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Use desalinated water to grow forest in arid regions offsetting carbon emissions

Wed, 14/08/2019 - 14:08
Dynamic growth for desalination and water reuse in 2019 In The News

Non-conventional advanced water treatment solutions are considered essential to coping with increased water scarcity. The IDA Water Security Handbook, released in January 2019, provides the latest market overview for the global desalination and water reuse markets.

In 2019, the seawater desalination market is set to experience its most dynamic year since the late 2000s, according to the new IDA Water Security Handbook, published by the International Desalination Association (IDA) and Global Water Intelligence (GWI) in January 2019.

In the past 3 years, the overall desalination market has remained steady; however, several factors are driving the surge in desalination projects. These include rising demand for clean water, decreasing capital and operational costs of desalination, and the need to replace older facilities with energy-efficient processes, among others. At the same time, water reuse has become an increasingly important part of water resources management around the world. The global contracted reuse capacity has almost doubled since 2010, with cumulative contracted capacity increasing from 59.7 million m3/d in 2009to 118 million m3/d in 2017.

According to the 31st desalination inventory, which covers July 2017–June 2018, the total global installed desalination capacity stands at 97.4 million cubic meters per day (m3/d) while the total global cumulative contracted capacity is 104.7 million m3/d. As of June 30, 2018, more than 20,000 desalination plants had been contracted around the world.

IDA Secretary General Shannon McCarthy relates this industry growth to global trends. “As climate change continues to impact our world, along with industrial and population growth, the demand for clean water increases. Desalination and water reuse: non-conventional, environmentally sound water supply solutions are in keeping with the circular water economy and offer solutions to water scarcity. The trends we are seeing point to a broad recognition that these advanced water treatment solutions are essential to the health and well-being of people and economies around the world, both now and in the future.”

Desalination costs down

“The big breakthrough in the past year has been on the cost of desalination,” says GWI Publisher Christopher Gasson. “Recent project tenders in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi have seen the price fall below $0.50/m3 for the first time. After a decade in which price drifted upwards as a result of high materials costs and higher energy costs, this is very good news. Indeed, we expect 2019 to be the best year ever in the desalination market. In terms of water reuse, prices for indirect potable standard water are in the $0.30-$0.40 range, but the market is still held back by public perceptions.”

Significant price reductions in desalinated water pro-diction costs are related to several factors not only specifically linked to technological progress, says Carlos Cosín, IDA officer and CEO of Almar Water Solutions. “From my perspective, the contractors’ experience after years of building large-scale projects in the region has led to a cost-efficient optimization of the construction process. New contractual and financial models have contributed to the creation of strong, solid consortiums, which have the knowledge to accommodate risk in a more efficient manner. Together with lower interest rates in the financial sector, these are all important factors that are helping to push tariffs down.”

Material and design changes have also contributed to price reductions, Cosín explains. Lower petroleum prices have reduced the cost of desalination plant components, many of which are manufactured from oil-derived materials, such as membranes and plastic pipes. Additionally, energy savings has been realized through advances in membranes that require less inlet pressure, energy-efficient recovery devices, and larger reverse osmosis trains with larger pumps and motors capable of higher efficiencies.

Construction activity gains momentum

The expected surge in desalination is largely a result of gathering momentum in construction plans in the Middle East, especially for the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. According to the 2018-2019 IDA Water Security Handbook, 1.9 million m3/d of seawater capacity was contracted in the first half of 2018, up 26 percent over the same period in 2017. Since that time, preferred bidders have emerged on projects totalling well over 1 million m3/d in additional new capacity in the region.

No single factor is catalysing the boom of desalination projects in GCC countries, says IDA President Miguel Angel Sanz, who is also the director of strategic development for treatment infrastructure at Suez International. Instead, he explains that several elements are driving the momentum in a region with limited natural water resources that are decreasing each year. These include high population growth, the need to update old desalination facilities, and the crude oil crisis.

Sanz also notes that the boom of renewable energies producing electricity at a cost as low as US$20 per megawatt hour (MWh) has finally put into the market a trend to reduce drastically the production cost of desalinated water, where the energy is half of the tariff. In the case of the UAE, another special catalyzer is the next commissioning of nuclear power reactors that will force the end of coupling conventional power plants to thermal desalination.

“All these factors have shifted the balance toward building new mega plants in the area, producing water more efficiently and drastically reducing the cost by economy of scale, ‘aligning the planets’ in a very short period and causing this desalination boom,” Sanz adds.

Global construction trends

Not all of the contracted large seawater plants are located in the Middle East. The largest seawater desalination award listed in the 31st desalination inventory is the 378,000-m3/d seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) project in Rosarito, Mexico. This was followed by projects at Hamriyah (Sharjah, UAE, 272,760 m3/d), Shoaiba 3 expansion 2 IWP (Saudi Arabia, 250,000 m3/d) and Al Khobar (Saudi Arabia, 210,000 m3/d).

Globally, contracted capacity for brackish water desalination declined by 19 percent over the prior year, but in the United States (US), contracted brackish water desalination rose significantly, totalling 205,600 m3/d, the highest level since 2012 and a 26-percent increase over 2016, with a fairly even split between municipal and industrial plants.

Desalination of lower concentration feedwater, such as waste-water and low-concentration surface water, also increased, comprising almost 25 percent of total capacity in 2017 compared to approximately 15 percent in 2016. The majority of this capacity is made up of large wastewater treatment plants in China and India.

