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West Fraser to Acquire U.S. South Lumber Mill

International Forest Industries - Do, 21/10/2021 - 14:32

West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (“West Fraser” or the “Company”) (TSX and NYSE: WFG) has announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire the Angelina Forest Products lumber mill located in Lufkin, Texas for approximately $300 million, subject to certain post-closing adjustments.  The transaction is anticipated to close following successful completion of U.S. regulatory reviews and satisfaction of customary conditions.  Management will provide an update and further details about the transaction on West Fraser’s third quarter earnings call on October 28, 2021.  All dollar amounts in this news release are expressed in U.S. dollars unless noted otherwise.

The new turn-key facility, which produces southern yellow pine (“SYP”) lumber products, began construction in 2018, commenced operations in late 2019 and is expected to progress toward full production capacity of approximately 305 million board feet over the next three to four years.  The transaction includes approximately $4 million of target working capital and approximately $24 million of supplemental tax attributes that are expected to result in a direct cash flow benefit to West Fraser.

Strategic Rationale and Synergies

The acquisition is another important step in West Fraser’s continued expansion of its U.S. lumber operations.  The new, highly efficient facility is expected to be a top quartile mill that will integrate with and support our existing East Texas lumber and OSB business.  Anticipated to be among the lowest cost operations in the Company’s lumber mill portfolio, the Lufkin mill is strategically located near low-cost and abundant fibre as well as large and growing end-markets and its additional lumber production will allow West Fraser to better serve the Company’s growing customer base in Texas and the southern U.S.  Upon completion of this transaction, West Fraser will have combined Canadian and U.S. lumber production capacity of approximately 7.0 billion board feet, with U.S. capacity of SYP lumber representing approximately 50% of the Company’s capacity.

“We look forward to welcoming the Lufkin mill employees to West Fraser.  The management team at Angelina Forest Products has done a commendable job developing the Lufkin team and operations, and we believe this modern, high-margin facility will enhance our existing U.S. platform of lumber mills and help us to better meet the growing demand for our lumber products in Texas and the U.S. South,” said West Fraser’s President and CEO, Ray Ferris.  “With this acquisition, we will be able to quickly capitalize on a fully-invested and high-quality manufacturing facility.  This includes a trained labour force and the local community and logistics infrastructure to support the mill’s supply chain, distribution and outlet for residuals.  Further, we are able to immediately reap the cash flow benefits of our investment while significantly reducing the associated risks of greenfield construction, execution and start-up.”

West Fraser intends to finance the acquisition with cash on hand.  Annual synergies of approximately $13 million are anticipated to be achieved within two years with minimal capital requirements.  These synergies are expected to be realized through continued capacity utilization improvement, implementation of best practices and the coordinated transportation, logistics and procurement benefits derived from West Fraser’s distribution scale and existing production facilities in the region.

It is anticipated that after the cash tax benefits described above, the post-synergy mid-cycle Adjusted EBITDA multiple at full production will be approximately 6.4x and the transaction is expected to generate an internal rate of return (“IRR”) of approximately 13%.  Based on recent industry announcements and West Fraser’s latest internal analysis, the cost to construct a greenfield lumber mill of the scale and quality of the Lufkin mill plus working capital investment and the foregone cash flows anticipated during the construction and ramp up phases are expected to exceed the purchase price for this top quartile facility.

The Company

West Fraser is a diversified wood products company with more than 60 facilities in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe.  From responsibly sourced and sustainably managed forest resources, the Company produces lumber, engineered wood products (OSB, LVL, MDF, plywood, and particleboard), pulp, newsprint, wood chips, other residuals and renewable energy.

West Fraser’s President and CEO, Ray Ferris

 

 

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SP – Lion new authorized dealer in Brazil

International Forest Industries - Do, 21/10/2021 - 11:03

SP has announced that Lion Equipamentos has been appointed as authorized SP dealer for the Brazilian states of Parana, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.

Headquartered in Curitiba/PR, Lages/SC, and Guaiba/RS, Lion performs its activities with 20 years of experience in the forestry business.Within its varied areas of performance, Lion stands out in the forestry market by its high-quality technical assistance and fast spare parts supply. With a high focus on customer service and field maintenance carried out by highly skilled and experienced staff members Lion is able to offer a great level of customer support.

“We are very happy to welcome Lion to the SP dealer network,” says Anders Gannerud, SP International sales manager. “Lion is a perfect match for us and exactly the type of company and partner we are looking for when expanding our dealer network. Not only do they have a good experience from working with harvester heads and highly technical forest products, but they also share our commitment to putting the customer first by focusing on parts supply and customer support.”

To learn more about Lion visit, www.lionequipamentos.com.br

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Barko Hydraulics announces financing partnership with Stearns Bank National Association

International Forest Industries - Mi, 20/10/2021 - 12:00

Barko Hydraulics (Barko), leading developer, manufacturer and distributor of innovative heavy equipment solutions for the forestry, vegetation management and material handling industries, has partnered with Minnesota-based Stearns Bank National Association to provide exclusive retail financing to dealerships across the United States.

