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Komatsu introduces D71-24 mid-size dozer

International Forest Industries - Fri, 26/02/2021 - 13:41

Komatsu’s D71EX/PX-24 dozer has a slant-nose design and pushes with 237 horsepower

 With a distinctive slant-nose design and 237 horsepower, Komatsu’s new D71EX/PX-24 dozer is among the most powerful hydrostatic transmission (HST) dozers in the mid-size class.

The manufacturer said the earthmover – Komatsu’s largest HST dozer, ranging from 49,824 to 50,927 lbs – is effective at grading, pushing, side-cutting and working on soft ground.

The D71-24 joins Komatsu’s family of mid-size dozers ranging from 40,830 to 56,337 lbs operating weight. There are now 16 models in the class.

The size and power combination helps operators maintain ground speed while operation under heavy loads in H mode, Komatsu said, and the slant-nose design improves visibility to the cutting edges.

According to the company, the D71-24 is “an all-around dozer” and can handle job sites including golf course construction and highway projects.

The new model is available with Komatsu’s Machine Control 2.0 capabilities such as lift layer control, tilt steering quick surface creation and proactive dozing control, which help optimize productivity, the manufacturer said.

The D71PXi-24 made its global premier at CONEXPO-CON/AGG last March

This latest dozer release comes months after Caterpillar introduced its highly customizable, large-size Cat D9 Dozer in September 2020.

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John Deere unveils Its powerful, purpose-built 768L-II Bogie Skidder

International Forest Industries - Wed, 24/02/2021 - 15:37

John Deere expands its skidder lineup with the new 768L–II Bogie Skidder, a purpose–built machine designed to navigate wet and steep slope conditions.

The 768L–II features heavy–duty bogie axles, outstanding tractive ability and floatation, increasing durability and performance in challenging conditions. Additionally, a new arch design expands visibility while a long wheelbase and improved boom–arch envelope increase dexterity and maneuverability in the woods, significantly boosting productivity and performance.

The bogie skidder incorporates the customer–favorite features found in the L–II machines, including a comfort–boosting cab, redesigned electrical and hydraulic systems, and industry–exclusive Continuously Variable Transmission

John Deere introduces the new six–wheel 768L–II Bogie Skidder, a true woodland warrior designed to conquer wet conditions and steep slope terrain. Incorporating the proven, durable features found on the John Deere L–II Skidder lineup, the new 768L–II maximizes productivity, performance, and comfort when carrying hefty loads over long distances in challenging conditions.

“Profitability and productivity are critical in the woods, and as loggers take to new areas for jobs, they need dependable machines that are built with these niche applications in mind,” said Matthew Flood, product marketing manager, John Deere. “With our new 768L–II Bogie Skidder, we’re delivering a purpose–built machine that navigates tough terrain, such as swamps or steep slopes. Providing distinct features, the John Deere bogie skidder helps loggers maximize their potential, regardless of the conditions.”

The 281–horsepower 768L–II features heavy–duty bogie axles, which incorporate large components to maximize durability and stability for long axle and tire life. The heavy–duty axles are purpose–built for tough applications, effortlessly pulling heavy loads and maneuvering tough terrain. The smooth, stable operation results in reduced machine vibration, ultimately minimizing operator fatigue. Another key feature is the excellent tractive ability and floatation. When combined with the bogie axles, ground pressure is reduced, allowing the 768L–II to work in wet terrain not accessible with a four–wheel skidder. As a result, the harvesting window is extended, adding more working days to the calendar.

The new arch design provides the operator with an expansive rearward view of the grapple and work area, providing excellent visibility. Improving maneuverability, the long wheelbase and boom–arch envelope boost reach and lift capability for the boom and grapple, increasing dexterity in the woods. The tight turning radius enhances agility at the landing.

“The John Deere bogie skidder is hands down twice as good as a regular four–tire skidder. It’s just all–around better in my book for productivity and ground disturbance,” said Jason Dawson of Triple J Logging. “With the 768L–II, you can carry twice as much of a load, especially in wet conditions and on the steep terrain, without tearing the ground up.”

The 768L–II retains the other customer–favorite features introduced on the L–II product lineup. Streamlined and redesigned electrical and hydraulic systems result in improved uptime and increase guarding and protection of key components. An increased grapple squeeze force and two–speed winch further increase productivity, while articulation steering sensors improve the operator experience.

Highly regarded by customers, all L–Series II models feature a spacious cab, including ample storage space, configurable controls, and an effective HVAC system. Armrest–mounted electrohydraulic controls offer accessible, hand–finger operation of all machine functions, and joystick steering provides smooth control of steer, direction, and ground speed. The industry–exclusive Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) marries the efficiency of a direct–drive transmission with the smoothness of a hydrostatic drive. As a result, CVT provides more power to the ground by sensing the load, increasing torque and tractive effort as needed to maintain the desired speed.

To learn more about the updated 768L–II Bogie Skidder, as well as the full line of John Deere Forestry equipment, visit www.JohnDeere.com or your local John Deere dealer.

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Ponsse launches a new generation Scorpion harvester range

International Forest Industries - Wed, 24/02/2021 - 15:07

Ponsse launches a completely modernised range of Scorpion harvesters, which meets all the requirements of forestry today. The new PONSSE Scorpion takes harvest productivity and ergonomics to the next level and sets a new standard for the operator’s working environment.

The Scorpion harvester was first introduced to the general public in 2013 and has since become Ponsse’s flagship product. Soon after its launch, the Scorpion became a global sales success and an international symbol of responsible forestry. Over 1,200 Scorpions have already been made and can now be found in more than 25 countries around the world.

Now, eight years later, the Scorpion has shed its skin. The stability of the PONSSE Scorpion is in a class of its own and provides power and productivity on environmental terms with small surface pressure. In product development, attention has been paid above all to even better work ergonomics, safety, cabin visibility and usability.

“As earlier, development of the new Scorpion range has been based on feedback from forest machine users, which we have utilized to put the upgrades now being introduced into production. The cabin workspace is now more practical, and the quiet Scorpion landscape office has been developed specifically with the operator’s comfort and ability to keep working in mind,” says Jan Kauhanen, Product Manager, Harvesters, at Ponsse.

The Scorpion is characterised by its visibility and manoeuvrability. One of the most visible improvements is the new one-piece front window, which reaches all the way up to the cabin roof to offer even better visibility and safe working in any weather condition. In addition, the unique crane solution provides excellent visibility in all directions.

Fifth generation PONSSE Opti information system
Besides numerous new features, PONSSE Scorpion and Scorpion King harvesters have been fitted out with an advanced fifth generation PONSSE Opti 5G information system and a completely upgraded user interface. The user-friendly information system is the most modern on the market and its smoothness and speed take the user experience to a completely new level.