From a geographic perspective, contracted capacity in the Middle East – the largest market for desalination – fell from 2016 to 2017, but this decline was offset in 2018 by the awarding of several large projects in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain as well as expansion projects in both Dubai and Sharjah. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) awarded contracts for a 181,840-m3/d SWRO expansion at its Jebel Ali power and desalination complex as well as a 272,360-m3/d SWRO expansion of Federal Electricity and Water Authority’s (FEWA) Hamriyah desalination plant in Sharjah.

The Asia-Pacific desalination market grew in 2017, primarily due to the Chinese desalination market where contracted capacity reached its highest level since 2010. In the Americas, 2018 was the most active year for desalination since 2013. In sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya’s Mombasa County awarded two projects of 100,000 m3/d and 30,000 m3/d while three smaller projects were awarded in Cape Town to help avert its looming “Day Zero” water crisis.

In terms of technologies, mem-brane technologies continue to dominate the desalination market. Ninety percent of desalination capacity contracted since 2010 employs membrane technologies, with the use of thermal technologies for large-scale projects remaining concentrated in the Middle East.

Industrial desalination grows 21 percent

The industrial desalination market grew by 21 percent in contracted capacity between 2016-2017, according to the IDA Water Security Handbook. Increased activity in upstream and downstream oil and gas accounted for more than one third of contracted industrial capacity in 2017 while rising commodity prices have revived desalination activity in the mining industry, with 201,000 m3/d of new capacity contracted in the first half of 2018 alone. Rapid growth in the microelectronics industry is also creating opportunities for desalination technologies, with contracted capacity in this sector more than doubling from 2016-2017.

IDA Director and Managing Director of Aquatech Devesh Sharma sums up the principal reasons for the recent 21-percent rise in the industrial desalination market: “The intersection of water scarcity and corporate water risk is driving growth in the use of desalination and other forms of advanced water technology in industry. Concerns about operational risks, corporate social responsibility,

sustainability, and water’s direct impact on P&L [profit and loss] have made this a boardroom issue for a majority of large companies.”

The most significant driver of expenditure on advanced water technology is water scarcity, he explains. “Most industrial development occurs either in highly water scarce regions or densely populated regions where there is an emerging and extreme competition for fresh water resources. Water scarcity has driven more stringent environ-mental regulation demanding lower volumes of discharge as well as higher purity of wastewater, thus driving the need for water reuse, particularly in industry.

“All of this, coupled with industry’s demand for higher purity, is creating an interesting and emerging market need for better advanced water technology. Water is a widely used raw material in industry, and the way in which it is treated can have a significant impact on process efficiency. In certain cases, it takes more water to mine the same element than it did in the past, and end-users are also finding opportunities where higher purity of water in the process results in better production yields. This is also being seen in the oil and gas industry with the advent of smart water processes that adjust the water quality to the geology in the well to minimize issues such as biological fouling or precipitation, all with the objective to maximize yield.

“Removing dissolved salts from water and other technologies, which turns low-quality wastewater and raw water sources into high-quality process water, will be an important driver of industrial efficiency moving forward.”

Global water reuse market strengthens

The importance of water reuse as a solution to the world’s growing water issues has escalated significantly in the past few years. Increasingly, many regions are looking to wastewater reuse over large-scale desalination as a solution to drought-induced water scarcity. For example, both Cape Town and California are pursuing potable water reuse of wastewater, and reuse of wastewater in industry plays a vital part of policy responses to degradation of water resources in China and India.

As contracted capacity continues to rise, the epicentre of the global wastewater reuse market has shifted from North America to Asia, with China accounting for 49 percent of capacity contracted between 2010 and 2017. However, new capacity in India and Taiwan is also significant. India is now the fastest growing market in the region, with new environmental legislation as one of the drivers.

The Americas is the second largest region according to installed capacity, with the majority of water reuse focused on the agricultural and industrial sectors in the US, which remains the world’s second largest market by contracted capacity at 10 percent of the total. However, the awarding of three projects in Latin America accounts for the majority of the region’s increase in contracted capacity.

Water reuse is gaining traction in the Middle East as well although desalination remains the primary unconventional water source for arid countries in the region. Large-scale upgrades of sewage treatment plants in the Gulf and Egypt have driven strong growth in reuse.

Spain has led the European wastewater reuse market since 2010, with large projects aimed at agricultural users in that country. However, a proposed EU directive that would require treatment of microbiological pathogens to facilitate water reuse for agricultural irrigation has the potential to increase water reuse in the EU from 3 million m3/d to 18 million m3/d.

Industrial water demand is a key driver of the wastewater reuse market. This trend is especially apparent in water-intensive manufacturing and extraction industries as well as in regions where population growth has created a conflict between industrial and municipal water users, driving the industry to seek alternative water sources, as municipal users are typically prioritized, especially in times of drought.

The 2019 IDA World Congress will be held on October 20-24 in Dubai, UAE. For more information, visit www.wc.idadesal.org

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Australia – Climate change – IPCC report relies on forestry for change

Wed, 14/08/2019 - 13:41

An intergovernmental report on climate change released late last week highlights the need for a whole-of-landscape approach to tackling climate change, and the vital role the agriculture and forestry sector can play in reducing emissions and storing carbon, according to Climate Proofing Australia (CPA). Source: Timberbiz

The CPA is pleased to see that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recommendations are consistent with its call on the Australian Government to better target the Climate Solutions Fund (formerly the Emissions Reduction Fund) to incentivise carbon projects from the agriculture and forestry sectors that deliver the co-benefits of biodiversity, productivity, water quality and landholders and employment.

“The Fund’s current conditions limit the land sector’s capacity to generate co-benefits associated with carbon sequestration, such as reinstating wildlife habitat, supporting sustainable agriculture, increasing the plantation forestry estate, and cleaner waters in our rivers,” Australian Forest Products Association CEO Ross Hampton said.

