and I am proud to put the ‘MICFor’ letters after my name.

“The promotion has provided a confidence boost and has cemented my position as a forest manager within Tilhill Forestry. Throughout the process Tilhill has provided huge amounts of support to get me to this stage, which would have been impossible without the experience gained in my role. I enjoy carrying out CPD events and networking that the ICF provides and I will continue to play an active role in engaging with the ICF community.”

Andrew Fisher, Forest Manager

Andrew Fisher, Central Borders Forest Manager is focused on commercial forestry management and large scale woodland creation for a wide range of forest owners, he was one of only two applicants this year to be presented with an Award of Excellence for his PME submission.

Andrew said: “I am very pleased to have been promoted to full chartered status, it is the culmination of 5 years of hard work toward this achievement. Drawing on all my knowledge and experience gained during my time in the industry. Chartered membership of the ICF is the mark of professionalism within the industry, so I am very proud to have this against my name. Beyond that the organisation will offer networking, learning and knowledge sharing opportunities throughout the industry.

“I am very pleased and proud my work has been chosen for the Award of Excellence, even more so now I know there were only two issued within the 52 promotions!”

Callum Nicholson, Senior Forest Manager

Callum Nicholson, Senior Forest Manager, North Highland joined Tilhill Forestry in 2016 after seven years working for Forest Enterprise in North Scotland. He completed his BSc in Forestry and Conservation with distinction from the University of Highlands in 2016. Callum’s background is in forest establishment, maintenance operations, GIS mapping and the preparation of forest management plans for both commercial and native woodlands and he has been heavily involved in the development of SRDP woodland creation projects, with an emphasis on native woodland expansion.

Callum said upon receiving the news: “I am delighted to have gained chartered status. It’s important to me as it demonstrates professionalism to both clients and colleagues. I see it as a very important achievement towards my continued development as a Forester, by attending thought provoking ICF events and having access to such a wealth of information and the opportunity to network with industry colleagues.”

Bruce Richardson, Head of Investment & Property

Head of Investment & Property, Bruce Richardson originally worked in the financial services industry and afterwards completed a Masters degree in Forestry before joining Tilhill Forestry in 2012. Bruce supports both individual and corporate clients with property acquisition, valuation and woodland creation projects. He also leads on several projects such as the production of the annual UK Forest Market Report. Commenting on the recent promotion he said:

“Coming into forestry as a second career it was very important to me to be able to provide assurance to my clients (and myself) that I can be trusted as a competent professional in my new career and that I am recognised as such by my peers.

“The demanding entrance process, the requirement for continuous development, all governed by a strong Code of Conduct, enforces this professionalism. Surprisingly, I found the entrance process itself was a confidence booster, as it gave me the chance to reflect on what I have achieved and see how far I have travelled since joining Tilhill Forestry.”

Photo: Andrew Fisher, Central Borders Forest Manager

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Tilhill Forestry seek quality graduates

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 12:47
Tilhill Forestry is seeking graduates with drive, passion and enthusiasm who are interested in a career within the forest sector with the industry’s leading company.

High-achieving forestry graduates, or those studying for a degree or about to graduate in forestry or related subjects such as land management, environmental studies or horticulture, will be ideally placed to join Tilhill Forestry’s three-year graduate programme. Successful applicants are assigned to a district office or business stream where they learn every aspect of that area, including shadowing highly experienced colleagues. Graduate trainees are offered mentoring and are paired with an experienced manager during their training period.

Tilhill Forestry Managing Director George McRobbie said: “This is a very exciting time to join the forest industry and Tilhill Forestry is a superb company to work for with a wide variety of roles across the UK on offer. There is the added benefit of being part of the BSW Group – BSW is the UK’s largest sawmill company.

“We are looking for graduates with drive, enthusiasm and passion for managing and creating forests and working outdoors.”

Tilhill Forestry offers all its employees a friendly and challenging work environment with good personal and career development opportunities. The Company operates a unique management development programme that starts by building up employees’ management skill sets in order to give them all the tools required to be our managers of the future.