“The fully upgraded Opti 5G user interface together with the recently launched Opti8 computer sets a new standard for the usability of Ponsse forest machine information systems. It’s also quick and simple for operators who have used the earlier Opti generation to switch over to using the new Opti 5G system,” explains Markku Savolainen, Product Manager, Equipment Automation at Ponsse.

The Opti 5G information system also enables the PONSSE Harvester Active Crane management system, which gives the harvester a new way to control the crane and work more efficiently. The operator can use Active Crane to control the movement of the harvester head instead of individual crane functions. This allows the operator to concentrate on timber processing rather than crane work. Active Crane is easily controlled using two levers, one of which controls the harvester head height from the ground, while the other controls the direction of the movement. The system also ensures that the crane’s functions slow automatically before the range of movement ends, thereby preventing irritating hits to the mechanical structures and operator. When the operator indicates the required location, Active Crane performs the lift and uses the boom and extension automatically.

PONSSE Opti 5G information system will initially be available at PONSSE Scorpion harvesters at Finnish and Swedish markets, with other areas to follow later.

Watch and read more: www.ponsse.com/ponsse-studio-live#/

Media images: https://bit.ly/3qj1XIO

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LIGNA.21 in full swing

International Forest Industries - Wed, 24/02/2021 - 11:54

Hannover Germany. The preparations for LIGNA.21 (27.9. to 1.10.2021) are in full swing. Despite the challenges posed by the Covid 19 pandemic, the leading trade show for the woodworking and wood processing industries is enjoying a high level of commitment from the industry. Seven months before its start, LIGNA is looking at a positive registration level. “The early decision to move LIGNA.21 to autumn was exactly right. In view of the current developments in the global infection situation in the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic, this was the only logical measure to give all those involved planning security and the necessary time for preparations. Participation is therefore very positive. Almost 900 companies have already decided to show their on-site presence in the fair. We will again be occupying ten halls and the outdoor area,” says Christian Pfeiffer, Global Director LIGNA & Woodworking Shows at Deutsche Messe, Hannover. “Visitors can already look forward to September and the numerous innovations. There will be plenty to experience and discover, especially with regards to the three focus topics of woodworking transformation, prefab building processes and green material processing.”

The companies are also looking forward to coming together again at LIGNA in Hannover. “We are doing everything we can to provide them with a safe and successful marketplace,” adds Pfeiffer. A comprehensive safety and hygiene concept will apply to the presence in the halls and on the exhibition grounds, which will comply with the regulations in force at that time and will be coordinated with the relevant authorities. Wide aisles, compulsory wearing of masks on the entire grounds and registration of every visitor and exhibitor will, among other things, ensure maximum safety for all participants on the grounds.

Digital packages add to the offering

LIGNA has also added new virtual participation options to its offering for exhibitors with stand space. “This allows companies to present themselves both in the halls and on our LIGNA.digital platform on the internet. The additional digital visibility allows them to increase their reach and expand the opportunities for interaction with existing and new business partners,” says Pfeiffer.

Even companies that are unable to exhibit in Hannover due to possible international travel restrictions need not forego participation in the show. The new virtual participation options on the LIGNA.digital platform enable them to network with all market players as well as journalists from all over the world.

Companies can choose between three digital packages with different services. Depending on the size of the package booked in the S, M and L formats, these include exhibitor presentations, various dialogue functions, live streaming or videos in the LIGNA product media library. For exhibitors with stand space in Hannover, the Digital Package S is included free of charge in the range of services.

The additional LIGNA digital packages also enable visitors who cannot be on site to participate virtually and experience the woodworking innovations at LIGNA.

For more information about LIGNA.21 and the digital formats for exhibitors and visitors, please visit www.ligna.de

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Metsä Group builds a new bioproduct mill in Kemi, Finland

International Forest Industries - Fri, 19/02/2021 - 11:31

Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, has made the investment decision to build a new bioproduct mill in Kemi, Finland. The value of the investment is EUR 1.6 billion and it is the largest investment ever made by the Finnish forest industry in Finland. The construction phase will take approximately two and a half years, and the mill will be completed during the third quarter of 2023.

In addition to the Kemi bioproduct mill, Metsä Group is currently building the world’s most modern sawmill in Rauma, Finland. With these investments, Metsä Group meets the needs of forest owners and its customers even better than before across the entire forest industry value chain and will play a significant role in combating climate change.

The role of Finnish forests from an ecological, economic and social point of view is important in our development work. We are constantly improving methods of managing commercial forests to safeguard biodiversity and increase the positive climate impact of forests. Vibrant forestry brings prosperity to the whole country. We make  products for people’s everyday lives from Finnish wood. Metsä Group’s strategic goals include increasing the value of Finnish forests, profitable growth together with customers, increasing the production of wood products which store carbon for a long time, replacing products made of fossil-based raw materials with wood-based products, discontinuing the use of fossil fuels and increasing the production of renewable energy. Rauma sawmill and Kemi bioproduct mill contribute to all these goals,” says Ilkka Hämälä, President and CEO of Metsä Group.

Significant positive economic impacts for the whole of Finland

Kemi bioproduct mill will increase the annual value of Finland’s exports by approximately EUR 0.5 billion, and the positive annual income effect in Finland from wood sales and domestic purchases will also be approximately EUR 0.5 billion. The new bioproduct mill will secure the 250 jobs in the existing pulp mill in Kemi for decades to come. All in all, around 500 persons work in the Metsä Group’s Kemi mill site.

A significant part of the pulp produced at the Kemi bioproduct mill is processed into high-quality linerboard at the mill site at Metsä Board’s mill. In this connection, Metsä Board has decided to increase the capacity of the linerboard mill.  The Kemi bioproduct mill will create around 1,500 new jobs across its entire direct value chain in Finland, most of them in wood sourcing. All in all, approximately 2,500 people will work in the direct value chain of the Kemi bioproduct mill in Finland.

The Finnish companies have been competitive, and the Kemi bioproduct mill project’s degree of Finnish origin is estimated to be very high, approximately 70%. During the construction phase, the employment impact will be nearly 10,000 person-years and more than half of it will be located in Kemi. The number of individual persons working in the mill area during the construction phase is estimated to be around 15,000.

The large project will have significant positive impacts on Kemi region and the whole country. In the supplementary budget for 2020, the Finnish government has allocated funding for investments in the Northern Finland transport network. The commitment of the public sector to infrastructure development that supports the mill operations is very important. We are pleased with the active and open dialogue with ministers, officials and other stakeholders during project’s pre-engineering. In this challenging situation Finland needs responsible investments to bring faith in the future,” Hämälä continues.