“This next phase of the Fund is an opportunity to address these barriers and make it more accessible to primary industries and landowners.”

Mr Hampton said the IPCC Special Report backs Australia’s forest industries to help fight climate change.

“This latest IPCC report is further evidence that Australia’s forest management practices of sustainable harvest and regeneration are as good as anywhere in the world when it comes to emissions reduction and carbon mitigation benefits. It is better for the environment to have well managed multiple-use forests that continue to produce renewable forest products that store carbon and bioproducts that substitute for fossil fuels-based alternatives, than to lock forests up,” Mr Hampton said.

Greening Australia CEO Mr Brendan Foran said that with land-based activities also accounting for around 20 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, carbon farming presents a really important opportunity not just to reduce these emissions, but to improve the landscape at the same time.

“A strengthened CFI and the introduction of ‘premium credits’ will mean that large-scale tree plantings can also achieve important co-benefits, such as reinstating wildlife habitat, supporting sustainable agriculture and cleaner waters in our rivers.”

CPA reiterated its call on the Federal Government to commit a proportion of the Climate Solutions Fund to projects that deliver multiple benefits, and to remove barriers to the Fund that currently limit opportunities for the agriculture and forestry sectors.

The latest IPCC report states:
Sustainable forest management aimed at providing timber, fibre, biomass, non-timber resources and other ecosystem functions and services, can lower GHG emissions and can contribute to adaptation. B5.3.

Sustainable forest management can maintain or enhance forest carbon stocks, and can maintain forest carbon sinks, including by transferring carbon to wood products, thus addressing the issue of sink saturation…Where wood carbon is transferred to harvested wood products, these can store carbon over the long-term and can substitute for emissions-intensive materials reducing emissions in other sectors. B5.4.

Most mitigation pathways include substantial deployment of bioenergy technologies. B7.4.
The use of residues and organic waste as bioenergy feedstock can mitigate land use change pressures associated with bioenergy deployment. B3.3.
Photo: Australian Forest Products Association CEO Ross Hampton

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Australia – 7.4 million pine seedlings being dispatched from Blowering Nursery

Wed, 14/08/2019 - 13:25
More than seven million pine seedlings are being dispatched from Forestry Corporation of NSW’s Blowering Nursery near Tumut this winter, which is one of the largest crops since the nursery began producing containerised seedlings a little over a decade ago.

Phil Green, Plantation Improvement Manager, said the 7.4 million pine seedlings will be sent out to restock timber plantations near Tumut, Bombala, Bathurst and Walcha.

“Over the last 20 years, Forestry Corporation’s Blowering nursery has seen over 140 million seedlings pass through our gates to help build people’s homes and workplaces,” Mr Green said.

“We have 16 staff on board to help with the grading and dispatch program which runs for five months.

“At the height of the dispatch program, it is not uncommon to send upwards of 800,000 seedlings out of the nursery gate in a week.

Mr Green said preparations for the massive seedling dispatch began in October last year, when the team at the nursery planted more than 340 kilograms of seed into individual cells.

“These seedlings are going to become future generations’ homes and furniture, so we go to great lengths to ensure we produce high quality, robust seedlings that will produce strong and straight timber when they are ready for harvest in 30 years,” Mr Green said.

“We use different seeds for seedlings destined to be planted in different parts of the estate so that the seedlings have the best chance of thriving in their environment and growing into high-quality timber.

“Over the past eight months, we have carefully fertilised, watered and nurtured our seedlings, regularly measuring the stem diameter, height and nutrient status of seedlings in sample plots throughout the nursery and we are now assessing each individual seedling to ensure it meets our high standards.

“Forestry Corporation replants the equivalent of almost 300 times the area of Sydney’s CBD to pine plantations each year and around 85 per cent of the seedlings replanted state-wide are grown here at Blowering, so it’s a role we take very seriously,” Mr Green concludes.

For more information about Forestry Corporation of NSW, visit www.forestrycorporation.com.au

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Gough family sells Caterpillar dealership

Wed, 14/08/2019 - 12:42

Gough family to sell Caterpillar dealership after nearly a century – The wealthy Gough family has sold Gough Group for $211 million to a Malaysian company after a 90-year history in New Zealand owning the Caterpillar heavy machinery dealership.

The Gough family fortune is collectively valued at nearly $400m but members have been split in recent years and been embroiled in a High Court battle for control over the family trusts that controlled the company.

Family members include property developers and investors Antony and Tracy who are brothers, and their nephew and son respectively, Jamie, who is a Christchurch City councillor.

Gough Group employs about 950 people across its network in more than 50 locations in Australia and New Zealand. Over the past year Gough Group grew its revenue by more than 18 per cent $540m from higher sales sales for its Caterpillar and transport and materials handling businesses.

The buyer is Sime Darby Berhad, one of the largest Caterpillar dealers globally. It purchased Continental Car Services in 1999. In New Zealand, Sime Darby Motors operates under the Continental Cars and City Nissan dealerships in Auckland representing brands such as BMW, Porsche, Volkswagen, Audi, Ferrari and Nissan. It also has a commercial transport arm representing brands such as Volvo, Hino, Mack and UD Trucks.

The conditional agreement depends on Overseas Investment Office approval but is expected to be completed by the end of September, Sime Darby said.

With an international workforce of more than 20,000 employees, they are headquartered in Malaysia with operations in 18 countries and territories across the Asia Pacific region. Sime Darby Berhad is listed on the main market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad.

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Rayonier reports 2Q net income of $18.8 million

Wed, 14/08/2019 - 12:15

Rayonier Inc. reported 2Q 2019 net income of $18.8 million, or $0.14 per share, on revenues of $184.8 million. This compares to net income of $36.3 million, or $0.28 per share, on revenues of $245.9 million in the prior year quarter.

