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Foundation stone of Rauma sawmill laid

International Forest Industries - Fri, 16/04/2021 - 14:22

Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, is building the world’s most modern sawmill in Rauma, Finland. The construction work began in May 2020, and the sawmill’s foundation stone was laid on Thursday 25 March 2021. Due to the coronavirus situation, the foundation stone was laid by Harri Haapaniemi, Project Director, and Liisa-Maija Perävainio, Sawmill Director, without external participants.

“The sawmill’s foundation stone has been laid, and both the engineering and construction have progressed according to plan. The roof and external walls of the sorting line are complete. Piping and plumbing work is underway as we speak, as are the floors. The installation of the wall elements and the construction of the roof at the sawline have also begun. At the debarking department, they’re working on the foundations and the first drying plant structures are up. The construction work will be completed at the end of September, and most equipment and machinery installations will get underway in late summer. The sawmill’s production will begin in the third quarter of 2022,” says Harri Haapaniemi,  Project Director of the Rauma sawmill project.

Metsä Group is systematically developing its chemical and mechanical forest industry production units with a long-term approach. The sawmill under construction in Rauma will be a forerunner in terms of its efficiency and the technologies employed.

The value of Metsä Fibre’s investment in the Rauma sawmill is around EUR 200 million, and the new unit will produce around 750,000 cubic metres of pine sawn timber annually. The annual use of logs sourced in Finland is estimated to be around 1.5 million cubic metres. Sawn timber produced by the Rauma sawmill will be sold mainly to Europe and Asia.

Metsä Group’s investments in Finland create both regional and national wellbeing. The Rauma sawmill will create a great many entirely new jobs. It will employ around 100 people directly and some 500 people within its direct value chain. The employment impact of the construction phase amounts to some 1,500 person-years, and the project’s degree of Finnish origin is approximately 70 per cent.

You can follow the progress of the work at the construction site in real time through web cameras at any time of day: www.metsafibre.com/webkameratrauma

More information:

Harri Haapaniemi, Project Director, Metsä Fibre, Rauma sawmill project, tel. +358 500 361 632

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Metsä Fibre and Eltel sign agreement to build power line for the new Kemi bioproduct mill

International Forest Industries - Fri, 16/04/2021 - 13:28

Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, and Eltel have signed an agreement to build a power line from the new bioproduct mill being constructed in Kemi to the Keminmaa substation via the Pajusaari–Isohaara–Keminmaa route. The new 110 kV power line will be about 15 kilometres long.

The bioproduct mill, which operates completely without fossil fuels, will produce 2.0 TWh of renewable electricity every year, equivalent to about 2.5 per cent of Finland’s total electricity production. The mill will have an electricity self-sufficiency rate of 250%, and this will further strengthen Metsä Group’s position as a major electricity producer relying on renewable Finnish fuels. The new power line will transmit bioelectricity from the bioproduct mill to the national grid.

Metsä Fibre and Eltel co-operation in the Kemi bioproduct mill project has already started earlier with the planning of power line. Actual construction work will begin in spring 2021, with the contract being completed by summer 2022. The degree of Finnish origin of the contract is very high, 85%.

“We want to partner with the best professionals in every field to build a cutting-edge bioproduct mill in Kemi, Finland. We require our partners to commit to the goals of the project in terms of safety, schedules and quality. Eltel’s operations comply with all of these principles. Together, we will build a significant part of the mill complex – a new power line that will supply the bioelectricity produced at the mill to the national grid,” says Jari-Pekka Johansson, Project Director for the bioproduct mill at Metsä Fibre.

“This is a significant agreement for us, and we’re excited to be part of the largest investment in the history of the Finnish forest industry,” says Juha Luusua, Managing Director of Eltel Networks Oy.

The agreement between Metsä Fibre and Eltel also includes dismantling the existing power line as well as modifying six transmission line towers  in Kemi. The delivery also includes 110 kV underground cable works at Isohaara and Keminmaa substations.

Metsä Group’s Kemi bioproduct mill project is progressing according to plan, with earthmoving and pile driving currently being carried out at the mill site. About 300 people and about 130 different companies are working at the site. The bioproduct mill project’s degree of Finnish origin is estimated to be high, about 70%. During the construction phase, the mill’s employment effect is estimated at nearly 10,000 person-years, of which more than half will be in Kemi. The total number of employees working during the construction phase is estimated to be about 15,000. The investment will secure the 250 jobs at the current Kemi mill for the coming decades. Through its direct value chain, the new bioproduct mill will employ around 2,500 people in Finland, some 1,500 more than the employment effect of the current Kemi pulp mill.

Totalling EUR 1.6 billion, the investment in Metsä Group’s Kemi bioproduct mill is the largest in the history of the Finnish forest industry. The mill will produce 1.5 million tonnes of softwood and hardwood pulp per year, as well as many other bioproducts.

More information:

Jari-Pekka Johansson
Project Director
Metsä Fibre
jari-pekka.johansson@metsagroup.com

Anna-Liisa Pennanen
Communications Manager
Metsä Fibre
tel. +358 50 574 8071
anna-liisa.pennanen@metsagroup.com

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Bushfire detection – within one minute of ignition

International Forest Industries - Fri, 16/04/2021 - 12:11

Imagine a system that could detect any bushfire in Australia within minutes of ignition so firefighters could tackle the blaze before it spreads. Recently, an important development on the road to this future: a Queensland-based company, Fireball, announced the first purpose-built satellite for fire detection in Australia.

Scheduled for launch a year from now, the satellite is the first of a planned constellation of 24 that will monitor Australia from low Earth orbit. Once the full system, including ground-based cameras and aerial drones, is up and running, Fireball says it will be able to spot any fires within one minute of ignition.