Applications opened in December with placements starting in June 2019. If you’re a recent graduate or studying for your degree, you can find out more about our graduate opportunities by visiting the careers section at www.tilhill.com Applications should be emailed to careers@tilhill.com and the process closes on 10th February 2018.


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Local sawlog prices increase in Brazil

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 12:35
Softwood lumber exports from Brazil have increased 36% from January through November this year as compared to the same period in 2017, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly.

In US dollar terms, the export price has only gone up a modest three percent from the 3Q/17 to the 3Q/18, but because of the weakening Brazilian Real, there has been a 26% increase in the export price in the local currency over the past year. This development has led sawmills to expand export sales, which has resulted in higher demand for sawlogs.

As a consequence, there has been continued upward pressure on log prices, which reached a new all-time-high in the 3Q/18, according the Wood Resource Quarterly. This increase is a continuation of a trend that started in 2013 when sawlog prices averaged BRL125/m3.

In US dollar terms, Brazilian sawlog prices have declined the past year because of the strengthening dollar and in the 3Q/18 were at their lowest levels in over two years.

Despite excess regional supplies of both pine and eucalyptus pulplog, prices in the local currency have increased slightly this year. Eucalyptus pulplogs have gone up three percent from the 3Q/17 to the 3Q/18, while average prices for softwood pulplogs have increased 1.3% during the same period, reports the WRQ. However, in the Southern region of Brazil, prices for pine pulplogs have declined somewhat, which was an unwelcome development for the many small independent land owners and timberland investors in the region.

The limited price improvements over the past few years, oversupply of pine pulplogs, and potentially more attractive land-use alternatives in the agricultural sector, have led some landowners to choose to plant agricultural crops rather than trees. There is a concern that if many current owners of forest plantations choose this path, there will be insufficient supply of wood raw-material for the forest industry in the southern states in the future.

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Ufkes Greentec b.v. Drachten strengthens position in Germany with acquisition of Schültke GmbH

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 12:21

Ufkes Greentec b.v. the developer and producer of forestry machinery, such as wood chippers, stump grinders and forestcutters, has been active in the German market for a long time now.

Schültke GmbH is a family business and market leader in selling Rayco stump grinders throughout the whole of Germany. By joining forces Schültke can facilitate the German market even better and provide optimum service.

From North Rhine-Westphalia (Sundern) we are strategically positioned to easily facilitate sales, service and parts. As extension of Ufkes Greentec b.v. our employees can always be informed about the newest developments and trained to provide the best customer support.

Schültke GmbH is excited to get the opportunity to continue expanding the company and its team. The acquisition matches our ambitions for further growth in Germany. Ufkes Greentec b.v. has been the market leader for PTO driven and built on stump grinder for years. Together with the wide range of Rayco self propelled stump grinders the target is now provide the right machine for all customers.

With a professional range of Greentec wood chippers, Greentec Forestcutters and Greentec stump grinders, together with Rayco stump grinders, Schültke Ufkes Greentec GmbH now offers the complete range for forestry, authorities and landscapers.

Greentec machines are widely deployed in Germany and are recognized for their robust built, high-tec control, easy maintenance and customized solutions. From the compact, 30 cm infeed, crane fed, car towed chipper up to machines with 600 HP.

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VEON – a prominent member of Forest Industries Ireland

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 11:48

A recent development for the forestry sector in Ireland has been the launch of Forest Industries Ireland.

Ireland has a significant strategic advantage over its international competitors with higher forest growth rates, cutting edge processors and increasing scale over the coming decades.

Strong government support demanding an increase in forest cover (currently just 1 in 10 acres is planted) aligned with a modern industry sector can ensure it contributes to expanding the rural economy for the benefit of all, together with all the environmental benefits that emanate from a healthy, vibrant forestry sector.

Veon Ltd is a prominent member of Forest Industries Ireland.

For more click here.

Photo:  Daragh Little, Managing Director Forestry of VEON Ltd; Fergal Leamy of Coillte; Brian Murphy, FII Chairman; Mark McAuley FII Director at the launch of Forest Industries Ireland.

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Acquisition gives Morbark global mulcher attachment line and future growth

International Forest Industries - Thu, 24/01/2019 - 11:29

Morbark, LLC, has recently announced that it has completed the acquisition of DENIS CIMAF, Inc., based in Roxton Falls, Québec.