2Q operating income was $31.4 million versus $51.6 million in the prior year period. 2Q Adjusted EBITDA was $60.6 million versus $111.3 million in the prior year period.

Rayonier is a leading timberland real estate investment trust with assets located in some of the most productive softwood timber growing regions in the United States and New Zealand.

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Log Max – Timber Forest exclusive dealer for Brazil

Wed, 14/08/2019 - 11:13

Log Max has signed an agreement with it’s current Brazilian dealer Timber Forest to become the exclusive Log Max distributor for all of Brazil. – Timber Forest has grown to become one of Log Max best-selling distributers worldwide. They share the Log Max ground values of excellent customer support and product knowledge, says Greg Porter at Log Max. Our common goals make this a great choice for Log Max distribution.

Timber Forest is the forest division of Rodoparaná and has been a Log Max distributer for more than 9 years. With an excellent staff focused on forestry and dedicated to hard work Timber Forest and the Rodoparaná group has over the years grown and expanded the forestry markets in Southern Brazil. Their knowledge of forestry products is important to their customers and Log Max. We believe they will have continued success being the exclusive Log Max distributor for all of Brazil.

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Brazilian Timber Forest appoints Rafael Macedo as marketing coordinator

Tue, 13/08/2019 - 14:22
Timber Forest, part of Rodoparaná Group, appointed Rafael Macedo as marketing coordinator. The Timber Forest is the dealer for the Ponsse and Sany machines in the southern region of Brazil. Rafael Macedo has MBA in marketing and 16 years of experience in forestry sector. Previously he was the editor of Referência Florestal Magazine, the main forestry magazine in Brazil.

“It’s a great opportunity and honor to be able to contribute to Timber’s continued growth. My role will be to serve as support for the sales team, to maintain and increase customer relationships, which Timber already does a very good job, through communication and strategics programs we will develop together”, said Macedo.

“We are growing a lot in recent years, and we realize it was time to establish a model of communication to strengthen our relationship with our clients and the market, that is the reason to hire Rafael, who has experience in the field and can also contribute with new marketing actions. We all are very excited about the novelty and ready to work”, says Claumar Baldissera, Sales and Marketing manager. In addition to the forestry machines of the Finnish brand Ponsse and the construction and mining equipment of the Chinese company Sany, Timber also represents in the south of Brazil the implements of Satco, manufacturer from New Zealand.

Timber was responsible for the beginning of the popularization of forest mechanization in Brazil, more than 15 years ago. Based in the three southern states (Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul), the company, which represents world-renowned brands, also customizes forestry machines, provides its own fleet monitoring called Timber Fleet, and provides maintenance service. “We work tirelessly to deliver solutions to our customers, when they have a problem, it becomes ours too”, says Jober Fonseca, Director of Timber.

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Prices for hardwood chips exported from Latin America up 15%

Mon, 12/08/2019 - 13:37
With tightening supply of hardwood fiber in the Pacific Rim, prices for hardwood chips exported from Latin America were up 15% in the 1Q/19 from their eight year-low in late 2017, reports the WRQ

Export prices for hardwood chips jumped for all three exporting countries in Latin America in the 1Q/19. The biggest increases were for chips shipped from Chile and Uruguay, which were up over 10% from the 4Q/18. Prices for chips exported from Brazil were up six percent quarter-over-quarter. For Brazil and Chile, both countries that are selling all their export volume to Asia, current price levels were below their ten-year averages in early 2019 (see chart in the latest WRQ).

The hardwood chip price index for Latin America, which trended downward during much of 2012 to 2017, has increased quarter-over-quarter for four of the past five quarters and was up 15% in the 1Q/19 from its eight-year low in the 4Q/17.

Hardwood chip prices increased during the first half of 2019 but may have reached a peak in the second quarter and could potentially even decline in the second half of the year because of reduced demand for wood fiber in China. Longer-term, prices for hardwood fiber will likely trend upward again because of an expected tightening of the current sources for hardwood chips in the Pacific Rim. Despite this, it is uncertain if higher prices will make much difference for chip suppliers in Latin America when domestic demand increases with new pulp capacity coming on-line, and local chip prices match those of the export market. Chile’s and Uruguay’s participation in the export market may be declining in the coming years.

The trade of wood chips in the Pacific Rim in the 1Q/19 remained practically unchanged from the previous quarter, with increases in imports to Japan balancing out decreases in imports to China, reports the WRQ (Note. see the WRQ Trade Snapshot for imports during the first five months of 2019). Year-over-year, imports of softwood and hardwood chips to Japan, China, Taiwan, and South Korea have fallen five percent due to slowing pulp production.

All of the major supplying countries to the Pacific Rim reduced shipments in the 1Q/19 with the exception of Thailand (+44%) and South Africa (+47%). The biggest declines in the past year have been seen in exports from Australia (-19%), Brazil (-19%) and Chile (- 14%). In the 1Q/19, hardwood chips from Latin America accounted for 17% of the total trade to the region, a share that was down two percent from the 1Q/18.

Contact Information
Wood Resources International LLC
Hakan Ekstrom, Seattle, USA

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NZ – Australia / Record turnout of sawmill tech providers

Mon, 12/08/2019 - 12:02

September 2019 will again see one of the largest gatherings yet seen in this region of wood scanning, sawing, saw and mill maintenance technology specialists, innovators and leading practitioners. The two-day independent programme, WoodTECH 2019, will be providing New Zealand and Australian sawmills with a unique opportunity to learn about the very latest in technologies and operating practices from around the globe.