The ecological sustainability program ensures even more responsible wood procurement 

Wood required by the mill will be procured from sustainably managed forests, and the origin of the wood is always known. The Kemi bioproduct mill will use approximately 7.6 million cubic metres of pulpwood a year, which is 4.5 million cubic metres more than the current pulp mill in Kemi. Wood is planned to be procured mainly from Finland. The availability of high-quality wood raw material is supported by the strong owner base of Metsäliitto Cooperative. The wood procurement to Kemi mill will expand to Sweden in the future, from where it is estimated that approximately one million cubic meters of wood will be procured annually.

Metsä Group wants to be a forerunner in responsible wood procurement. With the ongoing ecological sustainability programme, Metsä Group takes various measures to enhance the growth and carbon sequestration of forests, safeguards the biodiversity of forest nature and improves water protection associated with forestry work. The new bioproduct mill in Kemi will increase the supply of wood from peatlands. Acting correctly for the climate and growth of trees in peatlands requires special expertise, and the role of continuous cover forest management will increase.

Metsä Group’s unique bioproduct mill concept

The way Metsä Fibre, part of Metsä Group, renews its mills is based on the company’s unique bioproduct mill concept, the core of which is the resource-wise use of the wood raw material and side streams of production. In the concept, the renewable wood raw material and production side streams are used in full as different bioproducts, thus replacing fossil-based materials and fossil fuels. The first totally new mill using the concept is the Äänekoski bioproduct mill that was started in 2017.

The Kemi bioproduct mill will produce some 1.5 million tonnes of softwood and hardwood pulp per year, as well as many other bioproducts. It will also produce 2.0 TWh of renewable electricity per year, which equals to roughly 2,5 percent of Finnish total electricity production and together with Äänekoski bioproduct mill roughly 5 per cent. The new mill will replace the current pulp mill in Kemi, which has reached the end of its lifespan. An impairment loss of approximately EUR 42 million is expected to be recorded on the assets of the Kemi’s current pulp mill as an item affecting comparability in the first quarter of 2021.

The demand for Nordic softwood pulp continues to grow globally. With the new bioproduct mill in Kemi we will be an even stronger partner for the sustainable growth of our customers. The Kemi bioproduct mill is a global leader in environmental, energy and material efficiency. The mill will also create the basis for development of a local industrial ecosystem with new bioproducts and partnerships, as has been the case in Äänekoski. No fossil fuels will be needed in production, and renewable energy in the form of electricity, wood-based fuels and heat will be sold from the mill to external customers,” says Ismo Nousiainen, CEO of Metsä Fibre.   

The Kemi bioproduct mill will be built using the best available technology. The technological level meets and even exceeds the EU BREF requirements. Despite the clearly increased production compared with the current Kemi pulp mill, the new bioproduct mill will stay below the emission limits of the current environmental permit of the existing mill. The environmental impacts will be minimised, and noise control, for example, has already been taken into consideration during the pre-engineering phase, both regarding construction and production of the mill. The Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland granted the environmental and water supply permits to the Kemi bioproduct mill in December 2020.

The main partners for the construction project are Valmet, ABB, AFRY and Fimpec. The project will be implemented as buyer-driven subcontracting, which also allows for the participation of smaller companies. For local businesses, the mill investment will create demand directly related to the mill construction. In addition, the services used by the people working for the project will significantly increase the demand for services in the Kemi region.

We have worked systematically and the bioproduct mill project has progressed according to plan. The mill site has been prepared for construction work, pre-engineering of the entire project has progressed well. We want the best professionals in each field as our partners. We require commitment to safety, prevention of grey economy, high-quality and schedules. Implementing the bioproduct mill project also requires local businesses and employees from the Kemi economic area for various tasks, such as civil engineering and installation work and the provision of services and commodities,” says Jari-Pekka Johansson, Director of the bioproduct mill project at Metsä Fibre.

Financing on solid ground

Of the total investment to the Kemi bioproduct mill, EUR 1.6 billion, 40% will be financed with domestic equity and 60% with debt financing. The debt financing primarily consists of EUR 500 million 10 year-loan guaranteed by Finnvera with an 80% risk share, EUR 200 million 10-year loan guaranteed by the Swedish Eksportkreditnämnd (EKN) with a 95% risk share, EUR 200 million 15-year loan by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and EUR 100 million five-year Green Term Loan with eight commercial banks.  In addition, Metsä Fibre has renewed the EUR 200 million revolving credit facility (RCF) maturing in June 2021 with a similar and five-year arrangement, the financing margin of which is tied to the company’s key sustainability indicators.

For further information and interview requests, please contact:
Juha Laine, Senior Vice President, Communications, Metsä Group, juha.laine@metsagroup.com, tel. +358 10 465 4541

Metsä Fibre

Metsä Fibre is a leading producer of bioproducts, biochemicals and bioenergy. Metsä Fibre is the world’s leading producer of bleached softwood pulp and a major producer of sawn timber. Currently employing approximately 1,300 people, the company’s sales in 2019 totalled EUR 2.2 billion. Metsä Fibre is part of Metsä Group.

Follow Metsä Fibre: Twitter  LinkedIn

Metsä Group

Metsä Group is a forerunner in sustainable bioeconomy utilising renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. Metsä Group focuses on wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards and tissue and greaseproof papers.

In 2019, Metsä Group’s sales totalled EUR 5.5 billion, and it employs approximately 9,300 people. Metsäliitto Cooperative is the parent company of Metsä Group and is owned by approximately 100,000 Finnish forest owners.

Source: Metsa Fibre


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Pan Pac invests $13m in new Springer log infeed system

International Forest Industries - Fri, 19/02/2021 - 10:58

Pan Pac Forest Products plans to substantially upgrade the sawmill log infeed system at its Whirinaki (Hawke’s Bay) site in New Zealand.

The investment (at approximately NZ$13 million) to replace the sawmill log infeed system originally installed in the early 1980s highlights the continued commitment of Pan Pac’s shareholder Oji Holdings, said Pan Pac Managing Director Tony Cliifford.

‘Such strategic investments have helped to establish Pan Pac as New Zealand’s largest appearance grade exporter of premium lumber,’ said Mr Clifford. ‘In addition, we remain committed to the growth of the local manufacturing sector.’

Pan Pac has operated the sawmill at Whirinaki since 1974, while its second sawmill in Milburn, Otago was established in 2015.