This transaction represents the company’s second acquisition since private equity firm Stellex Capital Management LP acquired Morbark in 2016. The acquisition of Rayco Manufacturing in October 2017, brought a lineup of innovative equipment into the Morbark family across multiple product categories.

In particular, Rayco stump cutters, aerial trimmers, forestry mulchers and crawler trucks. The purchase of DENIS CIMAF is another step in the Company’s strategic focus on broadening the range of tree care and industrial equipment, aftermarket parts, and service offered to their Customers.

Founded by Laurent Denis and his wife, Monique Vaillancourt, in 1998, DENIS CIMAF specializes in the development of high-performance brushcutter-mulcher attachments for excavators, skid steers, forestry tractors, graders and other types of heavy equipment.

The company manufactures four main lines of products: the DAH series, industrial mulcher attachments for excavators; the DAF series, attachments for skid steers and other dedicated carriers; the DTN series, industrial brushcutters-mowers for roadside maintenance; and the EWF series, dedicated hydraulic power packs. The Company celebrated its 20th anniversary in business this past summer.

“The DENIS CIMAF team and I are extremely excited to be joining the Morbark family,” said Benjamin Denis, the newly appointed General Manager of DENIS CIMAF.  “DENIS CIMAF is a fantastic business with committed and passionate associates, a great track record and enormous global potential. Being part of the Morbark family will enable us to continue to grow the business farther and faster.”

Dave Herr, Chief Executive Officer of Morbark, commented, “DENIS CIMAF’s line of attachments are complementary to our current tree care and industrial product lines. In fact, DENIS CIMAF mulcher heads have been an available option on our Rayco carriers for many years. The company’s patented mulcher head design has enabled them to become the mulcher head attachment of choice among intensive vegetation control, land clearing, roadside transmission lines, pipeline maintenance, and forest fire prevention contractors.”

Transaction Highlights:

  • The transaction is a positive, strategic fit for both companies. DENIS CIMAF brings a lineup of patented, innovative equipment into the Morbark family across multiple product categories and will enhance the Morbark carrier product line.
  • Benjamin-Pierre and Simon Denis, sons of DENIS CIMAF founders, Laurent Denis and Monique Vaillancourt, will continue to lead the DENIS CIMAF team to develop new products and help improve the company’s existing product lines.
  • Morbark will operate DENIS CIMAF as a new division maintaining its brand identity. DENIS CIMAF’s experienced management team will continue to manage its operations. Teams from each company will work together to determine how to be more efficient and leverage each other’s strengths.

Herr continued, “The companies have a common entrepreneurial heritage and culture, and this is a great fit with immense potential for growth. We are anxious to get started.”

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Harvesters may explode the volume of data from forests

International Forest Industries - Tue, 22/01/2019 - 13:00

New technology and big data open up new opportunities for forest harvesting entrepreneurs, allowing them to provide services for a variety of purposes.

Even today, harvesters gather a stunning amount of data for forestry needs, but they could do it for others, too. The machine could make available many new types of data from forests.

”This could be of interest to other sectors of society, and some might even be prepared to pay for it,” says Matti Rahikka, an expert on data protection and Executive Director of the DPO Finland company. Rahikka was one of the speakers at the Forest Day organised by the Trade Association of Finnish Forestry and Earth Moving Contractors.

Sensors attached to harvesters already gather data on distances, temperatures, humidity, air pressure, velocity, light, soil conditions, geography and location, as well as the amount and water content of snow.

According to Rahikka, a harvester could also function as the ground base of a drone. Computer vision is developing fast and also offers new possibilities for drones.

Drones can be programmed to follow animate or inanimate objects, they are able to fly along a pre-set path, avoiding obstacles and then returning to their path. They can reach a speed of 50 km/h and are able to fly even seven kilometres without re-charging.

A drone could estimate the amount of stout timber in a forest and the amount of smaller timber for pulp production. It could estimate the quality of the forest and, for example, check the condition of powerlines.