Registrations continue to pour in. Most mills have been taking full advantage of the significant discounts that are still open for multiple registrations from sawmill production sites. The conference, workshops and exhibitions have been specifically designed alongside industry into two-days in each country.

They’ve also been set up to encourage sawmill teams – management, mill production, saw-doctors and maintenance staff – to take advantage of the line-up of world class international specialists being brought into the region. This ensures teams from individual mills can collectively hear from and meet up with the technical expertise and then put the practical learnings into practice once back on site.

For a full appreciation of what’s happening in September, check out the listing of all major equipment and technology suppliers to the sawmilling industry involved in either presenting or exhibiting. Companies involved include;

USNR, USA/Canada, ScanMeg, Canada, Optimil Machinery, Canada, LMI Technologies, Sweden, Nicholson Manufacturing, Canada, JoeScan, USA, EWD/Linck, Germany, IWT-Moldrup Asia Pacific, Singapore, TS Manufacturing, Canada, SiCam Systems, Canada, GCAR Design, Canada, Lewis Controls, USA, Taqtile, Singapore, TimberSmart, NZ.

Timberlink, Australia, Precision Machinery, Canada, Williams & White, Canada, Simonds International, USA, Winsaw Mill Services, NZ, Holtec, NZ, KeyKnife, Braford Industries, Australia, Andritz, NZ, ILS, NZ, Pacific Sawmill Engineering, NZ, Supply Services, NZ, High Duty Plastics, NZ, Modern Engineering, Australia, Thode Knife & Saw, NZ, Tui Technology, NZ.

Checkmate Precision Cutting Tools, NZ, Saito, NZ, HewSaw, Australia, Stinger World, Australia, Automation & Electronics, NZ, AKE Sales Tech, Australia, Accurate Group, Australia, Indufor Asia Pacific, NZ, The Lean Hub, NZ, Fagus Grecon, Germany, Prodetec/Firefly, Australia, Phoenix Sawmill Supply, Australia, Vecoplan, Germany and Camco, Australia.

It’s an impressive line-up – that occurs only once every two years. The series runs in Rotorua, New Zealand on 11-12 September and then again in Melbourne, Australia on 17-18 September 2019.

Full programme details and registrations to WoodTECH 2019 can be made on the event website, www.woodtech.events.

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BVLOS drones for forest inventories

Fri, 09/08/2019 - 14:38
A huge need exists for up-to-date, precise forest inventory data in Russia. The transition from extensive forest management to intensive forest management has already started in several regions of northwest Russia, resulting in an increase in pulpwood available on the market. Detailed information on current forest resources is a basic requirement for this transition.

Luke carried out the research project “Competitive solution based on Finnish knowledge for management of up- to-date forest resource data in Russia (ISKRA)” to develop a cost-efficient solution for collecting information. “Beyond Visual Line of Sight” (BVLOS) drones were used to cover an area of 18,000 hectares in four days. BVLOS is one of the most promising concepts in the commercial drone world today, as it enables service providers to cover huge areas in a relatively short period of time, with spatial resolution of one cm per pixel. The project partners in Russia received permission to fly BVLOS in the Republic of Karelia, and they followed all local regulations related to obtaining and handling aerial data.

“BVLOS will change the market for commercial drone users, offering a cheaper alternative to current applications such as airplanes and helicopters. The relatively low human involvement will drive costs down, leaving only questions of regulation and data processing. With BVLOS, the latter requires different approaches than those of traditional consumer drones due to the large size of data”, said Eugene Lopatin, senior scientist at Luke.

During the ISKRA project, the tree-wise forest inventory was carried out on an 18,000-hectare area leased by the participating pilot company in the Republic of Karelia. A total of 13,652,458 trees were mapped using drone data and data processing algorithms developed for the project. Each tree’s height, breast height diameter, species and age were measured. The project demonstrates a huge potential of drones for smart forest management not only in Russia but also in Finland.

As part of this year’s ForestTECH 2019 series being run in November in both Australia and New Zealand, trials being undertaken with BVLOS and opportunities for local forestry companies will be discussed. Registrations are now open for the conference and associated workshops (some of which limited numbers will apply). Full details on the programmes for both countries can be viewed on the event website; www.foresttech.events.

Source: Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)

Photo: The Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) used BVLOS drones to carry out tree-wise forest inventory on an area of 18,000 hectares in North-West Russia

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Nelson Forests exploring wood processing options

Fri, 09/08/2019 - 10:08

Nelson Forests Ltd is exploring new ways to meet wood export market demand that will create jobs, increase domestic processing of logs in the Marlborough region, and add value to the Top of the South economy. Nelson Forests and Kaituna Sawmill are owned by Australian company OneFortyOne. OneFortyOne Executive General Manager – New Zealand, Lees Seymour, says the company is exploring opportunities to process more logs on shore and to develop alternative wood chip markets.

Seymour says that Nelson Forests has hired a project manager to do a feasibility study on a number of projects, with one being investigating the building of a facility that would enable the export of wood chips from Port Marlborough. The process involves chipping logs and forest residues, resulting in higher-value woodchip being exported, greater returns to Marlborough forest owners and improved environmental outcomes for the region. To increase volumes available, woodchip from sawmills could be added to the mix, including woodchip produced by the Kaituna Sawmill.

Another project is investigating debarking export saw logs that are not suitable for processing in domestic mills. The de-barking process removes the need for fumigation of whole logs for the export market.

Nelson Forests Ltd and Port Marlborough have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines how the two companies will work together through the feasibility phase and if successful through to implementation. “The relationship we have with Port Marlborough is outstanding and we are very happy to be able to work with such a professional team,” says Seymour.