“We are very excited to be partnering with such an incredible organization as Stearns Bank. Both Barko and Stearns Bank want to provide not only competitive financing to the retail market but also an incredibly personal level of service and customer experience,” said Barko President Justin Rupar. “Our combined goal is to make the financing experience easy and enjoyable so that our dealer partners can grow their business and capture a larger percentage of potential sales.”

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A career in tree planting

International Forest Industries - Mi, 20/10/2021 - 09:51

Tree Planting – We are actively seeking full time staff.

Would you enjoy working outside as part of great team in a fast moving business?

We hold contracts with local authorities, major amenities and blue chip corporations and plant around 4-6000 trees each winter season.

Tree planting, stump removal, root pruning, tree pit creation and pathway works including resetting kerb stones and laying tarmac can be a daily task.

During the summer months it’s all about keeping those young trees alive with regular watering and young tree maintenance programs.

Imagine walking around your area in years to come and seeing the trees that you have planted reach maturity.

We regularly look to recruit new staff, with or without experience (we provide full training and PPE). You’ll be working on contracts and projects in various parts of the country.

If you are looking for a new challenge or something a bit different we would love to hear from you.

Please send your CV and a covering letter to joan.young@gristwoodandtoms.co.uk.
Full driving licence required. Van driving experience ideal.

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INTERFORST 2022 on its best path

International Forest Industries - Di, 19/10/2021 - 13:21

Petra Westphal, Exhibition Director at INTERFORST, is pleased that, “we are fully on course with the figures and planning. As of now, there are even signs of a slight growth in internationalization. Under the current conditions even this can’t be taken for granted and proves that the industry will continue to need and use trade fairs as a platform in future.”

Another firm component of INTERFORST are the scientific as well as practical events and special shows. For 2022, the topics of “Forest Conversion / Climate Change,” “Forest Maintenance and Utilization Lines,” and “Forest Technology and Digitalization” are the center of attention in the congress and forum area.

Meanwhile, the green couch has been placed in B6, which will be used by the Bavarian Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry and proHolz Bayern, as a meeting point for business, science and politics for lectures and discussions.

Because of the numerous postponed trade fairs in 2022, the dates for INTERFORST have been changed slightly for one time only. This time, the trade fair will start on a Sunday, as Westphal explains: “On this day, our supporting program is completely oriented toward small and medium-sized private forest owners. In addressing this clientele, we are supported in particular by the AGDW-Die Waldeigenthaber, its regional associations and the Austrian Forest Association.”

Sabine Wagner

Sabine Wagner
PR Manager
Messegelände,
81823 München
+49 89 949-20802
sabine.wagner@messe-muenchen.de

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Merger announced between USNR and Wood Fiber Group

International Forest Industries - Di, 19/10/2021 - 09:43

USNR and Wood Fiber Group have announced their merger in a transaction that will create one of the world’s most comprehensive supplier of the equipment, technology, and essential tooling used in modern wood processing facilities.

USNR is an industry-leading global supplier of sawmill and plywood mill machinery, aftermarket parts, and technical and engineering services.

Wood Fiber Group is the largest supplier of cutting tools, filing room equipment, and critical consumable products to the wood products industry, serving the North American market with well-known brands including Simonds International, Burton Saw & Supply, BGR Saws, Global Tooling, and U.S. Blades.

This merger will create a single company with a vast product range, capable of delivering complete solutions from project conception, to building/installing processing lines, to supplying the spare parts, technical services, ancillary equipment, and custom-engineered cutting tools that their customers rely on to operate their mills at peak performance.

The complementary nature of the two businesses presents the opportunity to offer new products and services to customers – enabling a ‘win’ for the Wood Fiber Group, a ‘win’ for USNR, and a ‘win’ for their customers.

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New Version of IBC Introduces Operator-Assist Features

International Forest Industries - Fr, 08/10/2021 - 10:42

The milestone in forest machine technology, John Deere’s Intelligent Boom Control (IBC), is available for all John Deere WCTL forest machines. The new IBC 3.0 version is again a technology milestone because it enables the rollout of also future smart functions to facilitate the operator’s work and improve productivity.

The latest IBC, version 3.0, introduces operator-assist features that guide operators to the correct work methods, increase productivity, and improve the machine’s resale value.

 Harvester head’s over-rotation prevention protects against hose damage.
 Feeding assistant guides the operator to avoid feeding stems towards the machine or the cabin.
 Sawing assistant guides the operator to avoid sawing towards the cabin.