Springer Maschinernfabrik GmbH has been awarded the contract for the project utilising local companies Lakeland Steel Limited and Design Manufacture & Installation from Rotorua. Pan Pac General Manager – Lumber Michael Reaburn said Springer’s expertise, industry leading approach and competitiveness made the decision clear for Pan Pac.

‘Pan Pac has a strong history of adopting international technology to enhance operations and improve lumber quality for our global customers from a New Zealand manufacturing base,’ said Mr Reaburn. The installation date is set for a planned shutdown period in late 2022, to allow for full engineering supply from Europe and the safe installation adjacent to the existing log infeed to minimise downtime.

Source: Pan Pac

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Record-High Lumber Prices are Hammering Housing Affordability

International Forest Industries - Tue, 16/02/2021 - 14:52

Soaring lumber prices are adding thousands of dollars to the cost of a new home, pricing out millions of potential home buyers and impeding the residential construction sector from moving the economy forward, according to NAHB.

“According to Random Lengths, the price of lumber hit a record high this week and is up more than 170% over the past 10 months,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke, a custom home builder from Tampa, Fla. “NAHB is urging President Biden and Congress to help mitigate this growing threat to housing and the economy by urging domestic lumber producers to ramp up production to ease growing shortages and to make it a priority to end tariffs on Canadian lumber shipments into the U.S. that are exacerbating unprecedented price volatility in the lumber market.”

Lumber price spikes are not only sidelining buyers during a period of high demand, they are causing many sales to fall through and forcing builders to put projects on hold at a time when home inventories are already at a record low.

Impact in Local Markets

“The increase in lumber prices is forcing our company to delay construction starts, which will only exacerbate the lack of supply in our market,” said NAHB First Vice Chairman Jerry Konter, a home builder and developer from Savannah, Ga.

Alicia Huey, a high-end custom home builder from Birmingham, Ala., and second vice chairman of NAHB, said that the price of her lumber framing package on an identically-sized home has more than doubled over the past year from $35,000 to $71,000. “This increase has definitely hurt my business,” she said. “I’ve had to absorb much of this added cost and even put some construction on hold because I would be losing money by moving forward.”

“Appraisers are not taking rising lumber costs into account, which is disrupting home sales and preventing closings,” added NAHB Third Vice Chairman Carl Harris, a custom builder from Wichita, Kan.

Access to Building Materials Top Concern

Housing has been an economic bright spot amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but the industry’s potential to lead the economy forward is limited as long as lumber remains expensive and scarce. A recent survey of NAHB members reveals that 96 percent said that inconsistent access to building materials are their most urgent concern. In turn, supply shortages are leading to soaring prices. And it’s not just skyrocketing lumber prices that builders are dealing with. The price of oriented strand board has more than tripled since last April.

“Clearly these price increases are unsustainable, particularly in light of a continued housing affordability crisis,” said Fowke. “Given this ongoing period of high demand, the Commerce Department should be investigating why output from lumber producers and lumber mills are at such low levels.”

For more information on how NAHB is addressing the lumber crisis, visit nahb.org.

Photo: NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke 

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Invitation to a launch event of new PONSSE Scorpion Harvester

International Forest Industries - Tue, 16/02/2021 - 14:14

Ponsse launches the next generation PONSSE Scorpion harvester. Date: Wednesday 24 February 2021 at 10.00 (EET) in Finnish and at 15.00 (EET) in English.

Ponsse’s flagship product, PONSSE Scorpion harvester, was first introduced to the general public in 2013. Immediately after its launch, the Scorpion became a global sales success and a national symbol of responsible forestry.

Now, eight years later, the Scorpion has shed its skin. Ponsse introduces a new, extensively modernised Scorpion harvester that meets all the requirements of forestry today; from cab stability allowing for increasingly better work ergonomics to more holistic consideration of the environment and from advanced OPTI 5G technology to unobstructed visibility.It is with great pleasure and pride that Ponsse invites you to the unique launch event of the new Scorpion. This event is guaranteed to be unforgettable and can be experienced via live streaming on 24 February 2021 at 10.00 (EET) in Finnish and at 15.00 (EET) in English.

Register and save the event to your calendar: https://www.ponsse.com/ponsse-studio-live#/

You are warmly welcome to join us!

Ponsse Plc

Marko Mattila
Sales, Service and Marketing Director

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Ponsse´s new Full Simulator

International Forest Industries - Tue, 16/02/2021 - 13:39

Ponsse is responding to the need for the development of training by modernising its simulator product range. The new PONSSE Full Simulator is a full-range training system. Its realistic forest environment and detailed graphics create a perfect platform for professional training.

In addition to the new PONSSE Full Simulator, the product range consists of the PONSSE Basic and PONSSE Compact simulators. All three offer a modern learning environment for harvester, forwarder and PONSSE Opti information system training. A simulator is a cost-effective and safe environment for training new operators, forest machine professionals and service mechanics. A simulator also acts as an excellent tool in the research and development of work because individual situations can be repeated, and different harvesting methods can be compared, for example.

“The new PONSSE Full Simulator represents completely new digital technology, which makes simulator training smooth and enjoyable. Its detailed and realistic graphics make the training environment feel like actually being in a forest”, says Jussi Jurvanen, Simulator Specialist at Ponsse Plc. “Sim Trainer, the simulator’s training management system, consists of different levels for advancement as new skills are acquired, and teaches safe, effective and productive ways of operating a forest machine, even during the first training steps”, Jurvanen continues.

Ponsse simulators enable the training of different work stages within the entire machine chain
The simulator’s harvester section allows actual harvesting tasks to be practised, different thematic exercises to be performed, and the operation of a machine’s control and measuring system to be studied. In the forwarder section, it is possible to practise how to operate and load a forwarder and control a crane in realistic conditions. The PONSSE Full and PONSSE Compact simulators are also ideal for training maintenance employees.

New digital technology in a simulator environment
– 3 × 55” upright screens
– PONSSE Opti information system, familiar from forest machines
– Ergonomics that make learning enjoyable
– The measuring device’s touchscreen is identical to that equipped in a genuine forest machine
– Can be converted for excavator-based harvester training simply by replacing the handles and pedals.

Ponsse Academy
The continuous development of competence is one of Ponsse’s success factors. Every year, Ponsse Academy’s global training network allocates thousands of hours for training Ponsse’s employees, partners (retailers and educational institutes) and customers. Continuous training and its development ensure the safe and cost-effective use of PONSSE products across the world.

