Victorians have been reassured that the difficulties in gaining supplies of timber and other necessary building materials are not due to either sawmills producing less, or Australia exporting sawn timber. Source: Timberbiz “Victoria’s sawmills are running at capacity, processing around 40% more timber than they were at this time last year,” Victorian Forest Products Association CEO Deb Kerr said. “The sentiment expressed by some that Victoria exports sawn softwood is simply incorrect. The reality is that Victoria has a reliance on imported softwood for up to a quarter of our house frames,” she said. “Imported sawn softwood volumes normally supplied from Europe and North America have declined due to the higher demand in those regions and exacerbated by other international export challenges such as a lack of containers to move it to Australia. “Victoria’s sustainably produced wood is the ultimate renewable and remains the preferred product of choice for builders and homeowners due to its environmental, cost and ease of use credentials. Supply will catch up with demand in due course.” Ms Kerr said the current supply challenges were an indication of the future if Victoria does not immediately implement policies and programs that drive tree planting for sawmills to supply the softwood framing timbers.
Biesse Group has announced the expansion of its international network with new branches opening in Israel, Japan and Brazil to strengthen its presence in markets identified as strategic. Source: Timberbiz The Group believes that international development, together with technological and organisational investments and opportunities for inorganic growth will be key to achieving its future objectives. Since it opened its first overseas branch in the United States in the late 1980s, globalisation has been one of the cornerstones of the group’s strategy. With 39 branches in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle & Far East, Asia and Oceania, the group strives to continually improve the service it offers its clients, offering extensive coverage and good local presence. “Globalisation is one of the key factors that has always driven the development of our Group and today, with around 85% of our consolidated turnover generated abroad, it simply could not be any other way – explained Roberto Selci, Chief Executive Officer of the Biesse Group. – Our focus on an increasingly global presence has over the years made it possible for us to distribute our products and services all over the world: our overseas branches are crucial to operating locally in these strategic markets, while fully respecting and building on local specificities and cultures”. Its expansion into Japan reflects its desire to invest in a country with excellent potential, primarily due to the innovative attitude of the local woodworking industry. Through the combination of local managerial skills and group expertise, the new branch will allow the group to build a business which is already up and running thanks to its previous partnership with Shinx. Biesse already has a presence in Brazil, where it sells glass and stone processing equipment, and the Group is expanding this presence by entering the woodworking market, a sector that is forecast to experience growth. Its presence in Brazil will also allow opportunities in other South American countries to be assessed more closely.
Throughout her childhood, Mikaila Way '12 learned bits and pieces about the genocide waged against Indigenous peoples of North America, including forced displacement, forced assimilation in boarding schools, massacres and targeted killings. She did not forget.Today, Way works as the Indigenous peoples' liaison for North America with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the U.N. She partners with Indigenous people regionally and internationally to ensure their political and technical leadership, as well as their rights, are prominent in FAO's efforts to end world hunger and malnutrition.
Forest protection, once the "forgotten" climate solution, has become an integral pillar of climate discussions. But while attention has largely focused on forests like those of the Amazon and Indonesia, the climate doesn't hinge just on what happens in the tropics.