It can identify animal species and count the number of individuals per species. It can look for spruces suitable for Christmas trees, find mushrooms and berries and tell whether they are good for picking – for it can tell the difference between ripe and unripe berries even if shaded by leaves.


Movable base station to harvesting sites

When a harvester is transported into the forest, the same lorry could bring in a base station for broadband connections and an aggregate. ”This would provide a power source and broadband to the people living nearby,” says Rahikka.

At the moment, image processing software is able to identify individuals by their faces in a crowd, as well as their moods – and even different foods and their components on a plate.

360-degree cameras could be installed in forest machinery to monitor, for example, the condition of the forest and the trees spared during logging. Machine vision can tell whether the operator is having a break, repairing the machine or back in his seat. Or whether he, or she, is in a good mood.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of all kinds of appliances, such as refrigerators, freezers, bicycles – of anything you can imagine – connected to the internet. When connected, these devices can then gather and transmit data wherever we want it.

The largest artefact in a forest is the harvester. ”Even today, it is full of computer and communication technology, but the time may have come for it to start serving not just the forest sector but the whole society,” says Rahikka.


New use for old NMT frequency

Sensors connected to the IoT network transmit data through the Narrow Band IoT (NBIoT), with a frequency of 450 megahertz. This was used earlier by analog mobile phone networks, such as the Nordic Mobile Telephone, the predecessor of the GSM network in the Nordic countries.

For IoT, the network has two important features. It has a very long range, several tens of kilometres. Secondly, it cannot transmit large quantities of data, but this is not a problem for sensors working in NBIoT.

As a result, these sensors do not need much energy and they may be located at quite a distance to the base station. At the moment such sensors may function for even ten years without re-charging, and their price is continuously decreasing.

Thus, the 450-megahertz network is best suited for appliances with moderate smarts, but it can accommodate a great number of them and across a large area. If the prices continue to drop, one day they might be scattered in the forest just like seeds to transmit data on the conditions in their environment for as long as the power supply will last.

Examples of existing NBIoT technologies include parking spaces indicating that they are free, problem spots in plumbing, remote sensing of heart rate, sensor-equipped collars for sheepto inform their location, or letterboxes and trash bins indicating they should be emptied.

Who owns the data?

But who owns the data gathered by a harvester? The data may be gathered for the harvester owner, but also sold to other parties.

According to Finnish legislation, you cannot own data, says Rahikka. “But you can own the device or appliance in which the data is stored. And in most cases sharing the data makes sense – whether or not you want someone to pay for it,” says Rahikka.

In Finland, there is by now an agreement on sharing the data gathered by forest machinery between forest industry companies, forest machine entrepreneurs and the manufacturers of forest machinery. The agreement aims at clarifying the rules of owning and sharing the data and at promoting new applications and services based on data gathered by forest machinery.

In addition to the forest industry companies, only one forest owner is a party to the agreement: the state forest company Metsähallitus. However, private forest owners are free to join in whenever they wish.


Hannes Mäntyranta


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Ftg Forest And Kallefall Produce A New Skidding Grapple

International Forest Industries - Tue, 22/01/2019 - 12:41

The FB22SG features well protected tongs‘ rear linkage placement and weight optimization.

The grapple is designed to extract single trees and bunches of smaller trees. The frame and tongs are reinforced in high stressed areas to improve durability and safety. Two high quality hydraulic cylinders are connected to the tractor’s quick couplings and the unit is ready for extraction. The grapples have a large opening, and sufficient distance from the slewing joint, which allows transporting of even larger bunches of timber. One of the biggest benefits is that it requires only a low horsepower tractor and does not require the operator to dismount from the tractor to operate it.

The skidding grapple is attached to the tractor’s three-point linkage. The robust design permits the long service life and low maintenance cost. A powerful double action cylinder and toothed frame provides strong grip which secures the logs or trees between the jaws. The hydraulics allow the grapple to swing to the sides (± 43°), which makes picking up of bunches from the extraction route easier as well as enables load steering to follow the tractor’s movements thus causing less/no damage to the growing young trees in thinning applications. It is an ideal application for short extraction distances.