Rhys Welbourn the CEO of Port Marlborough says he is “delighted to be able to work with Nelson Forests to develop the feasibility and business case – this is good news for the port and good news for Marlborough”.

The Kaituna Sawmill currently processes about 115,000 tonnes of logs per annum and is investigating options to increase the scale of the operation; again this will create jobs, increase domestic processing of logs and add value to the Top of the South economy. Seymour says that “in order to increase sawmill capacity there is the need to develop new woodchip markets, you can’t do one without the other.”

Port Marlborough exports approximately 700,000 tonnes of logs a year at Picton, with the capacity to export a million tonnes. There is an opportunity for other forest owners to supply logs for chip export and woodchip producers to supply woodchip, and it is not limited to the wood from the company’s own estates or Kaituna Sawmill. “If we could do it, it would be helping other forest owners as well, adding more value to the regional export pipeline.”

If the feasibility study is positive, Seymour says the company believes it could start exporting chip by the end of the 2020.

OneFortyOne Executive General Manager – New Zealand, Lees Seymour

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Introducing Tigercat Secure Extended Coverage

Thu, 08/08/2019 - 14:43

Tigercat has announced the launch of SECURE – Tigercat’s new extended coverage program.

SECURE offers customers a selection of four competitive coverage plans for engines and drivetrain components that begin after the standard warranty period on drivetrain components has ended. SECURE increases engine and drivetrain component coverage to 3-year/6000 hours, with the option to add in a travel time and mileage allowance.

SECURE is a factory-backed program that can be applied to any machine equipped with a Tigercat FPT engine.

Tigercat Coverage
Learn about Tigercat factory-backed standard warranties and the SECURE extended coverage program.

Tigercat Secure – Extended Coverage
Want more protection? Purchase a SECURE plan and have peace of mind with your investment.

The Tigercat SECURE program provides additional coverage that begins after the standard warranty period on drivetrain components has ended. SECURE increases drivetrain component coverage to 3-year/6000 hours, with no deductible.

The following four SECURE plans are available for purchase:

Secure Engine
A standalone extended Tigercat FPT engine coverage to 3-year/6000 hours, including limited TTM (travel time and mileage) allowance over the 3-year term.5

Secure Drivetrain
Covers major hydraulic and drivetrain components.

Extended free RemoteLogTM subscription to 3-years for RemoteLog equipped machines.

Secure Drivetrain+
Covers major hydraulic and drivetrain components and includes limited TTM (travel time and mileage) allowance over the 3-year term.

Extended free RemoteLog subscription to 3-years for RemoteLog equipped machines.

Secure Drivetrain+ Engine
Covers major hydraulic and drivetrain components as well as the engine and includes limited TTM (travel time and mileage) allowance over the 3-year term. Extended free RemoteLog subscription to 3-years for RemoteLog equipped machines.5


Tigercat SECURE can be purchased with any new machine or anytime during the standard drivetrain warranty period.


Tigercat Standard Warranties
Tigercat machines are backed by the following standard warranties:

Drive-To-Tree Feller Bunchers And Wheel Muclhers 4-3-2-1
4- year/8000 hours for the centre section components1
3- year/6000 hours on structural components2
2- year/4000 hours on drivetrain components3
1- year/2000 hours comprehensive4

Skidders 4-3-2-1
4- year/8000 hours for the centre section components1
3- year/6000 hours on structural components2
2- year/4000 hours on drivetrain components3
1- year/2000 hours comprehensive4

Knuckleboom Loaders And Processors 3-2-1
3- year/6000 hours on structural components2
2- year/4000 hours on drivetrain components3
1- year/2000 hours comprehensive4

Track Carriers, Forwarders, Wheel Harvesters, Track Mulchers, Loader Forwarders And Utility Vehicles
1- year/2000 hours comprehensive4

Tigercat Fpt Engines (Tier 4 And Above)
2- year/2000 hours for engine components
5- year/3000 hours for emission components

The Tigercat FPT standard engine warranty includes limited TTM (travel time and mileage) over the standard warranty term

The post Introducing Tigercat Secure Extended Coverage appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Coal Tits thrive in Sitka Spruce plantation forests

Wed, 07/08/2019 - 09:28

The Coal Tit is smaller than the Blue Tit and is very common in coniferous woodland and makes greater use of this habitat than other tit species. Their small size and agile nature allow them to glean food from between pine needles and pine cones with its narrow bill. Coal Tits use broadleaf woodland to a greater extent than their continental cousins and consequently have slightly larger bills. In Ireland, Coal Tit bills are even larger than their UK counterparts.

Periparus ater hibernicus is a unique sub species found only on this island. Irish coal tits have creamy yellow face patches whereas the cheeks of birds elsewhere are white. Small differences in bill size between individuals using different habitats may seem inconsequential but it is widely known among ornithologists that even very small differences in bill size can give a competitive advantage.

An analysis of records in 2007 by Ailsa McKenzie of Newcastle University in the UK, revealed that in the years when the seed crop was good in Sitka Spruce plantations in the UK, there was a decline in the use of garden feeding by the Coal Tit, but in those years when the Sitka Spruce seed crop was poor, Coal Tits increased their use of garden feeders. This pattern was also seen in Siskin.

The Coal Tit is the only member of its family that has learned to make a larder. Individual birds will visit feeders frequently but rarely eat the food immediately instead they take it away to a store so that when times get hard, they have something in reserve.

Seeds form an important component of the diet during autumn and winter, the lack of favoured invertebrates forcing the Coal Tit to switch its attentions to what is available. Even so, they will take any hibernating insects that they can find, sometimes even from the undersides of conifer branches heavy with snow. The combination of hoarding, the switch to tree seeds and the agility of this small bird, may explain why it seems to cope with cold winters more successfully than other small species.