The feed function significantly slows down when feeding stems towards the machine and stops when encountering a defined safety zone. A pop-up window appearing on the control system display provides guidance in the correct work method. Sawing assistant helps to prevent sawing towards the cabin. The harvester head’s over-rotation prevention protects against hose damage. All features above enable the operator to focus on work planning. The operator-assist features and the functions that guide operators to the correct work methods not only protect the machine from external damage, they also lower maintenance costs and improve the machine’s resale value. IBC 3.0 is available for the 1270G (H425, H425HD and H424) and 1470G (H425 and H425HD) harvester models.

John Deere’s advanced IBC

A boom equipped with the IBC is fast, easy to use, and precise. Sensors in the IBC detect the position of the harvester head and the algorithms adjust the boom’s trajectories into one easily controlled motion.

In harvester work, IBC adjusts to the machine’s work cycle. The trajectory and function of the boom automatically adjust as the boom is taken to a tree and to the load in the harvester head.

The operator doesn’t have to manoeuvre the different sections of the boom individually. IBC ensures precise and efficient work methods. The electronic end dampening makes the work smooth and efficient, and reduces stress on the entire boom. IBC improves work ergonomics and guides the operator in the correct use of the boom, which is directly reflected in the increased productivity of the machine and in the daily working capacity of the operator.

Further information:

Sakari Suuriniemi
Product Marketing Manager
John Deere Forestry Oy
Tel. +358 40 8475 443
SuuriniemiSakari@JohnDeere.com

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Ponsse solutions for thinning sites

International Forest Industries - Do, 07/10/2021 - 14:01

Growing a productive forest requires hard work and commitment. Correctly timed thinning improves the forest’s growth conditions and makes trees grow sturdier more quickly. Thinning supports forest biodiversity when part of the forest is always in the growth phase.

“Thinning can also be called improvement felling, as it ensures the productivity of the forest, and the high quality and health of trees,” says Tuomo Moilanen, forest specialist at Ponsse. “The better a forest grows, the better it sequesters carbon. Thinning ensures that trees can be processed into high-quality products that sequester carbon for dozens or even hundreds of years,” says Moilanen.

In cut-to-length (CTL) harvesting, trees are already processed up to the intended length in the forest, enabling thinning to be ecological. When the harvester operator plans trails so that they can also be driven by the forwarder, trees can be both felled and transported without needing to move around unnecessarily in the forest.

“At thinning sites, the distance between trails is roughly 20 metres, and trees remaining by the side of the trail will grow in Finnish conditions 20–25 per cent more quickly, because they will have room to grow, both above and below,” Moilanen says.

Ponsse’s harvesters, forwarders and harvester heads have also been designed for thinning sites

The six-wheeled PONSSE Beaver and the eight-wheeled PONSSE Fox, Ponsse’s harvesters in the smaller size category, are ideal solutions for first thinning. PONSSE Fox is an excellent choice, especially when operating in soft terrain. High-flotation tracks should be selected as optional equipment for softer terrain to prevent surface damage.

At heavier thinning sites, the PONSSE Cobra and Scorpion harvesters, combined with the H5 or H6 harvester head, are the best choices in terms of productivity. In PONSSE Scorpion, the unobstructed visibility in all directions, together with cabin and crane levelling, makes working smooth even at dense thinning sites. As eight-wheeler machines, both models are also excellent in soft terrain.

While Elk and Wisent are the most popular PONSSE forwarders for thinning sites, Buffalo is also an excellent choice, especially when distances are longer, and the aim is to improve productivity. The forwarder can easily pick up trees from thinning sites when trails are properly protected (with branches) and as straight as possible; the fewer sharp bends there are, the less surface damage is caused.

At thinning sites, the harvester head should be selected according to the dominant tree species. However, it should be considered that damaged trees and other trees in poor condition must also be removed from thinning sites, calling for sawing and feed force from the harvester head. The harvester head must be reliable at thinning sites because a large number of trees are produced quickly during each shift.

At thinning sites, much rests on the forest machine operator – the operator decides what trees are removed and what are left standing. The forest owner hands over their assets to a professional forest machine operator to receive the highest possible profit, also in the future.

During September Ponsse organized an online event where its customers and specialists explained more about their solutions for thinning sites.

Watch the web event recording subtitled in English, Swedish, French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Portuguese and learn more: https://youtu.be/SR-4a6fKxPE

Documents

PONSSE Thinning aerial

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Canfor Announces New Sustainability Goals & Investment in New Arbios Biotech Low Carbon Biofuel Plant in B.C.

International Forest Industries - Do, 07/10/2021 - 13:43

Canfor Corporation (TSX:CFP) announces bold ambition to become a leader in sustainability, a vision that includes commitments to sustainable forestry, a stronger focus on safety, health, wellness, inclusion and diversity amongst their employees, and strengthening partnerships with Indigenous communities. Canfor is also announcing its positive final investment decision in support of the construction of the first phase of Arbios Biotech’s (Arbios) innovative biomass to low carbon biofuel plant in Prince George, British Columbia. The plant will use first-of-a-kind technology to convert sawmill residues, primarily bark, into high value renewable biocrude which can be further processed in refineries to produce low-carbon transportation fuels. Arbios is a joint venture between Canfor and Licella Holdings Ltd.