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Progressive Kiln order from ULK Velsk Sawmill to HEINOLA

International Forest Industries - Tue, 22/01/2019 - 12:24

ULK Velsk Sawmill in Arkangelsk district has recently ordered two 2-zone Progressive Kiln type HFB from Heinola Sawmill Machinery Inc. with annual capacity of ca. 120.000 m3 when drying spruce and pine timber to 18 % final moisture content.

Progressive kilns are equipped with pressure frames and HEINOLA New Drying Kiln Control System. The new Progressive Kilns will be taken into production this year.

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Pilous – X-Cut Innovative Saw Band For Woodworking Band Saws

International Forest Industries - Tue, 22/01/2019 - 11:52

Pilous – The X-Cut saw band was developed based on customer requirements for woodworking and sawing on band saws. The X-Cut saw band quality can be found between Maxwood Bimetal and Maxwood Stelit saw bands.

An innovative combination of hardened spread-set teeth and stellite eliminates practically the complicated act of spread-setting the saw teeth (tooth setting).

The regeneration of the saw band is very effective, the teeth are only re-sharpened. Other unquestionable advantages of this new type of saw band include higher cutting times, exceeding the usual two hours, cutting surface quality and, last but not at least, excellent performance-price ratio. This is the optimal saw band for both soft and hardwood, available in a width of 35 to 60 mm.

X-Cut saw band: customers´ opinions

Partner from Slovakia: “We are very satisfied with the X-Cut saw bands because of, in particular, a smoother cutting surface, which is a real improvement in quality. This unique blade service life justifies the higher price of X-Cut saw band and has, in any case, an economic benefit to our production.”

Partner from Germany: “My impression of the X-Cut saw band is that this type of saw band is one of the most powerful saw bands I have ever had the opportunity to work with. Especially, the high dimensional precision of hardwoods such as hard, dry spruce wood amazed me. The service life is excellent, up to four hours without losing quality.”

Partner from Austria: “The saw band has a much longer service life. On average, it is by 1/3 higher than the saw bands with hardened tooth used so far. The stellite tooth takes over the main cutting power. The excellent quality of the cut surface.”

Partner from Poland: “Thanks to the X-Cut saw band, we achieve faster saw band feed into the cut with less effort. A big advantage consists in saving time. On average, we have a double service life as compared with previous band saws. The spread-setting of teeth is not required, when sharpening (grinding).”

Partners from the Czech Republic: “We are very satisfied with the X-Cut saw bands because of, in particular, a smoother cutting surface, which is a real improvement in quality. The good quality of the cut surface in connection with a very good service life justifies the higher price of the X-Cut saw band and has an economic benefit to our production as compared with conventional saw bands.“

“Positive results became evident just during the first cuts of frozen wood. Tests have shown us that the properties of the saw band are the same even after 8-10 installations on the machine. The X-cut saw bands are characterized by their high service life and excellent cutting quality.”

“The initial mistrust in using this type of band convinced me soon of the contrary. I am cutting dry spruce, acacia and oak and everything has a straight cut. I have a saw band on the machine for up to three hours. A significant plus is that there is no need to spread-set the teeth. “

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Focus on forest ownership at SkogsElmia

International Forest Industries - Tue, 22/01/2019 - 10:41

The new-generation forest owners are increasingly managing their own forests. At least as important as the yield is to manage the forests in a long-term and environmentally sound way. This approach will be in focus at SkogsElmia, which will be held this summer on 6–8 June 2019 in the forest south of Jönköping.

If Elmia Wood is the whole world’s forestry fair with a focus on technology and innovations, then SkogsElmia can be described as the whole Nordic region’s forestry fair. The overall theme of the fair will be forest ownership, a topic that affects everyone in the forest in different ways – from forest owners to machinery contractors to forestry officials.

The fair’s theme will encompass everything from ownership transfer and forest management to technology and logistics that minimise ground damage. As forest owners are making new demands, forestry fairs are becoming increasingly important meeting places for the forest industry’s various actors as well as platforms for the development of new products and services. Smart digital technology is being used more and more in forestry too, and so visitors to the fair can look forward to many innovations and much new thinking among the exhibitors.