The planting of conifers over the last century has been a blessing with the tits repaying the forester by eating harmful insects. In winter coal tits gather into flocks to roam the countryside. The ancestors of our coal tits probably came with the conifers at the end of the last ice age and the bird has been on its own here ever since.

The growth and stabilisation of the Cold Tit is thought to have been the result of Sitka Spruce seed feeding opportunities afforded by thousands of acres of maturing plantation forestry across Ireland.

FACTS: Coal Tit Periparus ater
Conservation status: Favourable

Insects and spiders; also seeds in winter. Mostly taken from outer branches of conifers.

Typical lifespan: 2 years
Lifespan: Up to 18 years

Breeding Ecology:
Clutch size: 9–10 eggs Number of broods: 1–2
Incubation: 14–16 days
Young in nest: 16–19 days
Age at first breeding: 1 year

Source: Veon

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Sveaskog’s 2Q operating profit decreased by 15% to SEK 323 million ($33 million)

Tue, 06/08/2019 - 14:53

Sveaskog’s 2Q net sales, which comprise both deliveries from its own forest and externally acquired wood raw materials, increased to SEK 1,925 million. Prices increased by 9% on average and total delivery volumes were down by 10%. The sales of wood raw materials amounted to 5.5 million cubic metres whilst deliveries of seedlings have increased.

2Q 2019 operating profit decreased by 15% to SEK 323 million ($33 million). The positive effect of higher prices has been counteracted by lower volumes. Costs for harvesting and forest management have increased. Income from other property transactions is also down. The increased sales of seedlings have affected the result positively.

1 January – 30 June 2019 net sales increased by 8% to SEK 3,849 million.

1H 2019 operating profit increased by 7% to SEK 832 million ($85.3 million). Higher prices are partly offset by lower volumes from own forest. Costs for harvesting and forest management have increased. Income from other property transactions is also down.

Sveaskog is Sweden’s leading forest company and sells sawlogs, pulpwood, biofuel, forest seedlings and silvicultural services.

The post Sveaskog’s 2Q operating profit decreased by 15% to SEK 323 million ($33 million) appeared first on International Forest Industries.

New chief executive for Forestry England

Tue, 06/08/2019 - 14:10
Forestry England, the country’s largest land manager and the arm of the Forestry Commission that manages the nation’s forests, has a new chief executive.

Mike Seddon has almost 30 years of experience in forestry and forestry policy and begins his new role 1 August 2019.

Mike said:

Forestry England manages one of the country’s greatest public assets: the nation’s forests.

“The need for public forests came from tough times between the two World Wars and I am incredibly proud to be leading the organisation towards another hundred years. From an emerging climate crisis to wildlife decline, the challenges for the next century will be tough, but I am driven to expand on the great things the nation’s forests already achieve today.

“Our forests welcome more than 230 million visits every year – and we will make forests even more accessible by planting some forests closer to where people live. As they grow they will create places to relax and improve people’s physical and mental health. All of the forests in our care will continue to work for society and we will increase their natural capital. From cleaner air and reduced flooding to walking trails and play equipment we are making wildlife-rich, connected landscapes.”

The nation’s forests supply around half of the country’s home-grown timber, all meeting international standards for sustainability. Some of country’s rarest wildlife thrives under Forestry England’s careful management in heathland, wetlands and, of course forests. From majestic hen harriers to fascinating ladybird spiders they all rely on experienced ecologists and foresters.

Looking forward, Mike continued:

“All forests, and the wildlife that depends on them, will need to survive and thrive in a changing climate. We will also need more forests to absorb carbon while they grow and we can keep that carbon locked up by using more timber products.

“The challenge is huge and we are ambitious: we want to connect everyone to the nation’s forests.”

The post New chief executive for Forestry England appeared first on International Forest Industries.

UPM’s sawmills are running at full speed

Fri, 02/08/2019 - 12:45
Strong demand in the sawn timber market

The new Senior Vice President of Business at UPM Timber, Aki Temmes, estimates that the demand for sawn timber remains at a healthy level, even though the peak of the economic cycle might have been reached last year.

“We made good deals and the volumes moved very well in the first quarter of 2019.”

In Finland, UPM Timber consists of four sawmills with a total capacity of over 1.5 million cubic metres. UPM Kaukas sawmill is the largest, producing over 500,000 cubic metres of sawn timber per year.

A lot of UPM Timber’s production is sold domestically in Finland. “After Finland come China, Japan and the UK,” Temmes explains.

Even though the sawn timber trade was brisk during the beginning of the year, there are uncertainties in the global economy that could also weaken the outlook for sawmills. The principal concerns are related to the trade war between China and the United States, and the effects of Brexit.

“Since we cannot affect the global market, we must do our best in business. We have a clear strategy, high-performance sawmills and professional sales — all the necessary components for successful business. We intend to be a reliable partner to our customers in the future, too,” promises Temmes.

Efficient sawmills

In 2012, UPM decided to stop the further processing of sawn timber and to concentrate on sawing alone. Since this decision, the sawmills have been running at full speed.

“Since then, we have operated the sawmills based on the full-run strategy. There have been no market-related limitations on production. This sets us apart from most of our competitors,” says Temmes.

He states that industrial operations such as the sawmill industry are most efficient when the facilities are in full use.

“All wood that arrives at our sawmills is carefully used for production. Not even a single stick is wasted. Sawn timber generates value: wood chips, sawdust and other by-products are used for pulp, paper and energy production,” Temmes clarifies.

A sustainable product with a bright future

UPM sells most of its sawn timber to industrial customers in the furniture, construction and packaging sectors, or to customers for various further processing procedures.