That may sound like a bold claim, but it’s consistent with the goals of other organisations working on similar technology. Within five years, experts say, we could have a national system of automated bushfire surveillance. And we’ll need it, too. With climate change, the continent is drying out and the summers growing longer and hotter, and bushfires are predicted to become more frequent and intense. According to Marta Yebra, director of the Australian National University (ANU) Bushfire Initiative, advancements in satellites, drones and AI will drive big changes in firefighting. “I strongly believe this will radically change the way we fight fires in Australia,” she said.

At the same time, the challenges to making it happen are daunting. A national system to detect fires in one minute one would produce vast amounts of data and require unprecedented cooperation between the patchwork of authorities and organisations. The system would amount to automated surveillance of millions of square kilometres, accurate down to a few square metres and working non-stop all year.

Source . AFPA & Friday Offcuts

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HASSLACHER Group first in Austria to invest in Valutec’s TC continuous kilns

International Forest Industries - Thu, 15/04/2021 - 12:19

HASSLACHER Group, one of the world’s leading producers of glulam and Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), invests in TC continuous kilns from Valutec. The deal means the well-known timber industry group becomes the first in Austria to own the groundbreaking lumber kiln. This is also a new prestigious order for Valutec, which strengthens its position as a global leader within the field of continuous kilns.

“We want to increase the drying capacity at our sawmills in Preding and Sachsenburg and saw that TC kilns were right for us. They offer a combination of high capacity and flexibility, without compromising on quality,” says Michael Fercher, CTO at HASSLACHER Group, which has seven sawmills in three countries.

The investment in TC continuous kilns is the third order where Valutec has earned the confidence of family owned and lead HASSLACHER Group.

“We are extremely happy and proud that HASSLACHER NORICA TIMBER will be first in Austria, also when it comes to TC kilns. Both because they prioritize quality, just like us, and because they have such a fantastic reputation in the sawmill industry, says Robert Larsson, CEO, Valutec.”

Five years ago HASSLACHER Group became the first company in Austria to use Valutec’s OTC continuous kiln technology, when they invested in two OTC continuous kilns for their sawmill in Sachsenburg. The following year, yet another order for the same type of continuous kiln for their sawmill followed.

“We are attracted by Valutec’s continuous kiln technology. It is superior from a capacity perspective. Adding to that, it delivers high quality and requires less material handling than traditional batch kilns, at the same time as its continuous operation is gentler on the boiler,” explains Fercher.

Clear trend

With its in investment in the TC kilns, HASSLACHER Group follows a clear trend in the sawmill industry. During the past year, the new generation of TC kilns from Valutec have been sold to sawmills around the world and the company has reached new markets.
“Behind the technological advance lies thousands of product development hours, where we studied, evaluated, tested and invented new things in all parts of a type of kiln that was used, in its first form, back in 1927,” says Larsson.

The TC continuous kilns for delivery to HASSLACHER Group have eight drying zones and will solely be used to dry siding boards. The maximum annual capacity is approximately 75,000 cubic meters (31,783 MBF) per kiln. The kilns are built from stainless steel and are equipped with pressure frames for minimal deformation of the uppermost layer of lumber, heat recovery system and the Valmatics 4.0 control system.

Together with the investment, two batch kilns in Preding are being upgraded with Valmatics 4.0. This is the only control system for lumber drying combining simulator technology with adaptive control, and allows for simultaneous optimization of capacity, quality and energy consumption.

The new kilns and the control system upgrades are planned to begin in the fall.

Facts about TC continuous kilns. TC is the abbreviation of the Swedish for “cross circulation”. The principle is based on the lumber package being fed lengthwise through zones where the air circulates laterally across the drying channel. This enables the separate regulation of the climate in different zones according to a schedule that comes very close to the ideal schedule of a batch kiln. The significant improvement relates to the way the temperature and the air speed are controlled individually in different zones by utilizing integrated simulator technology. Thanks to this development, the sawmill has greater freedom to mix the dimensions of the lumber it wants to dry, which is something that was previously impossible in a continuous kiln.

More information
Eric Johansson, Marketing Director Valutec
+46 767 676968
eric.johansson@valutec.se

Photo: Michael Fercher, CTO at HASSLACHER Group,

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OneFortyOne has further strengthened its commitment to the Green Triangle region with a $16 million dollar capital investment at the Jubilee Sawmill

International Forest Industries - Thu, 15/04/2021 - 11:24

The first of two new Continuous Drying Kilns (CDK) was launched last week, replacing old batch kilns with more efficient and environmentally conscious biomass fuelled system.

OneFortyOne Jubilee Sawmill General Manager Paul Hartung said the kilns will produce higher-grade timber, with less energy and less downtime.“As the name suggests, the Continuous Drying Kilns operate nonstop, moving product through continuously and maintaining and ideal temperature. The efficient design is powered by biomass, using sawdust and wood waste, and shares heat between two chambers with no need to turn the kiln off. There’s no cooling down and reheating like in the old batch kilns– meaning more product processed with less energy. Timber is a renewable resource and when combined with efficient manufacturing, we’re producing sustainable, planet friendly wood products.”

The launch of the new CDK coincided with a massive milestone for Kilns Manager Roger Davis, who celebrated 50 years of service at the Jubilee site.

Starting out as a timber stacker back in 1971, Davis has held several positions since, from machinist and forklift driver, through to shift leader and drymill supervisor, and wanted to see the first CDK completed and online before retiring.

Hartung said the old batch kilns on site are regarded as some of the highest performing batch kilns that Windsor Engineering have installed around the world, which is a credit to Roger’s leadership.

“I’m thrilled that Roger was able to do the honours of launching the new CDK,” Hartung said. Roger’s commitment and dedication is unparalleled, and I wish to thank him for all he has contributed to this mill and to his colleagues.”

The second continuous drying kiln is currently under construction and on track for completion by Christmas 2021.

