August 2019 saw Port of Tauranga and Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) subsidiary Port Ruakura LP announce a long- term partnership to support the development of the planned Ruakura Inland Port at Hamilton.
The agreement allows Port of Tauranga’s cargo trains running between MetroPort Auckland and Tauranga to service Ruakura Inland Port, giving Waikato-based importers and exporters direct access to fast international shipping services calling at Tauranga. Tauranga is the only port call for the biggest container ships visiting New Zealand.
Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns, says the planned Ruakura Inland Port offers significant cargo handling capacity and scope to meet future needs. The 480 hectare Ruakura estate has 192 hectares earmarked for logistics and industrial uses including the planned 30 hectare inland port.
“The Ruakura development will provide a highly efficient rail hub in the Waikato by utilising our existing train services linking our MetroPort Auckland inland freight hub with Port of Tauranga, which is New Zealand’s international hub port and the main cargo gateway for the upper North Island,” he says.
“It’s an excellent example of Port of Tauranga’s partnership approach to providing supply chain infrastructure beyond our Bay of Plenty hinterland.”
Tainui Group Holdings Chief Executive Chris Joblin welcomed the long-term partnership on behalf of Port Ruakura LP.
“The agreement will see Port of Tauranga trains initially call at Ruakura four times daily and this is likely to grow. This service will underpin the significant supply chain savings we have been modelling with prospective customers and tenants of Ruakura,” he says.
About Ruakura – Ruakura is a visionary logistics hub designed to help importers and exporters unlock the golden triangle. Offering genuine scale, the core of the development is a 30ha inland port which will offer direct access to major seaports via main trunk rail services and the Waikato Expressway.
Complementing the inland port is a 192ha logistics and industrial precinct offering room to grow for businesses seeking a substantial footprint, and adjoining precincts for commercial, residential and retail use.
Ruakura is long-term project by Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) and its business partners. TGH’s track record includes quality developments at The Base, one of New Zealand’s largest shopping centres, and hotels at Auckland Airport and Hamilton as part of the $950m diversified portfolio it manages on behalf of 76,000 Waikato-Tainui iwi members.
Photo: Port of Tauranga Chief Executive, Mark Cairns (left) and Tainui Group Holdings Chief Executive, Chris Joblin (right).
RDO Equipment is the world’s largest Vermeer and John Deere dealer, and in Australia RDO have an investment and strong partnership with the Vermeer brand which Julie will oversee.
Julie has a strong track record in operations and management, having spent the last nine years working for oil and gas company Senex Energy Limited, firstly as their CFO, then managing their strategic planning portfolio and most recently, running coal seam gas projects, from exploration right through to start up.
In her new role, Julie will continue to establish the RDO Equipment business in Australia and set the strategy and goals to cement our place in this market, ensuring resources are in position to meet the needs of our new customer base.
“I have big goals for RDO to become the best dealership business in Australia and am excited to support the growth of the John Deere Construction and Forestry range throughout our RDO dealerships,” Julie says.
For Vermeer, her goal is to continue to grow the brand across the country and ensure their existing customers are well looked after from sales to service and parts support.
“Vermeer is already a well-established brand in Australia, and I’m looking forward to working with a team that I’ve seen is motivated and engaged with the products to help support their growth.
“Both RDO and Vermeer are two incredible companies with the raw potential to become market leaders. I’m excited to start just as RDO comes into the Australian market, provide focus and be the glue to get everyone firing in the same direction and get the business to be what it can be,” she says.
Julie’s first few weeks have seen her visiting the eight RDO and Vermeer dealerships across Australia to meet the teams behind the great brands. Her focus will be to work with the wider leadership teams and forge plans for the next 12 months for both businesses.
Photo: Julie Whitcombe has joined RDO Equipment and Vermeer as their new Chief Operating Officer across both companies.
Carbon dioxide-capturing pine forests could be nurseries for native trees in New Zealand – Parliament’s environment select committee has heard the case for using quick-growing exotic trees, such as pines and eucalyptus, to capture carbon dioxide is compelling.
Fast and slow-growing exotic and native trees could be grown together to help New Zealand capture carbon dioxide and protect biodiversity, a Parliamentary select committee has been told.
At the third day of the environment committee’s Christchurch hearings into the Climate Change Amendment (Zero Carbon) Bill, University of Canterbury forestry professor Euan Mason said the case for using exotic trees, such as pines and eucalypts, to capture carbon dioxide was compelling.
Unfortunately, indigenous vegetation grew too slowly and could not sequester carbon dioxide fast enough to allow the country to meet its emissions targets.
On warm and damp sites, radiata stands could be a nurse crop for native forest. As long as seed sources were available, the carbon dioxide reservoirs would ultimately change to become native forest, Mason said. He recommended radiata pine and other exotics be established as permanent carbon forests with the proviso that, for every 10ha of exotics, 1ha of local native stands “are either identified or established to act as seed sources for the gradual succession to native forest as carbon reservoirs”.
Photo: Volunteers planting native trees at Rai Valley. About 700 rimu, totara, lowland ribbonwood, matai and other native trees were planted. Native forest may eventually take over as the country’s carbon dioxide reservoirs.
Pölkky Oy has announced the construction of a new planing mill in Taivalkoski, Finland. The value of the investment is 10 million euros and is part of the company’s new investment program.