SkogsElmia is held every fourth year and attracts about 30,000 visitors and 300 exhibitors. The new fair manager for SkogsElmia is Mattias Pontén, a certified forester with great expertise and solid experience of the forest industry. He takes up his post now in June.

“It will be a terrific experience to be part of the forest industry’s development,” he says. “Forest ownership is a broad topic with many different issues, which I care greatly about as a forest owner myself. One key focus right now is sustainable forest management with an eye to the future – a future that will be strongly characterised by digitalisation and the links between services and products. We will fill SkogsElmia with many relevant activities to complement the exhibitors’ many new products and services, and we anticipate a fair that will benefit everyone involved.”


Photo: Fair manager for SkogsElmia, Mattias Pontén,

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NZ – $400 a day to plant trees but no one wants the job

International Forest Industries - Fri, 18/01/2019 - 14:02

Pay rates of $400 a day are not enough to attract workers to plant trees, potentially putting a brake on the New Zealand Government’s one billion trees by 2028 campaign. Forest nurseries have doubled plantings to 100 million tree seedings in response to Government incentives, but finding staff is the biggest hurdle to getting them in the ground.

Forest Management director David Janett said the bottleneck was not so much acquiring seedlings from forest nurseries, but finding people to plant the trees. “We are fully booked up for this year.” Planting rates in the North Island were reaching 60 cents a tree, which equated to pay rates of $300 to $400 a day. “And we still can’t get people.”

“The greatest impediment is finding the labour to plant the trees. We can mechanise a lot of the work, but we can’t mechanise a person on a spade,” Janett said. Tree planting was done in autumn and winter and seasonal workers from the Pacific Islands would need to be recruited.

Forest Nursery Growers Association president Kevin Haine said its member nurseries would grow 100 million tree seedlings this year, almost double the 54m trees grown two years ago. Of this, the Government was responsible for about 20m trees through its Crown forestry partnerships, such as its agreement to establish a commercial forest on Ngati Rehia iwi land in Northland.

Tree planting had already increased to 70m trees last year in response to demand for replanting of harvested forests, as the “wall of wood” from a peak planting in 1994 reached maturity. “A positive aspect is that all the logged land is being replanted in trees. This is in contrast to about five years ago when carbon credits were low and it was cheap to get out of forestry and into farming.”

Nursery growers were aware that a change of government might lead to a change in tree-planting policy, which had occurred before, so were wary of gearing up too quickly, Haine said. “The contracts signed have only been for one year. The Government hasn’t signed any long-term contracts, so it’s year-by-year.

Source: Stuff

Photo: Patrick Murray, of Murrays Nurseries at Woodville, has doubled plantings of pinus radiata from 5 million to 10m trees in the last year

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HarvestTECH 2019 details now on line

International Forest Industries - Fri, 18/01/2019 - 13:20
Following on from the early announcement at the end of last year, full details of the two-yearly wood harvesting event, HarvestTECH 2019 have now been set in place and full details can now be found on the event website, www.harvesttech.events

The 2015 harvesting event, HarvestTECH was a SELL OUT. The 2017 event likewise sold out. Both at the time were the largest gathering of harvesting contractors, forestry managers, forest owners, harvest planners and all of the major equipment suppliers to the logging industry seen in New Zealand. Around 450 met up in Rotorua, New Zealand.

In addition to having most logging contractors from throughout the country attending, the events drew in a large contingent of contractors and forest managers from throughout Australia, as well as attracting key equipment suppliers, researchers, forestry companies and international contractors from Europe, the US, Canada, Papua New Guinea and Asia.

2019 is shaping up to be another standout. Already, as well as key local equipment and technology suppliers, most major international equipment providers will be bringing in international expertise for the event.

Leading contractors have already committed to present, as part of the two-day event, on new and innovative technologies along with some pretty clever operating practices that they’ve employed. This includes processes which are making a significant difference to their both their operations productivity and safety.

So, what’s being covered?