 Fast facts

  •  The first of two Continuous Drying Kilns (CDK) officially opened on Tuesday 30 March 2021.
  • The construction of the second kiln is set for completion by Christmas 2021.
  • The $16 million dollar project, at OneFortyOne’s Jubilee Sawmill site located in Mt Gambier, South Australia, has the capacity to dry 240,000 cubic metres of timber per year non-stop per CDK. The second kiln will double this capacity.
  • The retired batch kilns operated for 10 years, with a total drying time of 332,000 hours and produced 4 million cubic metres of dried timber.
  • The new kilns work more efficiently and will dry 30% more timber using 25% less energy.
  • The new CDK is 81 metres long, 7.7 metres high and 10.3 metres wide.
  • The CDKs are energy neutral as they are fuelled by biomass, sawdust and wood waste.
  • As a guide each piece of timber will take about 27 hours inside the kiln.
  • In March 2020, the New Zealand based project team had been on-site at the Jubilee Sawmill preparing for construction, but the introduction of travel restrictions meant the team had to abruptly pack up and return home.
  • The construction team put in more than 2,000 hours of work for the 1st CDK to be completed.

Photo: Kilns Manager Roger Davis and Jubilee Sawmill General Manager Paul Hartung in front of the new Continuous Drying Kiln at the Jubilee site in Mount Gambier

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John Deere enhances Dozer Lineup with 950K, 1050K machine improvements

International Forest Industries - Wed, 14/04/2021 - 14:21

Delivering improved ride quality and increased productivity on the industry’s toughest and most challenging job sites, John Deere announces enhancements to its largest dozers, the 950K and 1050K models. Enhanced with the customer in mind, the updates improve productivity, durability and operator satisfaction. Including a suspended double-bogie undercarriage, new Extended Life undercarriage options and updated blade offerings, the upgraded 950K and 1050K models add to the already strong history of productivity and innovation in the John Deere dozer lineup.

“Our time spent on customer sites has allowed us to confidently design an undercarriage for the 1050K that drastically improves operability and productivity on rough terrain,” said Matt Goedert, solutions marketing manager, John Deere. “With the updates to the 950K and 1050K machines, such as the Extended Life undercarriage life option, we’re delivering increased machine uptime while also significantly enhancing the operator experience.”

The suspended double-bogie track frame on the 1050K improves ride quality. Featuring a second layer of bogies, new isolators and refined geometry, the 1050K delivers increased durability and a smoother ride that reduces fatigue for operators on long shifts.

Another update for both the 950K and 1050K models is the Extended Life undercarriage option. A successful option on the smaller dozer models, the Extended Life undercarriage features the John Deere-exclusive SC-2™-coated track chain bushings. Produced using a proprietary coating that forms a hard shell, the SC-2-coated bushings deliver up to twice the wear life of standard bushings, significantly increasing machine uptime.

Also, the 1050K Semi-U blade now features a more productive profile. The new profile delivers several benefits, including increased capacity with improved roll performance and standard cast end bits. As a result, the Semi-U blade reduces material plugging and carries more dirt where it needs to go with every pass, boosting machine productivity.

Other updates include a 950K stockpiling configuration addition and exterior hose upgrades. Intended for coal handling and wood chip applications, the new factory stockpiling configuration for the 950K provides specialized sheet metal guarding to increase protection from material spilling over the blade and falling through the horizontal hood perforations and grille. This configuration also includes a special high-debris cooling package. Finally, the exterior hoses on both machines have been upgraded, offering improved flexibility and extended durability in cold-weather environments.

Photo: Deere unveils various changes to its largest dozers, the 950K and 1050K models

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John Deere further enhances GP-Series Motor Graders with industry-exclusive features

International Forest Industries - Wed, 14/04/2021 - 13:41

Adding industry-exclusive features, John Deere further demonstrates the precision of its Grade Pro (GP)–Series motor graders. Building upon the releases of Machine Damage Avoidance and exclusive Blade-Stow added in November 2020, two additional industry-exclusive features, Auto-Pass and Auto-Shift PLUS, further enhance machine capability. These fully programmable, intuitive and versatile features are ideal for any job, and help increase productivity with new and seasoned operators.

“The John Deere motor grader lineup has a legacy of technological and mechanical innovation, dating back decades, with the notable introduction of the industry’s first mastless 3D grade control system in 2019,” said Matt Goedert, solutions marketing manager, John Deere. “Fast forward to today, and we’re still striving to deliver industry-leading capabilities that allow any operator — new or experienced — to work more efficiently on the job site. The latest features build upon that legacy, allowing us to put even more power and precision into the hands of the operator.”

The industry-exclusive Auto-Pass feature programs machine movements at the beginning and end of grading passes. While adjusting the speed of these movements and rotating the blade 180 degrees, the machine will simultaneously place the blade on the ground while preparing for the next pass. Available as an option on the GP-Series models and standard on the SmartGrade™ motor graders, this feature can also be programmed to raise and rotate the blade at the end of a grading pass, mirroring the finished angle.

Building upon the success of last year’s launch of the AutoShift transmission, Auto-Shift PLUS, also an industry–exclusive feature, removes the need for using the inching pedal. This enables the operator to use the throttle and brake, offering increased control of the machine. Auto-Shift PLUS allows for the machine to come to a complete stop without stalling, helping reduce fatigue while cutting smoothly around obstacles or structures.

Another standard feature now included on all GP-Series machines is Configurable Float. With this feature, float switches can be programmed to control any auxiliary function, allowing programming of up to three float switches through the monitor, which adds versatility in applications where auxiliary functions are used often.

Now a standard feature on the SmartGrade motor graders, SmartGrade Remote Support connects the dealer to the machine, even from miles away. The dealer can troubleshoot machine issues and update grade control software from the dealership, reducing downtime. For customers, SmartGrade Remote Support enables the remote transfer of project files, eliminating the need to visit the machine in person. Additionally, any machine issues can be addressed from a remote location, providing an efficient solution for equipment fleets of all sizes.