The Whakatane Board Mill in New Zealand owned by SIG Combibloc will close around the end of June 2021. Approximately 210 people will lose their jobs, after a short search reportedly failed to yield a buyer. Source: IndustryEdge Once a cartonboard facility that stood alongside the Petrie Mill in Queensland, the Whakatane Board Mill is the region’s sole remaining manufacturer of coated cartonboard. The mill’s wide range of options, from general folding boxboard to liquid packaging board substrates made it both versatile and vulnerable. On the one hand, the mill was able to supply a wide range of products to what are small markets. On the other hand, it appears to have struggled in recent years to make enough from its activities to sustain itself against very strong global competition. The introduction to the Australian market of the North American giants, Graphic Packaging International (GPI)and West Rock, made competition more fierce locally, even after the Petrie mill closed in 2013. In recent years, the mill has been focussed on supplying liquid packaging board (LPB) grades to its parent company, which now plans to source its LPB from other suppliers. With a capacity in the vicinity of 140,000 tonnes per annum, the Whakatane Board Mill is less than half the average size of new cartonboard manufacturing facilities installed around the world in the last decade. Equally significant is that for many years, the mill’s output has been largely directed toward exports. We can see in the decadal chart below, from IndustryEdge’s 2020 Pulp & Paper Strategic Review that the export profile has changed over the last decade, with Australia once the recipient of most of the production. However, since the conversion of the mill to the production of primarily liquid packaging board, Thailand became the most significant recipient. As the more detailed and recent chart and table demonstrate, exports of cartonboard grades from New Zealand have been broadly consistent over the last four years. It should be noted that not all of the exports reported here were produced at Whakatane, some are laminated, and coated products exported after conversion in New Zealand. The increase in exports over the last year is notable, with an increase of 16.4% to 136.9 kt over the year-ended January 2021 suggesting that exports are not only at the top of their long-term range but have grown at the expense of local sales in New Zealand. In that context, it is notable that in January 2021, the average export price of NZD Fob1,220/t was 9.2% lower than a year earlier, but just 1.1% lower in US dollar terms. No real evidence is needed, but the chart clearly demonstrates that for the most part, contracts are struck in US dollars. Benchmarked with international prices, the appreciation of the NZ dollar against the US dollar has reduced the income (in NZ dollars) received by the Whakatane Board Mill. Has that made a difference to the thinking about the future of the mill? We think it must have done so, underscoring the challenges of manufacturing in small and open economies. As the closure of the Whakatane Board Mill was announced, there was interest in what opportunities the closure presented for the region. At the simplest level, there is around 20,000 tonnes of supply to Australia that will be of interest, and perhaps as much for New Zealand. However, as would be expected, the churn in the supplying country does not mean the corporate supply arrangements are disrupted. On balance, we would expect only limited changes to supply arrangements, in the near term. This is an edited extract from the March 2021 edition of IndustryEdge’s Pulp & Paper Edge (Edition 189).
Microplastics-small plastic pieces less than 5 millimeters in length-are ubiquitous in the environment, and they can have significant effects on wildlife. A new study published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry reveals that there are multiple impacts of different microplastics-with varying sizes, shapes, and chemical makeup-to the survival, growth, and development of larval fathead minnows, an important prey species in lakes and rivers in North America.
For old-growth forest advocates in British Columbia last year, it sounded like a political turning point. In the race to preserve what's left of some of the rarest, most ancient tall trees and endangered ecosystems in North America, the provincial government promised action.
A contract to deliver Maryborough’s new $12.1 million fire and emergency services station has been awarded to timber manufacturer Hyne Timber and building firm Hutchinson Builders. This will be the first mass-timber fire station in Australia. Source: Timberbiz The project will deliver a replacement station for Fire and Rescue Service firefighters, officers and staff as well as a new regional fire and emergency services headquarters at the existing Lennox Street site. Both will be the first mass-timber fire and emergency services buildings in Australia. The replacement station will also retain the existing brick façade. Hyne Timber Executive Director James Hyne said the project was a great way to support region-al jobs while showcasing the many qualities of glue laminated and cross laminated timber. “Hyne Timber has been a proud part of Maryborough’s history since 1882 with a strong focus on innovation,” Mr Hyne said. “We know the existing building has local heritage value, so it was important to us to retain and even restore the iconic façade as part of the design. “From the local plantation forest through to the Tuan sawmill and ending in our new Glue Laminated Timber plant, this building in the heart of our hometown will be a showcase of contemporary, mass timber capability, proudly grown and processed right here in the Wide Bay,” he said. “There are so many sustainable, environmental, structural, aesthetic, safety, health and cost benefits to using engineered timber products in contemporary construction which this project will demonstrate. “This will be Australia’s first contemporary, engineered timber fire station and regional headquarters, fully supported by fire engineering experts.’’ The QFES Complex replacement project is due for completion in the second half of 2022. The project is highly innovative and considered an exemplar project by the University of Queensland Centre for Future Timber Structures (CFTS) who carried out a full 3D scan of the existing structure and have brought a range of intellectual property to the design team. Professor Carlo Prato, Head of the UQ School of Civil Engineering, emphasised how the project embodies the immense potential for success that the CFTS pursues. “I cannot think of a better example of the heights that industry and research institutions can achieve when they join forces to pursue their dreams of making sustainable buildings a reality. And similarly, I cannot think of a better symbol of the importance of having architects and engineers work together to the design of the future of sustainable built environment,” said Professor Prato. The Principal Architect for the project is Kim Baber of Baber Studio who said international benchmarks of similar facilities built using mass timber in Europe and North America were re-searched ahead of design getting underway. “It was important for us to understand what has worked well overseas with a number of similar use facilities already demonstrating mass timber as a sustainable and ideal building solution,” he said. “We then considered the brief from QFES and the current site limitations in order to design a replacement facility which will meet the very specific needs of the first responders and coordinators of emergency response for the region while protecting the heritage value. “It has been a collaborative and fascinating journey to date, and I am delighted to learn that building contracts are now in place and this showcase of innovation and sustainability will be constructed in the heart of Maryborough,” Mr Baber said. The complex will be built on the existing site on Lennox Street, which means firefighters will operate from an alternative location on Iindah Road during the construction phase.
President of surrounding Lazio region says pine tortoise scale problem requires immediate actionThe battle is on to save Rome’s umbrella pine trees – as much a part of the landscape of the Italian capital as its ancient monuments – from a deadly parasite.The trees, which offer respite from Rome’s summer heat, have become infested with pine tortoise scale, insects originally from North America that are capable of killing pines in two to three years. Continue reading...
Japanese equipment maker Komatsu hopes to generate 140 billion yen (US$1.27 billion) in revenue from forest machinery after four years, which would mark a 40% increase, due to robust housing and material demand. Source: Nikkei Asia Komatsu intends to fulfill its goal by offering a stronger line-up of equipment such as feller bunchers and forwarders for the North American market. The US has the fourth largest distribution of forests in the world, in terms of area. Up to now, Komatsu’s forestry equipment has been compatible with the European logging process in which timber is carefully arranged on the spot before being hauled out. For North America, the company will also offer equipment that will carry timber as is to processing centres. Komatsu will develop the Russian and Southeast Asian markets as well. Indonesia and Russia still rely heavily on chainsaws wielded by human hands. While Western logging industries have a 70-80% penetration of forestry machinery, Asia remains behind at roughly 20%. Komatsu’s equipment will compensate for the labour shortage and improve on-site productivity. In the interest of climate change, the manufacturer will also invest resources into promoting reforestation, selling bulldozer-like equipment for prepping the ground, along with automated tree planters. The global market for forestry equipment is growing by 2% to 3% a year on average. This sector outpaces that for the construction machinery market, which rises at a roughly 1% clip. Komatsu hopes to nurture forestry equipment into its third-largest money maker, behind machinery for civil engineering and mining. By the fiscal year ending March 2025, it looks to capture a 20% global share in forestry equipment.
SVEZA started to supply special-purpose UV-coated colour plywood to markets of North America and Europe. The new product of SVEZA UV Color is a unique one and no similar products are made in Russia. This is a prospective direction for SVEZA which headed for production of construction and finishing materials of birch plywood to suit […]
Iconic, romanticized, and celebrated, fireflies illuminate the evenings and twilight memories of people around the globe. For years, naturalists and conservationists have noted, anecdotally, that fireflies seem to be in decline, but little was known about their conservation status, until now. Researchers from the Xerces Society, the ABQ BioPark, and the IUCN Firefly Specialist Group have just completed […]
February 2021 was the planet's coolest February in seven years due to La Niña in the tropical Pacific Ocean and unusually brisk temperatures that enveloped much of North America and northern Asia.