  • Recent innovations in steep slope and winch assist harvesting
  • Getting the best out of existing hauler & ground-based operations
  • Harvest planning – new systems really making a difference
  • Effective use of collected data from your harvesting operation
  • Options for eliminating log sorts and reducing landing sizes
  • Tools & Systems for harvesting smaller woodlots
  • Remote sensing technologies for harvest planning and operations
  • Solutions for improving in-forest communications
  • Increased automation and mechanisation – new R&D
  • Remote control, robotics, virtual reality and automation in the bush
  • Filling the skills gap in harvesting

The full programmes can now be viewed on line. You can check out what’s being planned on the event website, harvesttech.events.

As anticipated, at this stage, many of the exhibition stands have been taken. If a supplier to wood harvesting operations in this region and you haven’t as yet booked a space, best get onto it (contact gordon.thomson@fiea.org.nz or Tel: +64 7 921 1384) to avoid missing out.

Further information relating to this major event will follow.

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NZ – The attraction of operating multi-million-dollar machines

International Forest Industries - Fri, 18/01/2019 - 13:07
Scott Thomas is a young man with an exciting future. Aged just 21, he is currently working for Gamble Forest Harvesting in a fully mechanised 8-man hauler crew in Otago. Scott has found his passion, and that is driving big harvesting machines.

I caught up with Scott in Flagstaff Forest, part of the City Forests estate high above Dunedin, during a visit with Kevin Marsh, City Forest’s harvesting and OSH coordinator. Here the crew was operating at full tilt, with a daily harvest of 500-600 tonnes of second-rotation radiata pine. This equates to 18-20 truckloads of logs leaving the skid site every day.

“I really like operating the machinery,” says Scott, who left school at 16, and went straight into the bush – or rather, into the machines that work in the bush. He has only ever worked in mechanised operations, and joined Gamble Forest Harvesting early in 2018 after stints with a couple of other Otago contractors.

Scott is now being trained to operate a relatively new addition to the array of big machines operated by Gamble Forest Harvesting. This is a winch-assisted John Deere 909MH self-levelling feller-buncher, which on steeper terrain is attached to “ROB” – a 850j John Deere Remote Operated Bulldozer. ROB carries two 500-metre steel cables which secure the harvester from up-slope. All ROB operations from starting the bulldozer to operating the winch can be controlled from the cab of the feller-buncher, so making for a multi-million-dollar one-man operation.

“It’s an unreal piece of kit,” says Scott. “I’ve been really lucky because Tony (Gamble) has taken the time to train me. Tony is the expert – he still handles all the tricky stuff. There’s nothing like learning on the job with these machines, and it’s not every contractor that has time to train people.”

Scott reckons he can operate nine of the eleven machines on-site and is adept at processing, skidding and loading. He is climbing the qualifications ladder quickly, and has been working his way through a raft NZQA certificates, recently completing his National Certificate in Forest Harvesting Operations.

“I learn new things every day at work,” says Scott. “I learn about operations, but also about safety and how to look after the environment.” Owning and managing his own crew is on Scott’s list for the future. “First I need to learn how to plan and optimise harvesting operations.”

Scott also reckons he has a few big advantages over his mates, some of whom are tradesmen, others who have been to university. “I may have to get up earlier than them, but I have a great job and I earn more than most of my friends. Also I think forestry’s reputation as a dangerous industry is unfair. We have the best health and safety systems of any industry; there are huge precautions in place.”

Gamble Forest Harvesting is a certified contractor, and has worked for City Forests for many years. Owner Tony Gamble likes his crew members to be versatile, so they are all trained to operate multiple machines. “What I’m looking for are intelligent, motivated people,” says Tony. “We’re seeing more mechanisation and automation all the time, so it’s all about people’s attitude and versatility. Scott works hard and is really keen to learn, so he has all the right attributes and I’m happy to spend time training him.”

Source: Harriet Palmer, Journalist, supported by Forest Growers Commodity Levy

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New wood panels prefab operation for Australia

International Forest Industries - Fri, 18/01/2019 - 12:09

Quintessential Equity has hailed the opening late last year of a new Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) processing and offsite manufacturing factory at Avalon Airport’s new industrial precinct, as a major win for both the City of Geelong and the building industry’s march toward more sustainable methods of construction.

Executive Chairman of Quintessential Equity, Shane Quinn, said the launch of Cross Laminated Offsite Solutions’ (CLOS) factory will create local jobs, support sustainable development and bring significant potential to grow an advanced manufacturing industry in Geelong.