Further information

Jussi Jurvanen
Ponsse Plc, Specialist, PONSSE simulators
+358 40 575 1334, jussi.jurvanen@ponsse.com

Harri Savonen
Ponsse Plc, Training manager, international training
+358 40 486 5773, harri.savonen@ponsse.com

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Valutec’s sales to Central Europe are running at high pressure

International Forest Industries - Tue, 16/02/2021 - 13:05

The last six months’ sales to Germany and Austria amount to an order value of just over EUR 24,7 million for Valutec, which supplies kilns to the sawmill industry. The company has sold a total of ten duct dryers to the markets during the period, which is a fourfold increase compared to the annual average over the last five years.

Low lumber prices, together with high demand for wood products, mean that sawmills in Central Europe are on the offensive and are investing in increased capacity. A major reason for the increased demand is the shift to increased construction in wood. For example, refined wood products such as construction parts in CLT and glulam have taken market shares from steel and concrete. This in turn has meant higher quality requirements from customers.

“The increased quality requirements in these markets have created openings for our duct dryers. Our long-term strategy and technological development has been based on the idea that we should be the market’s best choice when it comes to optimizing both quality, capacity and energy consumption,” says Robert Larsson, CEO at Valutec.

The higher quality requirements have also led to higher volumes of lumber needing to be dried in modern plants.

“This means that more sawmills need to invest and many have chosen our duct dryers when they have expanded. It is a nice acknowledgement for us and the result of long-term work to introduce the products to the market.” For many sawmills in Central Europe, the duct dryers are a new way of working and for us it has been important to lower the thresholds by offering training and close collaborations.

Valutec is a world leader in the channel dryer segment and has a comprehensive offering with several proprietary models. Common to duct dryers is high capacity and quality and that a steady flow of wood provides a very competitive energy consumption per cubic meter / MBF.

Valutec’s customers are both large groups and privately owned sawmills and in total ten duct dryers have been sold in the markets in the last six months.

“Both in Central Europe and in the rest of the world, our TC duct dryers have opened doors. It is a model that takes advantage of the capacity advantages of the duct dryer while offering full flexibility to mix dimensions and types of wood,” says Larsson.

Valutec built the first modern TC duct dryer in Sweden ten years ago. Since then, the model has been sold to Both Russia, Central Europe and North America and in total there are more than 20 TC ducts that are now in operation around the world.

More information
Robert Larsson, CEO
+46 910 879 50

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Derome increases capacity with two Valutec lumber kilns

International Forest Industries - Tue, 16/02/2021 - 12:11

There is high pressure on the world’s lumber markets and growth continues to look strong. To meet the growing needs, the wood industry company Derome is investing EUR 29,6 million to increase production capacity. The first step in the investment program consists of two Valutec lumber kilns.

“The new drying plant is the first step in a program where we will eventually increase our production to over 500,000 cubic meters (211 890 MBF) per year in Derome. Our customers and their businesses are growing and we are now making major investments to secure access to lumber in the coming years. It benefits customers while ensuring the long-term jobs for our employees in Derome,” says Gunnar Jakobsson, CEO Derome.

“It feels fun, exciting and interesting to be part of Derome’s venture. Derome is an enthusiastic customer with an aggressive plan for the future and I look forward to continued good cooperation,” says Joakim Berglund, sales representative at Valutec.

The lumber kilns that Derome is investing in are duct dryers of type FB. They are built in stainless steel and have an annual capacity of approximately 110,000 cubic metres (46 400MBF)/dryer. The continuous kilns, which are made of stainless steel, will be equipped with pressure frames for minimal deformation of the top lumber layers, as well as Valutec’s heat recovery system. The delivery also includes the 4.0 Valmatic control system.

“We have good experience of previous collaborations with Valutec. This, of course, played a part when evaluating and choosing a drying supplier,” says Per Andersson, Development Manager Derome.

Upgrading drying control throughout the Group
In connection with the investment, Derome is upgrading all lumber drying control systems to Valmatic’s 4.0. In total, there are 21 control systems. Valmatics 4.0 is the only control system to combine simulator technology with adaptive control, enabling the simultaneous optimization of capacity, quality and energy consumption.

The installation of the new kilns and the upgrade of the control systems will begin in the autumn.

“It’s an honor to continue deliveries to Derome. I see this as a great testimonial to our collaboration and we’re looking forward to getting started on this project,” says Robert Larsson CEO, Valutec.

More information
Jon Lindberg, Sales manager
+46 910 879 50

Per Andersson, Development Manager
+46 340 66 65 60

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Hundegger supplying CNC machinery for CLT/GLT plant

International Forest Industries - Fri, 12/02/2021 - 14:35

Timberlink Australia is to partner with Hans Hundegger AG who will supply the key CNC machining equipment for the new Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Glue Laminated Timber (GLT) plant being built in Tarpeena, South Australia. The decision to commission Hundegger Australasia Pty Ltd comes following an extensive international review to find the best Computer Numerical Control (CNC) panel machining technology for Timberlink’s state-of-the-art plant.

“Timberlink is building a AU$60m CLT & GLT facility to be opened in 2023, creating 50 full-time permanent jobs at full output” said Timberlink CEO Ian Tyson. “The significant investment will see the construction of Australia’s first combined softwood CLT & GLT manufacturing plant.”

The initial phase of the CNC machinery supply includes a Hundegger PBA Industry machine, that will be able to process the full range of CLT products for the emerging residential and commercial solid timber market in Australia. The machine will be the first Hundegger PBA Industry CNC line delivered to the Southern Hemisphere and will use the latest in CNC automation technology to precisely custom cut CLT pieces to order.

Hans Hundegger AG in Bavaria, Germany are one of the world leaders in building multi-axis CNC machines for solid timber processing with a proven track record with local support, industry expertise with mass timber processing. Along with the specialised Hundegger CAMBIUM software, these were influential factors in the decision to choose Hundegger as the CNC machinery partner.

Source: Timberlink Australia

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OneFortyOne celebrates International Day Of Women

International Forest Industries - Fri, 12/02/2021 - 14:08

OneFortyOne joined in the global celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on 11 February 2021. It’s a great opportunity to acknowledge the leading professionals who are contributing their expertise to the success of the forestry and timber industries.

OneFortyOne hopes that by sharing the stories of remarkable women in the industry, girls and young women are inspired to pursue one or more of the varied and satisfying careers on offer.

OneFortyOne wants to be part of the movement that promotes full and equal access to, and participation in, science for women and girls. The day is a reminder that women and girls play a critical role in science and technology communities and that their participation should be strengthened.

OneFortyOne is celebrating leading science professionals who are contributing their expertise to the industry. By exploring innovative and creative solutions our professionals are developing solutions for industry, ensuring that this climate friendly resource continues to produce everyday products for society.

Marion Hughes, Manager – Resource Planning and Analytics for OneFortyOne New Zealand is one such woman. “There are no barriers any more for women wanting to get into any of the fields available in forestry,” says Hughes. “Often the only thing that gets in the way is perception.”