The new planing mill will produce a variety of processed wood products for both exports and the domestic market. The facility is expected to be up and running in the fall of 2020, and will directly employ 10 people. The new facility will have an annual capacity of over 100 000 m3.
“Investing in the construction of the new planing mill in Taivalkoski is part of our new strategy which aims to increase our ratio of further processed wood products and to improve our profitability. The new planing mill also enables us to react even faster to our customers’ needs. Collaboration with the Taivalkoski municipality has been very good”, says Petteri Virranniemi, CEO at Pölkky Oy.
“The new plant will have a high degree of automation and will use cutting edge technology. In particular we are investing in the possibility to make fast cutting pattern changes”, comments Pekka Tuovinen, Technical Director at Pölkky Oy
Earlier in 2019 Pölkky Oy announced its first stage in the investment program with the modernization of the sawmill in Kajaani, which will also be incrementally implemented starting H2 2020.
Pölkky Oy uses 1 400 000 m3 of raw timber annually, across its four sawmills in Finland. The company’s turnover is 180 million euros. Pölkky has 420 employees in wood procurement, sawing and processing. Pölkky is a family company, now in the third generation.
Pölkky Oy is the largest private wood processing company in northern Finland. The sawmills and further processing facilities run by Pölkky Oy are located in the heart of Finland’s best raw timber region, in Kuusamo, Taivalkoski and Kajaani. Pine represents 75% and spruce 25% of their production. Pölkky also has a pressure treatment facility in Oulu
Petteri Virranniemi, Chief Executive Officer, Pölkky Oy
Tel. +358 40 522 4390
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A big deficit in the supply of hardwood woodchips is expected in the Asia-Pacific in the next three-to-five years, with demand in China, already the world’s biggest importer, expected to continue growing, according to Australian forestry giant Midway Group. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz
Midway’s managing director, Tony Price, told the recent DANA conference in Brisbane that Japan’ demand for hardwood chips was still strong, while Vietnam remained the region’s biggest supplier, followed by Australia.
Mr Price said China had been a strong and consistent importer of hardwood chips since 2007, with imports now more than 12 million bone-dry million tonnes. Capacity had expanded, with big growth in areas such as tissue production.
“There is an increased appreciation of higher quality eucalyptus woodchips. Customers are moving to longer term contracts and six-monthly pricing. The prices are equivalent to, or better than Japan,” he said.
Japanese imports had increased since 2013 despite predictions of a contraction, but long-term demand was expected to decline.
“With increasing competition from China, Japan has diversified its supply sources,” he said. However, biomass demand was set to take-off, with a number of dedicated biomass power stations active.
Mr Price said demand in Taiwan and South Korea remained stable, focussed on cheaper, lower quality fibre, but biomass demand could grow in Korea.
“Indonesia is now an importer. It has rapidly moved from an exporter to an importer due to increases in consumption and reduced availability of domestic fibre,” he said.
Imports had grown significantly this year and were on track to exceed one million BDT. In contrast, India was not yet a significant player.
“The market is yet to develop,” he said.
Mr Price said Vietnam’s hardwood woodchip supply had been predicted to tighten, but it continued to grow.
“They have very short rotations so have the ability to quickly respond to demand. There are good margins along the entire supply chain from grower to exporter,” he said. “The Government would prefer longer rotations and domestic value-adding.”
Vietnamese supply continued to grow to fill reductions from other countries.
“Other suppliers are expected to reduce due to a combination of domestic demand and limited plantation availability,” he said. These countries included Chile, Thailand, South Africa, Malaysia and Ecuador.
Mr Price said Australian plantation supply had doubled since 2013 due to the maturing of the hardwood plantation resource. However, further rises in plantation supply were limited and would drop from 2023 for at least five years, he said.
Demand for hardwood logs had affected the woodchip supply.
“There is potential to increase supply from managed regrowth forests,” he said.
NSW, Tasmania and Western Australia had certified, well-managed forests. In the longer term, additional supply required reinvestment and expansion of the plantation base, he said.
Mr Price said potential competitors to Australia in the Asia-Pacific were South America – Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. However, prices would have to cover the high shipping costs. “It is difficult to see where further additional supplies will come from,” he said.
One possible source was Mozambique, or possibly Cambodia or another new South-East Asian supplier.
Midway’s managing director, Tony Price
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In response to the heavily growing demand, Clark Tracks is pleased to announce it is expanding the production facilities in Dumfries, Scotland. The new 4100 m2 production space is adjacent to the existing one, increasing the total space to 7500 m2, which is more than twice than before.
“In the new factory we are investing in automation and streamlining the production process whilst maintaining the flexibility for bespoke products” says Stewart Kelly, director, Clark Tracks.
The new space and additional capacity is taken into use in Q4-2019. During the next two years Clark Tracks will be able to double its production capacity. Total investment is approximately £2.5M.
Clark Tracks Ltd, part of Nordic Traction Group, specialise in developing and manufacturing forest machine tracks to suit almost all Cut-to-Length machines and Skidders. The company has manufactured forest machine tracks for over 30 years.
Stewart Kelly, email@example.com
Director, Clark Tracks
Tero Järvinen, firstname.lastname@example.org
CEO, Nordic Traction Group
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