“Today, we begin an ambitious sustainability journey that will change how we work and the impact we have on our communities and the planet. We imagine a future as sustainable as our forests,” said Don Kayne, President and CEO, Canfor. “This is an opportunity as much as it is our responsibility. Sustainable solutions are in demand around the world. Customers consider environmental and social impact a priority when making their buying decisions. Employees want to work for a company that’s protecting and nurturing their environment and communities. Together we will frame the future.”

Media Contact Michelle Ward Senior Director, Communications & GR (604) 661-5225 communications@canfor.com

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Canfor Announces Senior Leadership Changes

International Forest Industries - Do, 07/10/2021 - 12:55

Canfor Corporation (TSX:CFP) is announcing changes to the senior leadership team. Pat Elliott has been appointed to the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Canfor and Canfor Pulp and will also retain his responsibilities as Senior Vice President, Sustainability. Alan Nicholl has been appointed to the role of Executive Vice President, Bio-Based Solutions & Pulp Operations. In addition, Arbios Biotech (Arbios), a joint venture between Canfor and Licella Holdings Ltd. that is focused on converting biomass to low carbon biofuel, has appointed Nicholl to the role of President & CEO.

“Canfor is committed to our sustainability journey and advancing our investment and resources in bio-innovation is core to our strategy. In Alan’s new role he will build a Bio-Innovation team that will unlock the full value of each log by diversifying our business into bio-based solutions as low carbon, renewable products become increasingly valued,” said Don Kayne, President & CEO, Canfor.

See full press release here>>

Photo : Don Kayne, President & CEO, Canfor.

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Millar Western invests in vision and Deep Learning AI for its sawmill trimmer

International Forest Industries - Do, 07/10/2021 - 12:28

Millar Western at Fox Creek, AB is adding vision and Deep Learning AI technology to its existing trimmer optimizer. The trimmer optimizer was originally installed in 2010 outfitted with laser profile sensors. Now the mill wants to improve the value recovery of its output to the planer mill. The optimization platform will be updated, and new BioLuma 2900LV sensors installed in the scan frame.

Technology has improved substantially from the 2010 timeframe, with the advent of much more powerful computing, ultra high density geometric scanning, vision technology, more precise and improved optimization algorithms, and now Deep Learning AI. This new technology is scheduled to be installed in mid-2022.

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Jartek Invest Oy – Delivery of Green sorting Machinery to Pölkky

International Forest Industries - Mi, 06/10/2021 - 12:07

Jartek Invest Oy delivers a modern green sorting machinery to Pölkky Oy’s Kajaani production facility. The delivery consists of both green sorting and sticker stacker machinery with peripherals. Automation installation for the sorting system is delivered by Jartek AI Oy. The delivery is the biggest green sorting line ever built in Finland.

The Kajaani green sorting project has been put together for quite some time by both parties. “It is truly great that Pölkky Oy chose local partners and have confidence in Finnish expertise. Jartek would like to thank Pölkky Oy for the trust”, says Kari Puustinen, Sales Director of Jartek.

“We wanted to continue the cooperation with Jartek on this project. Kajaani production facility has a demanding concept because the new line will be installed in the existing building with the shortest possible production shutdown. We think that the local partners will serve our needs for the best in this case”, says Petteri Virranniemi, the CEO of Pölkky Oy.

The investment is a continuation of the well-started cooperation between Jartek and Pölkky. Jartek AI Oy has recently delivered automation solutions to Pölkky’s planing mill and dry sorting plant.

Preparation work for the Kajaani production facility development project is already in action. The installations will begin in autumn 2022 and production trial run will start immediately at the end of 2022.

Additional information: Kari Puustinen
Photo: Kari Puustinen, Sales Director of Jartek

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Rettenmeier Invests in Growth, Resource Efficiency and new jobs in The Baltic States.

International Forest Industries - Mi, 06/10/2021 - 11:09

With an investment program at its own location in Incukalns (Latvia), the Rettenmeier Group will expand the plant significantly over the next few years, increase the depth of added value and create additional jobs.

In the course of 2022 a new log yard and a new sawing line with a capacity of more than 1 million cubic meters per year each will be installed, followed by two new sorting lines in early 2023 and a new planing line with an annual output of over 250,000 m³ in 2024.

The focus of the entire investment and the future direction of the company is the increase in resource efficiency with higher yield, productivity and added value of the raw material with a significantly improved energy balance. Taking ecological aspects into account, the company‘s entire vehicle fleet will be converted to electromobility as far as possible within the investment period. In addition, the plant will be connected to the European and Russian rail networks in order to shift considerable parts of the freight traffic onto the rails in the future.