Contact: Sam Levine Account Executive, imre SamL@imre.com

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The forecasted growth in wood pellet production in Europe will increase competition for wood fiber & require new feedstock sources

International Forest Industries - Wed, 14/04/2021 - 13:13

Europe’s pellet industry is the largest in the world and is expected to continue to grow strongly, at least until 2025. The key factors driving this increase include:

·       EU has ambitious and rising targets for renewable energy supply,

·       Biomass will play an important role in meeting those targets,

·       Pellets offer several advantages over other forms of biomass in many applications.

Pellet demand is likely to grow by 30-40% over the next five years, and depending on how imports develop, European production might need to increase by up to ten million tons.

Europe represents about 75% of global pellet demand and is more diverse in its pellet usage than are other regions. In Europe pellets are used for residential heating (40%), power plants (36%), commercial heating (14%), and combined heat and power plants (10%). Demand is strong in both the industrial and residential sectors and is likely to continue even beyond 2025. According to a just-released study, European Wood Pellets – Where will the raw-material come from?, the rise in wood pellet consumption will put significant pressure on raw material markets in Europe and require new sources such as forest residues, recovered wood, and energy crops. Raw material prices and availability vary widely by geography but increased competition for wood fiber, including sawmill byproducts, will impact pulp and wood panel industries throughout Europe.

The most crucial feedstock for the wood pellet sector is currently sawmill residues (85% of the mix), roundwood (13%), and recovered wood (2%). This mix is likely to change in the coming years with the forecasted expansion of the wood pellet industry.

Although wood residues will remain an important feedstock, especially in northern and western Europe, they will not be sufficient to meet the future fiber demand from the growing wood pellet sector. New fiber sources are needed, and the greatest potential for increased supply is forest residues and energy crops.

Experience from North America shows that it is possible to use more forest residues as fiber furnish. Although it yields pellets with higher ash content, it is often a lower-cost raw material than, for example, roundwood and wood chips. This practice is increasingly common in both the US South (mainly for pellets exported to Europe) and Canada (mainly exported to Europe and Asia). In Western Canada, the sawmill residue share of the total feedstock has fallen from 97% in 2010 to 72% in 2020, with the balance being forest residues and roundwood.

The above-mentioned Focus Report provides viewpoints on how the European pellet industry can source sufficient raw materials, what the costs and potential alternative materials are, and what the implications will be for raw material suppliers, pellet consumers, and the pulp and wood-based panels industry.

The excerpt above is from the just-released Focus Report “European Wood Pellet Outlook – Where will the raw-material come from?” published by Wood Resources International LLC and O’Kelly Acumen. For more information about the study or to inquire about purchasing the 75-page report in easy-to-read slide format, please contact either Hakan Ekstrom (hakan@woodprices.com) or Glen O’Kelly (glen.okelly@okelly.se). A Table of Contents of the report is available on our website. Click here!

Wood Resources International LLC

Hakan Ekstrom

info@woodprices.com

www.woodprices.com

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Germany’s export value of logs & lumber has increased 63% over the past five years, reaching $2.5 billion in 2020

International Forest Industries - Wed, 14/04/2021 - 12:38

The softwood timber harvest in Germany is likely to reach almost 50 million m3 in 2020, about ten million m3 more than a typical year before the spruce bark beetle-infestation in 2018. In addition, Germany has harvested 6-7 million m3 of hardwood species annually for the past five years. The total timber harvest in 2020 will be the highest since 2007, when the cyclone Kyrill swept in over Central Europe and damaged approximately 45 million m3 of timber.

Practically all of the additional ten million m3 of annually harvested softwood roundwood the past three years was exported, either in the form of logs or domestically processed lumber. In 2020, the estimated log export volume was 11.5 million m3, up by 54% from the previous year and more than four times as much as 2016, according to Wood Resource Quarterly. With the dramatic increase in export volume, Germany has become a net exporter of logs (an estimated six million m3 in 2020), a reversal from having been a net importer of 4-6 million m3 annually during 2010-2018.

Lumber exports from Germany have also gone up due to the large volumes of beetle-killed and storm-damaged timber. However, the increase has been more modest than the spectacular rise in logs flowing out of the country. Lumber exports in 2020 reached an estimated 9.5 million m3, six percent higher than the previous year and 34% higher than in 2016.

The total value of German softwood log and lumber exports has surged by 63% the past five years from 1.5 billion Euros in 2016 to just over 2.5 billion Euros in 2020, reports  the WRQ. The log export value has gone up more than three-fold since 2016, practically entirely driven by increased shipments to China. This destination has rapidly become the largest market for logs exported from Germany, surging from almost non-existent in 2017 to account for just over 65% of the total export value in 2020. Other significant destinations included neighboring Austria (14% of total export value) and Belgium (5%).

Wood Resources International LLC

Hakan Ekstrom

info@woodprices.com

www.woodprices.com

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Subsidiary of UFP Industries Closes on Purchase of Spartanburg Forest Products & it’s Affiliates

International Forest Industries - Wed, 14/04/2021 - 11:58

UFP Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: UFPI) has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Sunbelt Forest Products Corporation closed on its agreement to purchase the net operating assets of Spartanburg Forest Products, Inc. and its affiliates. The purchase price for Spartanburg’s property, plants and equipment is approximately $16.5 million. Sunbelt also purchased Spartanburg’s net working capital for an amount equal to the net book value determined on the date of closing, which totaled approximately $146.5 million.

“This acquisition will allow Sunbelt to grow by offering more products to Spartanburg’s customers while expanding our capacity and geographic reach to serve our existing customers,” said Ken DelleDonne, president of Sunbelt Forest Products. “In addition, we expect to drive efficiencies in our supply chain and administrative services as we combine our operations. We’re excited to welcome the Spartanburg team to Sunbelt and look forward to building an even stronger future together.”