Hughes still recalls a career advisor at school telling her that forestry wasn’t for women, which made her all the more committed to following her passion, combining her love of the outdoors and data, and studying forestry at university. The ability to start working during her final year of studies was a boost. “I got to visit small forest owners, measure their trees and tell them how much they were worth and advise them on the best time to harvest them.”

Hughes says that the forestry industry and OneFortyOne really value the perspective that new graduates can offer. “People who are new to the industry give us the most insight. They question why we are doing things. The rest of us just think it’s normal because it’s been done like that in the past.”

After obtaining a Bachelor of Forestry Science, Marion spent several years as a forestry consultant, working on projects in countries within Asia setting up GPS and GIS systems for forest measurement, providing information on wood availability to set up new pulp mills. She then worked as part of a forestry resources team in the Central North Island before joining OneFortyOne 19 years ago.

She now supports the OneFortyOne business in Australia and New Zealand to accurately measure and value its forest estate, ensuring the forests are harvested sustainably and that the company knows the volume of wood by quality class it has available for its customers.

Hughes and her colleagues use a range of modelling and coding software to undertake repetitive or complex tasks more efficiently and effectively. This allows them to work out key information such as how fast trees are growing, how much wood is in the estate, and how much can be cut whilst maintaining a sustainable harvesting regime. A current focus for Hughes is developing a better way to work out how much high-quality wood is within the forest resource before it is harvested.

“We want to work out how much of the high-quality wood we have within our current resource. It’s about working out the best ways that we can predict it going forward to make sure that our customers will have plenty of that wood, and also how we can grow more of that type of wood.”

Hughes lights up when she describes one of the highlights of working in the forest industry. “One of my favourite things to do is trials, either out in the forest or at the sawmills, trying to adopt new technologies. We normally get an expert in, they show us how it works, then we do the trials, and then I get to analyse the results!”

A current trial of a Resi tool (Resistograph) in the Green Triangle within OneFortyOne’s Australian operation is exciting, says Hughes, and if successful may lead to the technology being used within OneFortyOne New Zealand too. “The tool helps predict how much high-quality wood you have in your stand before you cut it down. It works by using a small drill, to capture details of a tree’s wood variability and quality. Trials like this provide a way for us to take ideas from other parts of our business and make both of our operations better.

“I love finding better ways to do things – ways that are easier or faster and provide a better outcome. We’re always striving to improve. I love that about our business.” Hughes hopes that the International Day of Women and Girls in Science encourages young people who might not have considered a career in forestry to find out more about the sector.

She says that it’s a great option given the number of scholarships that are available to support students during their studies and with work placements during university holidays and the wide range of roles in the industry. “Mapping, flying drones, photography, tree measurement, computer modelling – there are so many options for a career in forestry that most people aren’t aware of.”

Photo: Marion Hughes, Manager – Resource Planning and Analytics

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Full house of exhibitors for HarvestTECH 2021

International Forest Industries - Fri, 12/02/2021 - 12:40

With a couple of exhibition spaces becoming available, two new exhibitors have just been added to the record turnout that’s expected in Rotorua in a few months as part of this year’ s major log transport and wood harvesting event, HarvestTECH 2021. It runs in Rotorua, New Zealand on 13-14 April 2021. Full details can be found on the event website HarvestTECH 2021.

That’s a full house, 33 in-door and 15 outdoor spaces with all manner of new equipment and technology best suited to the felling and cartage of logs as well as forest safety around the region. So, it’s going to be another huge turnout. With the two recent additions to the already impressive line-up, exhibitors include;

McFall Fuel, Cookes, Eagle Technology, BOA, Duxson Donaldson, Randalls Equipment, AGrowQuip/John Deere, Tracplus Global, WorkSafe NZ, Porter Equipment, Southstar Equipment, Lubricants NZ, Ensign, Komatsu Forest, West-Trak Equipment, Finance NZ

DC Equipment, Remsoft, FISC, TDDA, TerraCat, Bene Footwear, NZ EMS, Husqvarna, Rearsense Warning Systems, Trimble Forestry, Waratah, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Seeing Machines (Autosense), C3, Hydraulink, Beattys, Transdiesel, Shaws, Chainsaw & Outdoor Power, Safe T Works Taupo

As well as a venue jam-packed with equipment, extras for those attending the events this year include;

1. As an added bonus, the very popular forestry safety event run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association, Forest Safety & Technology 2021, is also being held at the same venue on the first day, Tuesday 13 April. Details can be found on the event website, www.forestsafety.events. This is going to enable delegates from both events to network during the breaks and to capitalise on the large number of trade exhibitions that will be present in Rotorua.

2. For the first time, live links from the New Zealand event will be set up for those unable to travel into Rotorua. It can be viewed in real time or for those working out in the bush, it can be seen later as a recorded event.

3. Two key themes this year. As well as mechanised harvesting on steeper slopes, the integration of automation & robotics into wood harvesting operations and best practices around ensuring environmental sustainability (roading, stream crossings and harvest residues management) in felling and in extracting wood from the forest, log scaling and measurement technologies and wood transport innovations have been built into the two-day programme.

4. A pre-conference workshop on developing road and harvest planning has been set up for the afternoon before the event, on 12 April. Details can be found here

Note: Space, like 2019 is expected to be limited. If keen on registering, the discounted early-bird registrations finish in just two weeks’ time on Friday 26 February.

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Russia’s proposed log export ban in 2022 will have a far-reaching impact on global forest product markets

International Forest Industries - Fri, 12/02/2021 - 11:45

Russia exported 15 million m3 of logs in 2020, which accounted for almost 12% of globally traded roundwood. Much of this trade may come to a halt next year when a new law proposed by Russia’s president will ban the exportation of softwood logs and high-value hardwood logs as of January 1, 2022. The Russian government is also considering new regulations aimed at reducing the exportation of green softwood lumber. This regulation is loosely planned to also commence in 2022 and is intended to incentivize investments in dry-kilns to produced dried lumber for exports. Reducing log and green lumber exports will likely stimulate further value-added processing within Russia and better control illegal logging.

While the proposed ban is not yet law, it is widely expected to be implemented and passed into law in the second quarter of this year. If enacted, the law will most significantly impact Eastern Russia, where an estimated 10% of the timber harvest is exported in log form. In the short-term, the Chinese lumber industry will be most directly impacted, as exports of softwood logs mainly from Russia Far East are likely to be prohibited. According to a just-released study, Russian Log Export Ban in 2022 – Implications for the Global Forest Industry, China will probably look to source more sawlogs from other regions of the world, such as Oceania, Europe, and the US. The increased competition for logs in those markets will likely put upward pressure on sawlog prices. Mid-term, the study expects that China will evolve from importation of roundwood to importation of lumber. This shift will allow lumber manufacturers in Europe and Russia to increase shipments to China.