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Eacom announces a $10 Million Dollars Investment at it’s Gogama Housing Facility

International Forest Industries - Mi, 06/10/2021 - 10:44

EACOM Timber Corporation, has announced a $10 million dollars investment over 5 years to replace its existing housing facility in Gogama, Ontario. The investment will allow to replace the 12 housing units by a complex of 44 units including a food catering service for its employees.

EACOM is strongly committed to attract and recruit talent. As the housing situation in the Gogama area is limited, EACOM desire to stay at the forefront of human resources practices. Over the next 12 months, EACOM will be welcoming over 12 international employees and their families at its facility. The housing facility will also accommodate corporate and regional employees while travelling for business in the area.

This is the achievement of an idea that started two years ago”, says Eric Larouche, EACOM Vice-President Human Resources. “EACOM appointed internally a dedicated task force group to work on this project and they worked countless hours to make it happen. We are extremely happy to offer our employees a housing alternative to better their life at work, as we always strive for the best for our employees.”

For this Project EACOM has partnered with IVEY Group, based out of Sudbury, Ontario. IVEY Group will have the responsibility of the operations of the facility from food service to house keeping to maintenance and upkeep.

Our team at IVEY Group is pleased and extremely proud to partner with EACOM on this exciting project. Further, our organization has partnered with First Nation Industrial Systems, out of Timmins, Ontario, to bring this project to fruition. From the very beginning of the process, EACOM made it clear that they wanted to support local businesses in an effort to stimulate the local economy. This is in direct alignment with the vision at IVEY Group which is to continue to support the development of Northern Ontario, creating high-value jobs and promoting the north as a great place to work and live. EACOM is a great partner that demonstrates high levels of social responsibility and is an excellent corporate and community citizen”, says Anthony Lawley, president and founder of IVEY.

About EACOM Timber Corporation

EACOM Timber Corporation is a major Eastern Canadian wood products company. Operations include the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of lumber and wood-based value-added products, and the management of forest resources. EACOM owns seven sawmills, a remanufacturing facility, and an engineered I-joist plant with over 1,200 employees. The Company is committed to investing in strong assets, including healthy forests, advanced technology, and talented people.

Visit our website at www.EACOM.ca and follow us on Twitter @EACOMTimberCo.

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Pelican Lake, Witchekan Lake first nations launch Kitaskinaw Enterprises Ltd. with Tolko

International Forest Industries - Di, 05/10/2021 - 15:36

Treaty 6 Territory, SK — Pelican Lake First Nation, Witchekan Lake First Nation, and Tolko Industries Ltd. (Tolko) have announced the launch of Kitaskinaw Enterprises Ltd. (Kitaskinaw), which enhances the ability for Pelican Lake and Witchekan Lake First Nations to further their expertise as a logging contractor and develop future business opportunities in sustainable forestry. Kitaskinaw, meaning “our land” in Cree, affirms the importance of the tie to the land of the Pelican Lake and Witchekan Lake First Nations.

Kitaskinaw will initially focus on the development of a logging company with long-term growth in harvesting, biomass, and silviculture. This includes training for Indigenous youth and women, both on-reserve and off-reserve, in both forestry and mill positions as well as other future business opportunities such as trucking. The Limited Partnership corporation is co-owned by Pelican Lake First Nation, by Witchekan Lake First Nation and by Tolko.

“We’re pleased to launch Kitaskinaw with Pelican Lake and Witchekan Lake First Nations,” said Brad Thorlakson, President and CEO of Tolko. “The Nations have a strong vision that will strengthen Tolko in the Meadow Lake region and help ensure long-term business success and sustainability.”

Chief Peter Bill of the Pelican Lake First Nation said, “Our land has sustained many generations and this partnership helps ensure our continued influence today and in the future. Land protection, culture, reforestation, renewable energy, and jobs for our land and people is critical. This partnership with Witchekan Lake and Tolko will help with achieving those goals.”

Chief Anne Thomas of the Witchekan Lake First Nation added, “Building businesses helps ensure the long-term success of our people in jobs and in guiding future developments. We are pleased to make this investment with Tolko and Pelican Lake.”

About Pelican Lake First Nation

Pelican Lake First Nation is a Cree First Nation that signed Treaty 6, in northern Saskatchewan, in 1889. Today, their economic base includes forestry, tourism, agriculture, fishing, trapping, and several businesses. Additionally, the Nation manages community infrastructure including schools, a firehall, and a health clinic.

About Witchekan Lake First Nation

Witchekan Lake First Nation is a Cree First Nation that signed Treaty 6, in northern Saskatchewan, in 1950. Today, their economic base includes forestry, tourism, agriculture, fishing, trapping, and a community pasture. Additionally, the Nation manages community infrastructure including a school, a firehall, and a health clinic.