Sunbelt Forest Products Corporation

Based in Bartow, Florida, Sunbelt Forest Products Corporation is a leading producer of pressure-treated lumber and residential fencing in the Southeast, with 300 employees. The company is an affiliate of UFP Retail Solutions, which is a subsidiary of UFP Industries.

Spartanburg Forest Products

Headquartered in Greer, South Carolina, Spartanburg Forest Products and its affiliates are a premier wood treating operation in the U.S., with approximately 150 employees and operations in five states. Its affiliates include Appalachian Forest Products, Innovative Design Industries, Blue Ridge Wood Preserving, Blue Ridge Wood Products, and Tidewater Wood Products.

UFP Industries, Inc.

UFP Industries is a holding company whose operating subsidiaries – UFP Industrial, UFP Construction and UFP Retail Solutions – manufacture, distribute and sell a wide variety of value-added products used in residential and commercial construction, packaging and other industrial applications worldwide. Founded in 1955, the company is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with affiliates in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. For more about UFP Industries, go to www.ufpi.com.

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China log imports dipped in 2020

International Forest Industries - Wed, 14/04/2021 - 10:58

China saw a decline in 2020 log imports – According to China Customs, log imports in 2020 totalled 59.20 million cubic metres valued at US$8.415 billion (CIF), a year on year decline of 2% in volume and 11% in value. The average price for imported logs was US$141 (CIF) per cubic metre, down 9% on levels in 2019. Of total 2020 log imports, softwood log imports rose 4% to 46.86 million cubic metres, accounting for 79% of the national total, 4% up on 2019. The average price for imported softwood logs was US$117 (CIF) per cubic metre, down 6% on levels in 2019.

Chinese analysts say China’s log imports fell mainly because of the impact of the pandemic but that the increase in softwood logs imports was due to the large volume of harvested logs available in Europe due to heavy felling as a pest control measure.

It has been forecast that as much as 500 million cubic metres of European spruce will be harvested by 2024 and most of these softwood logs will be imported by China via the China-Europe Railway Express. Softwood log imports from Germany soared – In 2020 the volume of softwood log imports from most countries however, from Germany, the Czech Republic and Japan imports increased which contribute to the overall rise increase in softwood log imports even during the pandemic.

New Zealand was the main softwood log supplier to China in 2020 accounting for 34% of total softwood log imports. Softwood log imports from New Zealand totalled 16.15 million cubic metres in 2020, a year on year decline of 8%.

Germany became the second main supplier of softwood logs imports at 9.98 million cubic metres, a year on year increase of 162%, accounting for about 21% of the total softwood log imports in 2020, exceeding imports from Russia for the first time.

China’s softwood log imports from the Czech Republic and Japan in 2020 rose 47% and 23% to 3.38 million cubic metres and 1.15 million cubic metres respectively. Russia ranked the third supplier of China’s softwood logs imports at 4.43 million cubic metres in 2020, a year-on-year decline of 24% and accounted for 9.5% of total softwood log imports in 2020.

Source: ITTO TTM Report

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They Overcame Mutual Loathing, and Saved a Town

NYT Logging Industry - Sat, 10/04/2021 - 20:37
Environmentalists and loggers thought they had nothing in common, until they started talking.

John Deere launches Smartgrade for Excavators

International Forest Industries - Fri, 09/04/2021 - 13:53

John Deere increases the range of its grade control solutions with the launch of SmartGrade on its 210G LC and 350G LC excavators.

The factory-installed and -calibrated 3D SmartGrade system is designed to deliver increased productivity and accuracy on the job and provide ease of use to contractors at all levels.

“By incorporating precision technology, such as SmartGrade, on our excavator lineup, we are boosting job site productivity and efficiency while enhancing the capabilities of our operators,” said Justin Steger, solutions marketing manager, John Deere. “However, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and contractors need options to pair the right technology with their business needs. This is where customers really benefit from the flexibility of our grade management path.”

At CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 last March, John Deere became the first equipment manufacturer to fully integrate grade control technology in compact equipment with the introduction of the SmartGrade 33G compact track loader.

For its excavators, John Deere now offers four grade management options to choose from:

  • SmartGrade
  • SmartGrade-Ready with 2D
  • 3D Grade Guidance
  • 2D Grade Guidance

Additionally, John Deere offers upgrade kits for each grade management option so customers can adopt technology at their own pace.

A SmartGrade excavator automates the boom and bucket functions for the operator to achieve a smooth and accurate finish grade. Using GNSS positioning technology for accurate horizontal and vertical positioning, the machine controls boom and bucket movements to a precise design target. This enables the operator to focus on controlling the arm function while the system raises and lowers the boom to maintain grade.

“We’ve equipped the 210 LC and the 350 LC with SmartGrade to give operators at every level of experience the ability to quickly and confidently achieve grade by controlling the boom and bucket,” Steger said. “The semi-automatic technology frees up the operator to concentrate on the arm function, resulting in fewer periodic grade checks every time.”

Steger added, “John Deere understands that every contractor has different business needs, and therefore, different requirements when it comes to returns on their investments. SmartGrade reinforces our belief that every operation deserves to benefit from the advancements technology has to offer.”

The SmartGrade-Ready with 2D option provides a 2D system with semi-automated functions, improving the ease of use without the need for GNSS technology or 3D design plans. Additionally, the SmartGrade-Ready machines arrive from the factory prewired for the SmartGrade system, enabling the owner to upgrade in the future, if they choose.

The 3D or 2D Grade Guidance options provide reference information to the operator in the cab to improve productivity. The 2D Grade Guidance option shares bucket tooth and cutting-edge elevation information relative to a benchmark with the operator through the in-cab monitor.