Although it is expected that the export ban will drive Russian investment in new lumber capacity, there might also be some impact on other forest industry sectors, for example those planning to co-locate pellet plants with sawmills. In addition, the possibility of restrictions in the exportation of green lumber will encourage more investments in kiln drying capacity, thus improving access to markets in Europe and the US.

The excerpt above is from the just-released Focus Report “Russia Log Export Ban in 2022 – Implications to the Global Forest Industry”, published by Wood Resources International LLC and O’Kelly Acumen. For more information about the study or to inquire about purchasing the 60-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.

CONTACT: Wood Resources International LLC
Hakan Ekstrom

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Lucidyne bring Microtec tranverse scanning to North America

International Forest Industries - Wed, 10/02/2021 - 12:49

Goldeneye technology combines with Lucidyne 900 for unparalleled solutions

Microtec’s recent acquisition of Lucidyne has created a global lumber scanning powerhouse. Worldwide, Microtec has demonstrated success across a range of scanning solutions, and Lucidyne’s GradeScan is the gold standard for lineal scanning in North America. GradeScan’s patented software platform, Perceptive Sight uses deep learning artificial intelligence techniques to grade lumber.

Lucidyne is now offering a transverse scanning solution to North America using Microtec’s scanning technology, and Lucidyne’s patented deep learning software platform. Using the Goldeneye 900 series at its core, the new Lucidyne 900 will deliver unparalleled grading solutions to transverse applications in planer mills, sawmills and studmills throughout North America. The Lucidyne 900 will be sold, installed, and maintained from Lucidyne’s US headquarters in Corvallis, Oregon.

As the Microtec and Lucidyne teams continue to combine their technologies, additional Microtec scanners will be added to the Lucidyne product line. Frank Jost, CEO of Microtec states: “Together with Lucidyne, we will continue to invest in R&D to develop and implement leading-edge scanning solutions for the North American market.”

Meanwhile, FH Stoltze Land and Lumber purchased a GradeScan with Perceptive Sight 2.0 from Lucidyne for installation in their Columbia Falls, MT planer mill.  FH Stoltze chose the Lucidyne GradeScan after researching scanning systems over the last couple years.  According to Trevor Kjensrud, plant manager at FH Stoltze: “Lucidyne’s knowledge, professionalism, customer service, and being the leader in the auto grader industry are the reasons they chose Lucidyne over the competition.”

All new Lucidyne GradeScan units come standard with the Perceptive Sight Intelligent Grading platform, using deep learning artificial intelligence for unmatched defect detection and grading results. The GradeScan system will be installed at FH Stoltze in April 2021.

Photo: Using the Goldeneye 900 series at its core, the new Lucidyne 900 will deliver unparalleled grading solutions to transverse applications in planer mills, sawmills and studmills throughout North America.

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Stora Enso’s 4Q 2020 sales decreased by 11%

International Forest Industries - Wed, 10/02/2021 - 12:31

Stora Enso’s 4Q 2020 sales decreased by 11%, or €257 million from the previous year to €2 154 million. Sales were negatively affected by mix and lower prices especially in the Paper and Forest divisions. Lower by-product sales decreased the top line further. Deliveries were clearly lower in Paper, as the global overcapacity and Covid-19 pandemic reduced demand. The divestment and closures of paper production at Oulu Mill in Finland, the Kitee and Pfarrkirchen sawmills in Finland and Germany, as well as a small packaging paper machine closure at Imatra Mills in Finland reduced sales.

4Q 2020 operational EBIT decreased by 5%, or €6 million, from the previous year to €118 million. The operational EBIT margin increased to 5.5%.

FY 2020 sales, at €8 553 million, were 14.9% lower than a year earlier. Deliveries reduced in all divisions and the largest drop was in paper volumes. Sales prices were lower in all divisions, with the biggest negative price impacts coming from pulp and paper. The impact of the foreign exchange rate movements on sales was €19 million positive.

FY 2020 operational EBIT, at € 650 million, decreased by 35.2%, or €353 million and represents a margin of 7.6%. Operational EBIT decreased due to lower sales prices and lower volumes in all divisions. The biggest negative impact came from the lower paper volumes and prices and the significantly lower pulp prices.

Variable costs were €340 million lower, mainly fibre costs including wood, pulp and recycled paper. Fixed costs decreased by €117 million due to Covid-19 and profit protection programme actions. The net foreign exchange impact increased operational EBIT by €123 million. The operational result from equity accounted investments was €16 million lower, mainly due to the Bergvik Skog transaction in 2019.

Stora Enso’s President and CEO Annica Bresky said: “Looking back at 2020, my first year as CEO for Stora Enso, I can undoubtedly say that it has been extremely eventful. The year has been marked by the global pandemic and slowdown of the global economy, but also by geopolitical unrest, Brexit and – for Stora Enso during the 1Q – the strikes in Finland. So, concluding with the 4Q, in an environment that is still volatile, I am very satisfied that we deliver steady results in line with 4Q 2019. If we exclude Paper, operational EBIT increased to €122 million. Sequentially quarter on quarter, we can see improved sales, an indication that the markets are moving in the right direction. We are delivering on our €400m savings promise and we have further reduced working capital to record low levels, enhancing our cash flow.”

Stora Enso is a leading global provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper.

Photo:Stora Enso’s President and CEO Annica Bresky

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Southern Forest Products Association announces Executive Director retirement

International Forest Industries - Tue, 09/02/2021 - 15:17

After serving the southern pine industry for nearly 45 years with the Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA), Tami Kessler will retire on April 2, 2021.

Tami began her life-long career with SFPA after graduating from Soule Business College in December 1976, joining the association as Secretary to the Forest Resource Division. Her path to Executive Director began as she moved into SFPA’s Accounting Department following the retirement of Elsie Wichterich. In 1982 she was promoted to Office Manager and then to Director of Administration in 1986 as she quickly ascended through the ranks. In 2002, she was named as Exposition Director for the association’s Forest Products Machinery & Equipment Exposition, followed by the board-level role of SFPA Secretary and Director of Administration. In January 2014, Tami became SFPA’s Executive Director. Tami is one of the longest-serving employees in SFPA history.

As part of an orderly transfer of leadership, Eric Gee will assume the role as Executive Director.

Eric Gee

The Southern Forest Products Association is a non-profit trade association benefiting the Southern Yellow Pine industry.