British Columbia-based Interfor, one of North America’s largest lumber producers, has bought WestRock’s South Carolina sawmill for $59 million in cash. The sawmill is located 65 miles southwest of Interfor’s existing Georgetown, S.C. mill and 115 miles northeast of its Meldrim, Georgia mill. Interfor says this strategic positioning will allow for log sort optimization and […]
Camera traps bring you closer to the secretive natural world and are an important conservation tool to study wildlife. This week we’re meeting the smallest members of the North American deer family: the white-tailed deer. A white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) is a medium-sized mammal that lives in all of the Americas, from Canada to Peru […]
Late 2020 saw Segezha Group, a Sistema company, launch its domestic plywood product Segezha ClearPly across a wide range of international markets. The product’s quality and usability have already been noted by customers in North America, Australia, and New Zealand. Segezha ClearPly is offered in two coating options: transparent and semi-transparent. The second option features […]
They may seem harmless at first glance but the North American red-eared slider turtle is spreading across Sydney's water basins and threatens the biosecurity of our native turtle populations.
New research from the University of Aberdeen could pave the way for the development of drugs and vaccines to treat a disease that is rapidly emerging in wild and farmed fish in the UK, Europe and North America, as a result of climate change.
Younger, smaller trees that comprise much of North America's eastern forests have increased their seed production under climate change, but older, larger trees that dominate forests in much of the West have been less responsive, a new Duke University-led study finds.
Owners of the Batlow based Gould’s nursery are happy to report that natural regeneration from Bago State Forest has been successfully propagated for a new Sugar Pine planting. The Sugar Pine Walk was sadly destroyed in Dunns Road fire. Gould’s Nursery is working with Forestry Corporation to grow the next generation of Sugar Pines. Source: Timberbiz Nursery owner Jamie Gould said there was a scattering of pine seedlings under a patch of 1930s Sugar Pine close to the famous Laurel Hill attraction. “Forestry Corporation’s Ben Wielinga dropped in one day with a photo of recently germinated seedlings on Central Logging Road,” Mr Gould said. “It was only three months since the fire — the seedlings were still coming up and no taller than your index finger. “At that stage we were not sure if they would transplant well or even if they were definitely Sugar Pine.” Sugar Pine seeds can’t be bought in Australia. The species is threatened in its native North America and biosecurity prevents seed from being imported. Locally, the hefty cones are a favourite food source for cockatoos. Forestry Corporation was keen to establish another Sugar Pine planting as the original had been so popular with locals and tourists. Ben Wielinga from Forestry Corporation said the Sugar Pine Walk was an iconic local destination. “We ran a photography competition to commemorate it after the fires and over 300 people sent in their favourite photographic memories of the site.” “Finalists were collated into a coffee table book and the Sugar Pine Walk Memories book is available on the website.” The Gould’s were enthusiastic to help create a new Sugar Pine Walk. Jamie and his two children Riley and Rayleigh rescued around 1700 seedlings from the site in March 2020 in partnership with Forestry Corporation. “It was a family effort over a couple of weekends to collect the seedlings from the under the burnt trees,” he said. “Growing the seedlings in the nursery has been an interesting challenge. “It is also nice to be involved in renewal following the fires. I won’t be alive to see these sugar pine mature as they take tens of years to reach maturity, but hopefully future generations will.” The bulk of the seedlings will be replanted as a replacement to the former Sugar Pine Walk, with 192 also donated to the National Arboretum in Canberra for their botanical collection. While planning for the replacement walk is well underway, the former site is still having an impact on the local community. Forestry Corporation donated some of the salvaged sugar pine wood to community groups around the region to support their fundraising activities.