The 3D Grade Guidance option accurately provides the horizontal and vertical bucket position using GNSS technology and can make use of a 3D design plan. All guidance and control options are available with an optional laser receiver, which leverages an ultra-precise local external elevation reference.

With SmartGrade or SmartGrade-Ready machines, the selectable bucket control feature automatically maintains the user-defined bucket angle throughout grading passes. This feature helps the operator place material more effectively, reducing waste and saving money.

Factory joystick integration provides the ability to adjust the grade offset, set a benchmark on the 2D system, measure a desired point on the bucket with the 3D system or easily turn on and off automatics and protect features, helping further boost productivity by keeping the operator’s hands on the joystick and in control.

New precision technology features include Virtual Front, which hydraulically limits and automatically stops the bucket cutting edge from contacting the front of the machine at a selectable distance, preventing machine damage. The over-dig protect feature limits the bucket’s cutting edge from going below the target design surface, preventing costly over digging on the job.

Additional virtual fence technology features, such as Virtual Ceiling, Virtual Floor, Virtual Swing and Virtual Wall, provide the operator with audible alerts as the machine approaches an adjustable setpoint, allowing operators to focus on the task at hand.

“This 360-degree range of coverage means there are no surprises, including the job done well at the end of the day,” Steger said.

To boost uptime, John Deere SmartGrade Remote Support enables the dealer to remotely monitor and support the machine from miles away. Wireless data transfer provides the ability to remotely send updated design files to the machine, saving trips to the job site.

Additionally, the SmartGrade excavators are compatible with JDLink telematics, increasing visibility to machine utilization and reducing costly downtime.

Source: 365 News

The post John Deere launches Smartgrade for Excavators appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Paper Excellence acquires interest in Atli Chip Limited Partnership

International Forest Industries - Fri, 09/04/2021 - 10:38

Paper Excellence announces the acquisition of an interest in the Atli Chip Limited Partnership. The Partnership has acquired the assets of the North Island Chipping facility situated in Beaver Cove, BC, located on the traditional territory of the ‘Namgis First Nation. The facility is capable of processing 300,000 to 400,000 m3 of chips per year for use in the pulp and paper industry from local supplies of pulpwood and salvage wood.

Atli Chip Limited Partnership is majority owned by Atli Resources LP with minority stakes owned by Paper Excellence and Wahkash Contracting Ltd. Atli Resources LP is a forest company beneficially owned by the ‘Namgis First Nation and Wahkash Contracting Ltd. is a stump-to-dump logging contractor specializing in remote logging in coastal BC.

“Paper Excellence is proud to be a part of the Atli Chip Limited Partnership,” said Quinton Hayward, Chief Forester for Paper Excellence. “As a company, we understand the importance of being good neighbors and greatly value our relationships with Indigenous communities and their business ventures. This is an exciting opportunity to build mutually beneficial business partnerships and support community investment.”

Don Svanvik, ‘Namgis Chief Councillor added, “We are very excited about the opportunity for Atli Chip Limited Partnership to take over operations of this facility to meet the growing needs of the industry and to acquire a business that we believe will have long-term economic and environmental benefits for the ‘Namgis people and the north Island as a whole. The ‘Namgis have long been a significant contributor to the economic health of the north Island and this acquisition will continue that tradition. We look forward to working together with our new partners.”

Dorian Uzzell, President of Wahkash Contracting added, “We are proud and excited for the opportunity to work with these partners. It’s partnerships like this one that build confidence in the forest industry by providing long-term job security in our rural communities.”

In conjunction with the acquisition, Paper Excellence is entering into a chipping services agreement to receive all the chip and hog production from the facility and a Salvage Agreement with Atli Resources LP to increase First Nations participation in the forest sector.

A key goal of the new business is increasing the utilization of local waste and salvage wood in the operations. “Atli Chip Limited Partnership will serve a key role in reducing the amount of residual fibre left behind after primary forest harvesting,” said Hayward. “Processing fibre that currently is left on the forest floor will result in less slash burning of post-harvest waste ensuring better utilization of the forest resources and carbon reduction.”

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Södra purchases sawmill and timber treatment facility – strengthens long-term member value

International Forest Industries - Wed, 07/04/2021 - 16:21

Södra is acquiring Ture Johanssons Trävaru AB and AB Tenhults Impregneringsverk. The new sawmill and timber treatment facility will provide a better market for wood in a prioritised area and strengthen Södra’s customer offering in the Swedish building trade. It will also improve Södra’s ability to implement its Group strategy.

“We look at specific needs and criteria when we develop our industrial structure. We are therefore delighted to welcome Ture Johanssons Trävaru and Tenhults to Södra. The companies will strengthen our operations and be an excellent complement along the E4 motorway. They have a long history in the area and will enable us to grow more together with our customers. We are looking forward to continuing to develop the operations together with the employees in Klevshult and Vaggeryd,” said Peter Jhaveri, Interim President of the Södra Wood business area.

The sawmill produces 100,000 m³ per year

Ture Johanssons Trävaru is a sawmill located in Klevshult in the southern region of Vaggeryd Municipality, with 55 employees. The sawmill produces approximately 100,000 m³ of sawn timber annually. Production mainly focuses on the building materials trade and offers a range of planed and primed timber products.

AB Tenhults Impregneringsverk is located at the Götafors industrial site in Vaggeryd and comprises four impregnation autoclaves. More than 100,000 m³ of timber are pressure treated at the facility every year. Tenhults has seven employees and is known for its environmental and NTR certified processes.

Södra currently has six sawmills and two timber treatment facilities in Sweden. The newly acquired facilities are located in an area where Södra already has a stable raw material supply, but where it does not conduct its own industrial operations. These acquisitions will now help to strengthen the market for wood in central Götaland and improve Södra’s position in the Swedish building trade. This, in turn, will further strengthen the organisation by increasing the overall capacity and creating synergies with Södra’s existing production units.