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Proposed Acquisition of Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. – a major international supplier of sustainable biomass

International Forest Industries - Tue, 09/02/2021 - 14:53

Drax is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement (the “Acquisition Agreement”) with Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. (PL.TO) (“Pinnacle”), providing for the acquisition by Drax Canadian Holdings Inc., an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Drax, of the entire issued share capital of Pinnacle (the “Acquisition”).

The Acquisition will be implemented by way of a statutory plan of arrangement in accordance with the laws of the Province of British Columbia, Canada, at a price of C$11.30 per share (representing a premium of 13% based on the closing market price as at 5 February of C$10.04 per share and valuing the fully diluted equity of Pinnacle at C$385 million (£226 million(1)), with an implied enterprise value of C$741 million, including C$356 million of net debt(2)).

The Acquisition, which remains subject to Drax and Pinnacle shareholder approval, court approval, regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of certain other customary conditions, has been unanimously recommended by the board of Pinnacle and has the full support of Pinnacle’s major shareholder, affiliates of ONCAP (which, together hold shares representing approximately 31% of Pinnacle’s shares as at 5 February 2021). Completion is expected to occur in the second or third quarter of 2021.

The Board believes that the Acquisition advances Drax’s biomass strategy by more than doubling its biomass production capacity, significantly reducing its cost of biomass production and adding a major biomass supply business underpinned by long-term contracts with high-quality Asian and European counterparties. The Acquisition positions Drax as the world’s leading sustainable biomass generation and supply business alongside the continued development of Drax’s ambition to be a carbon negative company by 2030, using Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS).


  • Compelling opportunity to advance Drax biomass strategy
    • Adds 2.9 million tonnes of biomass production capacity
    • Significantly reduces Drax average cost of production(3)
  • Increased global reach and presence in third-party markets
    • C$6.7 billion of contracted sales to counterparties in Asia and Europe
    • 99% of capacity contracted through to 2026, significant volumes contracted post 2027
  • Strong return on investment
    • Cash generative with 2022 EBITDA consensus of C$99 million
    • Expected returns significantly ahead of Drax’s WACC
    • Funded from cash and existing agreements
  • Reinforces sustainable and growing dividend

The world’s leading sustainable biomass generation and supply business

  • Drax and Pinnacle combined
    • 17 pellets plants, three major fibre baskets, four deep water ports
    • 4.9Mt capacity from 2022 – 2.9Mt available for self-supply
    • 2.6GW of renewable biomass generation, with potential for BECCS
  • Global growth opportunities for sustainable biomass

Commenting on today’s announcement Will Gardiner, Chief Executive Officer of Drax, said:

“I am excited about this deal which positions Drax as the world’s leading sustainable biomass generation and supply business, progressing our strategy to increase our self-supply, reduce our biomass production cost and create a long-term future for sustainable biomass.

“We expect to benefit greatly from Pinnacle’s operational and commercial expertise, and I am looking forward to what we can achieve together.

“It will pave the way for our plans to use Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), and become a carbon negative company by 2030 – permanently removing millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. Negative emissions from BECCS are vital if we are to address the global climate emergency whilst also providing renewable electricity needed in a net zero economy, supporting jobs and clean growth in a post-COVID recovery.”

Photo: Drax Group CEO Will Gardiner in the control room at Drax Power Station

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John Deere rolls out Performance Tiering Strategy starting with Utility Loaders

International Forest Industries - Fri, 05/02/2021 - 15:03

The strategy, including the G, P and X tiers, offers contractors three choices of solutions to meet their needs.

Performance Tiers are differentiated by varying levels of performance, serviceability, innovation and comfort.

The 644 X-tier and the 444-724 P-tier models are offered in the U.S. and Canada.

The first John Deere G tier product, the 644 G-tier, a rugged, reliable and economical model, will be offered in Canada and other global markets.

Developed in response to evolving customer needs and expectations, John Deere launches its Performance Tiering Strategy, delivering a range of products at different levels of capability and user experience. Available first on the wheel loader lineup, the Performance Tiering Strategy supports customers by providing machine solutions built for various applications and jobs to enhance profitability and efficiency. Moving away from the traditional series letter designations, the Performance Tiering Strategy provides three tiers of machines — G tier, P tier and X tier.

“Every job site is unique, and customers want machine solutions that can be personalized to meet their diverse needs, including performance, price and comfort,” said Jason Daly, global director, production systems, technology and marketing, John Deere. “By offering three tiers, customers can move up or down the spectrum to find the right mix of features, performance and innovation for their business and application.”

The Performance Tiers are defined as:

Adding a premium edge, the X-tier models are built with the most innovative John Deere technology and features, delivering the highest levels of productivity, efficiency and customer experience.

 P-tier models can be counted on to produce at high levels, day in and day out. Advanced features deliver exceptional performance, efficiency, comfort and service life in demanding, high-production applications.

The G-tier models are practically equipped and economical, providing proven capabilities with the reliability and ruggedness expected from John Deere. These machines are ideal for customers in need of a reliable machine to complete common light- to medium-duty tasks.

The 444-724 P-tier machines reflect the performance capabilities and features that most customers expect from John Deere, such as those found on the current L-Series wheel loaders, including a redesigned cab, standard parallel lift Z-Bar loader linkage, high-lift plus option, electrohydraulic controls and dual return-to-dig settings. A highly productive and efficient 5-metric-ton wheel loader, the 644 X-tier features E-Drive technology, comprises a diesel-electric drivetrain and exemplifies the type of innovative features that distinguish the X tier.

The 644 G-tier is the first model to be available in the lineup of G-tier Wheel Loaders. Leveraging proven components and technologies, the 644 G-tier is equipped with an all-new cab designed to boost operator comfort and productivity. Customers can customize the machine through a variety of base-level packages, including axles, tires, ride control, seats, radio and rear chassis work-light selections. With the 644 G-tier machine, John Deere delivers a solution ideal for light to medium construction jobs, such as stockpiling, short load-and-carry, truck and hopper loading, and material handling.

Designed and manufactured by John Deere, all tiered machines are backed by the same level of excellent support that customers have grown to rely on — including John Deere Connected Support™ and a five-year subscription to JDLink™. Customers can distinguish the different levels of tiering by not only the attributes and capabilities, but also by the distinct branding and design cues on the machines

The John Deere X and P machines are now available for purchase in the U.S. and Canada, and the 644 G machine is available in Canada and other global markets. Other product categories will follow our Performance Tiering Strategy over time. To learn more about the John Deere Performance Tiering Strategy, as well as the G, P and X-tier models, visit www.JohnDeere.com/Findyourfit.

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by Dr. Radut