Photo: (L to R) Kevin Jewett, Tolko VP Woodlands, Chief Anne Thomas, Tolko President and CEO Brad Thorlakson, Chief Peter Bill at an earlier signing ceremony in 2019

About Tolko

Tolko is a leading manufacturer of a wide range of forest products for customers around the world, including lumber, plywood and veneer-oriented strand board co-products, biomass power, and a growing number of specialty wood products. For more than 60 years, our family-owned company has delivered reliability, flexibility, efficiency, and quality. We hold third-party certification on the forestlands we sustainably manage in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, and we play an active role in the communities where our employees live and work.

For more information, contact:

Tolko:
Chris Downey, Communications Advisor
M: 250.306.0929
Chris.Downey@tolko.com

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Ponsse – Finland’s most reputable company for the fourth year in succession

International Forest Industries - Di, 05/10/2021 - 13:42

In the minds of Finnish people, Ponsse is the most reputable company in Finland in 2021, ahead of Kone and Supercell, in the annual reputation survey. A total of 9,265 Finns participated in the survey.

T-Media’s Reputation&Trust survey identifies the reputation of companies operating in Finland in the minds of Finnish people. The greater public’s images are identified as the average of eight dimensions: governance, financial performance, leadership, innovation, dialogue, products and services, workplace, and responsibility. The 2021 survey was conducted in June and published today. As many as 9,265 Finns participated in the survey, providing a total of 19,792 company evaluations.

This was the fourth year in succession for Ponsse as Finland’s most reputable company, as the company was also ranked first in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

“It is very rare that a company receives a score of more than four in all eight dimensions. Ponsse’s performance has been excellent. It builds trust when a company’s performance is stable and solid,” says Harri Leinikka, CEO of T-Media, which conducted the survey.

“We accept this recognition with a humble and grateful mind. It feels great that our story bears fruit and our thoroughly customer-driven way of working is ranked so high. I would like to thank our entire Ponsse family: every Ponsse employee and customer, and their families, as well as our stakeholders across the world. No-one can do this alone – we are in this together, both during good days and bad ones,” says Jarmo Vidgrén, Chairman of Ponsse Plc’s Board of Directors.

The reputation of Finnish companies has been studied for years

This was the ninth year when the Reputation&Trust survey was conducted. The companies with the highest and lowest reputations in the survey are selected annually on the basis of a preliminary survey conducted in spring. In the preliminary survey, 1,000 Finns spontaneously name two companies that they think have a particularly good reputation and two that have a particularly poor reputation. Next, the thirty most frequently mentioned companies are carefully studied using the Reputation&Trust model, in which the reputation score of a company is formed as the average of eight different dimensions. The survey’s target group consists of 15–65-year-old Finns, and the sample is weighted to represent the entire population based on gender, age and place of residence.

Further information: Jarmo Vidgrén, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ponsse Plc, +358 40 519 1486, jarmo.vidgren@ponsse.com

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Jari Voutilainen appointed Metsä Group’s SVP, Sourcing and Logistics

International Forest Industries - Mi, 29/09/2021 - 12:23

Jari Voutilainen has been appointed Metsä Group’s Procurement and Logistics Director as of 1 October 2021. He reports to President and CEO Ilkka Hämälä. Voutilainen has worked at Metsä Group since 2013. He will take up his new role as Metsä Group’s Director of Public Relations. Prior to this, he was the Group’s Logistics Director.

Jarmo Toikka, who has been in charge of metsä group’s acquisition since 2009 and logistics since 2018, has been appointed as the Group’s Vice President, Business Process Development. In his new position, he will report to Sari Pajari-Sederholm , Director of Strategy.

The recruitment of Metsä Group’s new Director of Public Relations has been launched. Sari Pajari-Sederholm, Director of Strategy, is responsible for the social relations during the transition period.

METSÄ GROUP
Inquiries:
Juha Laine, Communications Director
Metsä Group
Juha.laine@metsagroup.com
tel.+358 10 465 4541

Metsä Group

Metsä Group is showing the direction of the bioeconomy. We invest in growth, bioproduct development and a fossil-free future. The raw material for our products is renewable wood from sustainably managed forests in the north. In our business, we focus on the growth sectors of the forest industry: wood procurement and forest services, wood products, pulp and first fibre cartons, as well as soft and sealed papers.

Metsä Group’s annual turnover is approximately EUR 5.5 billion, and we employ approximately 9,200 people in 30 countries. Our international group has its roots in finnish forest – our parent company is metsäliitto Osuuskunta, which has approximately 100,000 forest owners.

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Construction starts on Drax’s second biomass pellet plant in Arkansas

International Forest Industries - Do, 23/09/2021 - 11:36

Work is underway at the site in Russellville, Pope County in northwestern Arkansas, with commercial operations expected to begin at the plant in 2022. The move is part of a $40 million investment by Drax in the state, creating approximately 30 new direct jobs and many more indirect jobs across Arkansas.

Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said:

“The investment that Drax is making throughout Arkansas is proof that the state’s timber industry is poised for a bright future and is a great example of how a global economy works.”

“Through this partnership, these three Arkansas communities will experience further growth and opportunities, and Drax will be able to continue working toward its mission to provide renewable electricity for millions across the pond.”

The three pellet plants are expected to produce a total of around 120,000 metric tons of sustainable biomass pellets a year from sawmill residues, supporting the renewable energy company’s plans to increase self-supply to its power station in the U.K.

Russellville Mayor Richard Harris said:

“The construction and future operation of the Drax pellet plant in Russellville is certainly welcome news. On the occasion of this exciting announcement, I’d like to welcome Drax as a new partner in our community and thank them for the investment they are making in our community.”

The development of the “satellite” pellet plants, which are situated near sawmills, is part of Drax’s strategy to increase biomass self-supply to five million tons by 2027, improving supply chain resilience while reducing pellet costs.

Locating the plants near sawmills provides the satellite plants with a ready feedstock of sawdust and other residues left over when timber is processed, reducing emissions in the supply chain as well as reducing infrastructure, operational, and transportation costs.

Matt White, Drax Biomass Senior Vice President, said:

“Drax has made great progress in delivering our $40m investment in Arkansas, with the second of three satellite pellet plants now under construction.”

“The investments we’re making will bring jobs and opportunities to rural communities in Arkansas alongside supporting international efforts to tackle the climate emergency. These plants support Drax’s plans to develop bioenergy with carbon capture and storage – a vital negative emissions technology that will be needed around the world to meet net zero targets.”

Drax has transformed its power station in the U.K. to become the largest decarbonization project in Europe by converting it to use sustainable biomass instead of coal.

Earlier this year construction began at Drax’s first satellite pellet plant in Leola, Grant County, and commercial operations are expected to begin late this year. Progress is being made on selecting the third and final site.

Media contacts:

Annmarie Sartor
Communications Officer
E: annmarie.sartor@draxbiomass.com
T. 1-318-801-0046

Selina Williams
Media Manager
E: selina.williams@drax.com
T: +44 (0) 7912 230 393

Notes

  • The sustainable biomass pellets produced at the new satellite plants will be transported to Bruce Oakley terminal in Little Rock, Ark. before being shipped south to Louisiana to oceangoing vessels.
  • Each pellet plant is expected to produce 40kt per year, with the total cluster expected to produce120kt per year.
  • The development of the three ‘satellite’ plants comes after Drax’s acquisition in April of 11 pellet plants across the USA and Canada, making it a world-leading biomass pellet production and supply business.
  • Drax’s strategy is to reduce the costs of its pellets to £50/MWh by 2027.
  • In 2020, around 43% of the material used in Drax Power Station’s pellets came from sawmill residues. The rest came from low-grade material such as treetops, limbs and misshapen and diseased trees not suitable for other use and thinnings – small trees removed to maximize the growth of the forest.

About Drax

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) technology.

Its 3,400 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties.

For more information visit www.drax.com

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.

Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonisation project in Europe. It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) Incubation Area.

Its pumped storage, hydro and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.

Pellet production and supply:

Drax owns and has interests in 17 pellet mills in the US South and Western Canada which have the capacity to manufacture 4.9 million tonnes of compressed wood pellets (biomass) a year.

The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.

Drax’s pellet mills supply around 30% of the biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses.

Customers:  

Drax is the largest supplier of renewable electricity to UK businesses, supplying 100% renewable electricity as standard to more than 370,000 sites through Drax and Opus Energy.

It offers a range of energy-related services including energy optimisation, as well as electric vehicle strategy and management.

To find out more go to the website www.energy.drax.com

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Great news for all forwarder operators – the next generation of Komatsu Comfort Ride is here

International Forest Industries - Mi, 22/09/2021 - 12:55

A forwarder operator spends many hours a day in the cab, making a pleasant and comfortable work environment extremely important. Forest terrain is often rough, and the operator is subjected to both jolts and vibrations. These can be tiring and make maintaining a steady and high production rate a challenge – and in the long run they can even affect your body physically Komatsu Forest is now introducing the next generation of Komatsu Comfort Ride, with several comfort-enhancing innovations.

Komatsu Forest first launched the Komatsu Comfort Ride forwarder option back in 2013, a hydraulic cab suspension system with a four-point design that efficiently dampens jolts and vibrations. “Comfort Ride quickly became one of the most popular options for Komatsu forwarders and now it’s time to introduce the next generation of Comfort Ride, with several eagerly awaited features,” says Daniel Grabbe Product Manager Forwarders at Komatsu Forest.