“Södra is to ensure a market for its members’ raw materials and increasing the value of their wood. Having relevant industrial operations in relevant central locations is a key part of this. These acquisitions will allow us to do just that. Ture Johanssons Trävaru and Tenhults will strengthen Södra’s customer offering and market for wood in an important geographic area. This is in line with our Group strategy and will provide us with better conditions for sustainable and profitable growth,” said Lotta Lyrå, Södra’s President and CEO.

The acquisition will take effect following approval.

Ture Johanssons Trävaru was established in 1950 and has operated in Klevshult since 1957. Lennart Johansson, son of the founder Ture Johansson, is CEO of the company.

“Södra will create opportunities for the continued development of the operations. It feels great to be handing over the reins to a member-owned association – with solid local roots and a long-term ownership horizon. Together, we will make our customer offering even stronger,” said Lennart Johansson.

The acquisitions will take effect immediately following approval by the Swedish Competition Authority. This process is expected to take up to six weeks.

For more information, please contact:
Södra’s Pressroom
Tel: +46 (0)470-890 90
E-mail: press@sodra.com

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Mosaic announces trial of world’s first Electric Log Trucks in partnership with EcoWest Driven

International Forest Industries - Wed, 07/04/2021 - 15:33

Nanaimo, BC  ̶  Mosaic Forest Management is announcing its partnership with local Vancouver Island service provider, EcoWest Driven, to introduce several Tesla semi-trucks into log hauling. There are currently no commercially available electric log trucks solutions appropriate for the terrain on Vancouver Island.

The BC forest sector has a significant role to play in addressing climate change. The working forest captures carbon as it grows, and wood products keep that carbon locked-up for decades. New trees are planted and the renewable cycle repeats. However, forestry operations generate tailpipe emissions, including from log trucks. Electrifying the fleet is a particularly good approach in British Columbia where over 90% of power in the Province is generated from clean hydroelectric sources.

“We are committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2035 and electrifying our log hauling fleet is a significant step in that direction” said Jeff Zweig, President and CEO of Mosaic Forest Management. “BC is a global centre of excellence in forestry, and we are proud to work with our local partner, EcoWest Driven, on this important project”.

“With our in-depth experience and knowledge of the forestry industry on Vancouver Island, we are excited to partner with Mosaic to utilize Tesla’s innovative electric semis into log haulers,” said Timber Johnson, Director and Co-Founder of EcoWest Driven. “We have begun the process of creating charging infrastructure and a new electric vehicle maintenance facility in Parksville, BC to accommodate this new demand for emission-free heavy haulers,” added Jarvis Shaver, Director and Co-Founder of EcoWest Driven.

“Mosaic’s commitment to carbon neutrality, and these innovative actions in support of that commitment, align with our CleanBC objectives to build a cleaner and better low carbon economy for British Columbians,” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

About Mosaic Forest Management Corp.

Mosaic Forest Management is the timberlands manager for TimberWest and Island Timberlands – two affiliated companies that have operated on Vancouver Island for over a century, delivering sustainable forest management within their private forest lands and Crown tenure areas. Mosaic employs several thousand people directly and indirectly striving to achieve the positive economic, social and sustainability outcomes from the working forest. For more information, visit mosaicforests.com.

About EcoWest Driven

EcoWest is a recently incorporated company formed specifically to introduce electric semi-trucks to the transportation industry. EcoWest’s goal is to be the catalyst to utilizing hauling fleets, in a variety of industries, from fossil-fueled trucks to electric trucks and in doing so provide a service to our clients that is both efficient and cost competitive. Converting to electric semi-trucks will also significantly reduce, or eliminate, the carbon footprint for the hauling component of the client’s businesses.

Tesla
For more information on the Tesla semi, please visit: https://www.tesla.com/en_CA/semi
For downloadable photography, please visit: https://www.tesla.com/en_CA/tesla-gallery

Media Inquiries

Mosaic Forest Management
Evelina Lamu
Manager, Communications
Media@MosaicForests.com

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Komatsu to grow forestry machine sales in North America and ASEAN

International Forest Industries - Wed, 07/04/2021 - 14:09

TOKYO — Japanese equipment maker Komatsu hopes to generate 140 billion yen ($1.27 billion) in revenue from forest machinery after four years, which would mark a 40% increase, due to robust housing and material demand reports HIROFUMI YAMANAKA NIKKEI Asia.

Komatsu intends to fulfill its goal by offering a stronger lineup of equipment such as feller bunchers and forwarders for the North American market. The U.S. 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 centers.

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 labor 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.

Because trees absorb carbon dioxide in the air, the early cultivation of forests is expected to slow global warming.

Demand for housing construction material and pulp remains strong, with paper in particular gaining attention as a substitute for plastic.

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 moneymaker, 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.

Source : HIROFUMI YAMANAKA, Nikkei staff writer https://asia.nikkei.com/

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NZ timber shortages debated

International Forest Industries - Tue, 06/04/2021 - 14:37

The decision made by CHH to discontinue supply of structural timber to some merchants comes as no surprise says NZTIF. In recent months all New Zealand sawmills have been under pressure to supply a booming domestic timber market for all end uses; residential building and outdoor timber for uses including fencing decking and landscaping.

However, based on other available timber milling production capacity and previous cyclical shortages, the New Zealand Timber Industry Federation doesn’t expect the current timber shortage to be overly prolonged. Efforts are being made to supply the demand in some cases mills are diverting export timber back into the New Zealand market.

However, sawmills’ ability to ramp up production quickly has been constrained in regions by a lack of availability and rising costs of logs and labour. Apart from the two remaining CHH sawmills, there are still a good number of other mills operating and all are lifting capacity as much as they are able to meet this current increase in demand. The biggest challenge to lifting production for mills is getting enough logs and in turn, competing on supply and price with the Chinese buyers and the export demand for NZ logs.