“Green design is no longer an option, it’s an expectation. We believe every new building in Australia from today onwards has to be designed with sustainability top of mind. The CLOS factory in Geelong will be a game-changer for the construction industry in Victoria and beyond. Local, accessible mass engineered timber will help put Australia in contention to meet and exceed global standards like WELL Ratings and the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

“We’re excited about CLOS because Quintessential Equity wants to use CLT technology – we’d love to construct our first CLT building in Geelong. Building with CLT is sustainable and efficient. Eight times the amount of carbon is emitted to produce a tonne of concrete compared to a tonne of timber, and building costs can be reduced by up to 20 per cent during construction,” said Mr Quinn.

Quintessential Equity has a strong track record of green design and supporting local economies. “One of our earlier projects in Parramatta set the benchmark for exemplar sustainability winning the Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) Best Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Project.

We’ve also halved the carbon footprint of the NAB’s headquarters building in Adelaide and recently achieved global best practice at 1 Malop Street right here in Geelong, which also created hundreds of local jobs,” he said.

The CLOS factory, set to open mid-2019, will “pre-fabricate” engineered timber products into walls, floors, roofs and other building components, adding the necessary cladding, insulation and plasterboards. The materials will then be sent to building sites where they are assembled and used in construction, using a similar principle as IKEA flat pack furniture.

While CLOS will initially import the cross laminated timber (CLT) used, the company aims to become Australia’s second CLT producer within five years, which would create around 100 direct local jobs as well as secondary employment in areas such as transportation. Along with CLT processing and offsite manufacturing, CLOS will process laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and glued laminated timber (glulam).

CLOS Founder and Managing Director, John Fitzgibbon, was previously part of the building team for the new WorkSafe building in Geelong, where he saw an opportunity for Geelong to lead the way in mass engineered timber manufacturing.

“Mass engineered timber like CLT has so much potential. When you look at places like Europe and parts of the US, it’s clear Australia isn’t doing enough of it,” said Mr Fitzgibbon. The current prefabricated housing market in Australia is a AU$4.5 billion sector, or 3 per cent of the AU$150 billion construction industry, whereas Germany and Sweden’s prefabricated modular housing accounts for about 20 per cent and 70 per cent of their respective industries.

“There’s real opportunity for a major advanced manufacturing industry in Geelong – we have the space, the local workforce and the lifestyle that makes workers want to stay and live in the area. With the demise of hard manufacturing and the resurgence of white-collar jobs, I see advanced manufacturing as the next stage of Geelong’s economic growth.”

Photo: Executive Chairman of Quintessential Equity, Shane Quinn

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NZ – Napier Port sets new records

International Forest Industries - Thu, 17/01/2019 - 12:38

Napier Port reported another record profit this year as the amount of cargo handled also hit a record. Net profit lifted 5.4 percent to $17.6 million in the year ended 30 September on a 5 .8 percent increase in revenue to $91.7 million, its annual report shows.

The port handled a record 5.1 million tonnes of cargo, with log exports lifting 35 percent to a record 2.2 million tonnes. A total of 266,006 containers or twenty- foot equivalent units passed through the port’s container terminal, and the port’s onsite packing operation handled a record 51,126 TEU containers.

Apple exports exceeded 23,000 TEU containers for the first time, while fertiliser, cement and oil imports remained relatively steady.

“We saw an extraordinary amount of cargo come through Napier Port the previous financial year as a result of earthquake damage to Wellington’s port. To not only match that figure this year, but to beat it by more than 320,000 tonnes, really shows the pace of growth in Hawke’s Bay,” chief executive Todd Dawson said.

He said the port is also handling larger ships and a growing cruise industry.

A total of 684 ships called at Napier this year, including 57 cruise ships, he said. Cruise tourism in the region is flourishing, with a record 103,000 passengers visiting Napier shores in the 2017-2018 cruise season. Figures from Statistics New Zealand figures show those cruise passengers spent $23 million on credit cards alone.

The port paid $10 million in dividends to the Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company.

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by Dr. Radut