One new feature is the ability to adjust the cab suspension’s lateral firmness, which further improves operator comfort. This function is geared to the machine’s speed to make driving as comfortable as possible regardless of whether the operator is inching over an off-road obstacle or driving unladen from the landing to the next wood pile. In practical terms, the suspension’s firmness is progressive, increasing with machine speed to ensure maximum comfort. “Since operator preferences regarding optimal cab suspension in various situations differ, individual adjustments can be made for each operator and settings are automatically saved in MaxiXT,” Grabbe explains. The operator can also easily adjust the firmness while driving if necessary, to adapt the machine to varying ground conditions. The suspension’s firmness is adjusted using a button on the hand controller.

Another new feature is that the new Comfort Ride can level the cab laterally on gradients of up to 6 degrees, provided the machine is stationary or moving slowly. This offers the operator a more comfortable working posture during crane operation, which usually is a fair share of their working day. When the machine is moving at higher speeds, the longitudinal suspension is given priority to better handle rough terrain.

When unloading, a clear view of the load area is advantageous. Comfort Ride has long had an unloading mode that raises the cab the full stroke of the cylinders. This affords the operator a good overview of the load area and the landing. One of the updates in the new Comfort Ride is that this function now also works when the machine is moved at low speed. This allows the operator to reposition the machine at the landing while still retaining the elevated position. If, however, the speed increases, the cab is automatically lowered back down to its standard position.

In addition to these new features, Komatsu Comfort Ride retains the same popular characteristics as before. The hydraulic cab suspension dampens vibrations from the tracks to ensure a smooth, comfortable ride for the operator, just as it dampens any jolts during crane operation. “Komatsu Comfort Ride quite simply offers forwarder operators a work environment that is physically more forgiving while the reduction in jolts and vibrations enables them to retain their focus and energy levels for longer,” Grabbe concludes.

Annelie Persson
Press Officer
+46 90 70 97 32
annelie.persson@komatsuforest.com

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Hybrid trailer-trucks: A breakthrough towards the electrification of heavy trucks

International Forest Industries - Mi, 22/09/2021 - 11:12

It is no secret that electrification is the future. Over just a few years, electrification moved from being a concept to being a reality. And we’re not talking about cars anymore, we’re talking heavy-duty trucks used in the energy, mining, and forestry sectors.

Since technology for full electrification of these heavy trucks isn’t yet ready to meet contemporary operational requirements — partly due to their weight and the long distances they need to travel — FPInnovations is taking a big step in that direction to make this happen.

Drive axle powered by an electric motor

FPInnovations is working on a cutting-edge project to develop a hybrid tractor-trailer for use in forestry operations. The objective is to replace one of the conventional axles on forestry trailers with a drive axle powered by an electric motor. The system would be combined with a conventional tractor to create a parallel hybrid configuration.
The approximately $2.5-million hybrid tractor-trailer project falls under the umbrella of Natural Resources Canada $155-million Clean Growth Program (CGP) that invests in clean technology and R&D in the energy, mining, and forestry sectors. FPInnovations also gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

The benefits are many

The hybrid system, with regenerative braking that recharges the batteries, will be compatible with log trailers and biomass trailers. There could also be major benefits for the mining sector as well as for non-Canadian markets.
Potential benefits include:

  • Peak fuel savings of up to 15 % (lower on average), depending on application and drive cycle
  • GHG reductions up to 40 tonnes per truck per year, depending on duty cycle and utilization rate
  • Extra driven axle can provide almost 50% more traction on slippery terrain
  • Regenerative braking power can reduce brake fade and increase safety in mountainous terrain
  • Significant cost savings from reduced fuel consumption, reduced haul assists, as well as from time savings due to increased operational efficiency.

The design and integration of the system is underway, trials start this fall and a report is expected by next year.

Proven collaborators and suppliers

The system is being developed in partnership with two of Canada’s leading trailer manufacturers: Deloupe and TYCROP Trailers. LTS Marine, a leading hybrid and electric powertrain supplier, is supplying the electric propulsion system and is also supporting its development and testing. The electric system’s thermal management will be optimized by components supplied by Grayson Thermal Systems.

Promark Electronics will play a key role in developing and providing a prototype harness for the system. The powertrain is composed of a Meritor axle with differential lock and an electric motor from Dana TM4. For superior performance, the trailers are fitted entirely with tires provided by Michelin and chosen with their support. Hendrickson is providing a truck suspension and is also supporting its unique integration onto a forestry trailer, alongside Hendrickson trailer suspensions. Moreover, the technology’s directed end-users will also be contributing to the development and testing; these include Arrow Transportation Systems, Boisaco, and Star Express. For testing in Quebec, Mack Ste-Foy will be providing bespoke trucks specifically configured for logging operations. Before in-field testing, PMG Technologies will be supporting controlled testing at the Motor Vehicle Test Center in Blainville, Quebec.

For more information, you can contact Dave Waknin, Senior Researcher, Transportation – Advanced Vehicle Systems, at dave.waknin@fpinnovations.ca.

Photo – Render of a hybrid tractor-trailer.

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by Dr. Radut