The next challenge then is getting enough skilled staff to put on additional shifts. Getting the mix of skills required, or training staff, has been an ongoing issue to the timber industry for a number of years.

Users of timber need to avoid panic buying, plan well ahead and consider using other timber sizes, grades and specifications that may be more available. Councils and building consenting authorities should in turn be going out of their way and putting provisions in place to remove compliance barriers and make it straight forward for builders to make any timber specification changes, deemed necessary, without undue hassles and delays. (e.g. substituting sizes and grades and in many cases “brand name” such as where plans specify “Laser frame” a CHH product which could readily be substituted by a product from a different mill).

The government could assist by including the specialised skills, applicable to sawmilling, on the Essential Skills Shortage List so the immigrant labour could be utilised in the short term.

New Zealand sawmills have historically been able to supply all of the country’s timber needs with few shortages ever occurring or lasting for long. Timber retailers and builders have, in the past, been spoilt with timely deliveries and choice of timber suppliers leading to few supply constraints and timber prices being held down.

The squeeze between rising log and labour costs and sawn timber sales prices has led to numerous sawmill closures over recent years. Some regions of NZ now have no, or few, sawmills making these communities more exposed to timber supply shortages.

Over the last two years alone, we have seen five significantly sized sawmills close down, representing an estimated 400,000 cubic meters of production. A major factor in these closures has been uncertainty and the high cost of log supply. Whilst the remaining sawmills have taken steps to plug the shortfall, lost capacity to service the local market is evident.

In the February this year the value of log exports was $305 million, a 48% increase on the values of logs exported in February 2020. In the quarter to 31 December 2020, we exported 6.0 million tonnes of logs compared to 5.1 million tonnes in the December 2019 quarter, an 18% rise. There is unabated demand for logs in export markets, especially China where other log supplying regions, Australia, eastern Russia and Europe have encountered difficulties in supply.

For further commentary and coverage on the “timber shortages” issue that got it’s fair share of air time this week, see below.

Forest Owners Association on what caused the timber shortage

Carter Holt’s halt on wood supply a ‘sign of a system under stress .

Com Com to look into Carter Holt Harvey halting supply to major retailers

Sources: New Zealand Timber Industry Federation, Stuff, Business Desk, RNZ

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Carter Holt Harvey ’s NZ supply shakeup

International Forest Industries - Tue, 06/04/2021 - 13:59

A decision by Carter Holt Harvey to stop supplying wood products to major retailers could redefine how houses are built in New Zealand, an industry organisation says. Mitre 10 and Bunnings have confirmed to Stuff Carter Holt Harvey has stopped supplying them with wood products.

Mitre 10 chief of customer solutions Chris Peak said Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts had told Mitre 10 that it could not supply it with structural timber for the foreseeable future. “This poses an industry-wide issue,” Peak said.

Mitre 10 had multiple supplier relationships and would be working to ensure it could continue to supply customers, he said. Bunnings head of merchandise New Zealand Cameron Rist said it sourced timber from a large number of suppliers and had a range of alternative options so did not expect the change would impact on its product availability.

“Carter Holt Harvey isn’t a major supplier to Bunnings and customers can be assured we will continue to work with our suppliers to meet demand for timber across our store network.”

PlaceMakers chief executive Bruce McEwen told Stuff it was advised by Carter Holt Harvey on Wednesday that it intended to make changes to how it supplied customers. BusinessDesk on Friday reported that Carter Holt Harvey had also stopped supplying ITM.

Building Industries Federation chief executive Julien Leys said it appeared as though Carter Holt Harvey had cut loose smaller retailers but was continuing to supply large customers including Fletcher Building-owned Placemakers and its own subsidiary Carters. “It certainly caught everyone by surprise,” Leys said.

A “perfect storm” had led to Carter Holt Harvey not being able to meet demand for a structural wood product called “wides” – 245mm wide timber used in a wide range of building applications, from flooring to trusses.

He said Carter Holt Harvey was the biggest manufacturer of wides in New Zealand, and it had been caught off guard by a rise in demand from multi-storey housing builds. “We’re seeing all these multi-storey units – two or three floors requiring much more timber. They just haven’t seen it coming. They haven’t been able to gear up their manufacturing capacity.”

Growth in log exports to China had also compounded the issue, he said. “The Chinese are paying top dollar for our logs.” Some timber mills in New Zealand may step in to fill the gap, but the more likely solution would be builders switching to alternative wood products, he said.

“It might mean we start having houses built a little bit differently.” Builders may need to make changes at short notice to building plans and those that were part way through a build would be looking at what the next best alternative to timber wides was, he said. “They might not necessarily go back to that wide timber.”

Source: Stuff

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New identity – for a stronger Holmen

International Forest Industries - Tue, 06/04/2021 - 12:49

You may have noticed that Holmen has changed colors, icons and a new logo in our digital channels, in the annual report and in social media. It is part of Holmen’s new brand identity and affects how we look and communicate.

The new identity is based on the interplay between nature and technology. Holmen creates a sustainable future for customers and society, and it is through nature and technology that they make it happen. The story of Holmen begins in the forest, in the meeting between the power of nature and man’s curiosity and engineering.

To clarify its story, they have developed a new brand platform and visual identity. The new identity draws inspiration from this duality – the meeting between nature and technology. Soft shapes meet sharp corners and earthy tones contrast with energy-rich, stronger colors. A living brand that can proudly represent the whole of Holmen – from Forest and Energy to Wood Products, Cardboard and Paper.

“The entire group is part of our circular business and our new sharp brand expression that clearly reflects Holmen today; a future-smart, circular business with the power to make a difference and which drives the transition to a sustainable society. ”

Stina Sandell, Sustainability and Communications Director at Holmen

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by Dr. Radut