“The range of customers and end-uses for our product is extensive. UPM Timber aims to establish and maintain international long-term partnerships. From the standpoint of future challenges, we are a great partner with a solid foundation, and we concentrate on our core capability: producing sawn timber for the right end-use applications at the right time,” says Temmes.

All UPM sawn timber is certified according to the FSC or PEFC certification schemes.

“Customer and market preferences vary, and we can use both certificates flexibly.”

Temmes believes that the future of sawn timber is bright.

“Our product is amazing. Sawn timber binds carbon throughout its lifecycle, which can last for hundreds of years. It is produced in a responsible and environmentally friendly way and it meets all the sustainability requirements.”

Aki Temmes emphasises that the quality of the end-product is based on the production expertise, good forestry and close collaboration with forest owners.

“We naturally aim to be able to provide our customers with added value and bring peace of mind and flexibility to their operations. We will succeed in providing sustainably produced Finnish sawn timber at a consistently high standard, as well as excellent service,” Temmes concludes.

Photo: Aki Temmes – Senior Vice President of Business

UPM Timber welcomed Aki Temmes, 41, to the position of Senior Vice President of Business in late April. He transferred to the position of head of UPM Timber from the position of Vice President of Business Control at UPM Biorefining. Aki has worked at UPM for over 16 years; in addition to Biorefining, he has worked in the Paper Business, UPM Timber and Wood Sourcing.

“I am excited to return to UPM Timber after being away for about six years. A lot of good work has been done at Timber under the supervision of my predecessors, and the business operations have improved significantly over the past few years,” Aki says.

The post UPM’s sawmills are running at full speed appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Weyerhaeuser Company reports 2Q net sales of $1.7 billion

Wed, 31/07/2019 - 11:22
Weyerhaeuser Company reported 2Q 2019 net earnings of $128 million, or 17 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $1.7 billion. This compares with net earnings of $317 million, or 42 cents per diluted share, on net sales of $2.1 billion for the same period last year.

Adjusted EBITDA for the 2Q 2019 was $343 million compared with $637million for the same period last year and $365 million for the 1Q2019.

“Our businesses delivered strong operating performance in the 2Q despite various market and weather-related challenges,” said Devin W. Stockfish, president and CEO. “This includes the lowest controllable lumber manufacturing cost we have ever reported. Looking forward, although record-setting rainfall has held back U.S. housing activity in the first half of 2019, we see solid underlying market conditions and continue to expect the housing market will follow a modest growth trajectory. We remain committed to delivering industry-leading performance, fully capitalizing on all market conditions, and driving superior value for shareholders.”

Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world’s largest private owners of timberlands, began operations in 1900.

Photo: Devin W. Stockfish, Weyerhaeuser President and CEO.

The post Weyerhaeuser Company reports 2Q net sales of $1.7 billion appeared first on International Forest Industries.

Confor welcomes tighter restrictions on oak imports

Wed, 31/07/2019 - 10:42
Confor has welcomed strengthened measures on the import of oak into England that are to be introduced to protect trees from the threat of Oak Processionary Moth (OPM).

Caroline Ayre, National Manager for England, said Confor had worked closely with the UK Government and its agencies to introduce the tighter controls. She added: “We had already produced a paper calling for an immediate ban of high risk trees. We hope that these restrictions are not ‘too little too late’ and ask that industry remains vigilant. The constant message is ‘inspect, inspect and inspect again.”

The new measures will only permit imports of certain oak trees, including those from OPM-free countries and those from designated pest-free areas including Protected Zones (PZs), an area of the EU declared free of OPM.

A Statutory Instrument (SI) – due to be introduced in Parliament shortly – builds on measures introduced in August 2018 and applies to all oak trees, except cork oak, over a certain size. This is because these trees represent the greatest likelihood of introducing OPM into the UK PZ, as they are more susceptible to pest populations and more difficult to inspect.

The restrictions will cover both imports from overseas and the movement of trees from areas of the country where OPM is already present – in London and surrounding counties.

Woodland managers, land owners, the forest industry and tree nurserieshave bneen reminded to remain vigilant  and to check recently planted large oak trees as a priority. The alert was csounded after the Plant Health Service identified OPM caterpillars on trees recently imported from the Netherlands.

OPM caterpillars feed on oak leaves and can increase trees’ vulnerability to attack by other pests and diseases making them less able to withstand adverse weather conditions, such as drought and floods.

Biosecurity Minister Lord Gardner said: “Biosecurity is absolutely key to everything we do and we must do more to stop pests and diseases crossing continents and borders. That is why as a country we have more Protected Zones than anywhere else in the EU. It is essential that we further strengthen our import controls on oak trees. These new measures will ensure robust protection for our oak trees from pests such as the Oak Processionary Moth.”

Nicola Spence, Defra Chief Plant Health Officer said: “We will continue to wortk with local authorities and land managers to tackle OPM in areas where it is present with a control programme of treatment and surveillancce. The strengthened measures will help protect against further arrivals of the pest on our shores.”

“The Plant Health Service has received reports of an exceptional expansion of the OPM population in parts of Europe due to the hot weather experienced last year.”

OPM caterpillars feed on oak leaves and can increase trees’ vulnerability to attack by other pests and diseases making them less able to withstand adverse weather conditions, such as drought and floods.

Dr Anna Brown, Head of Tree Health & Contingency Planning, Forestry Commission, said: “Those of us involved in importing or trading plants must maintain our vigilance against exotic pests and diseases such as OPM. There is a lot we can do such as buying British, only buying stock from reputable, responsible suppliers and inspecting imported plants.

“These stronger requirements will increase our protection but my message remains the same: inspect, inspect and inspect again. We can’t check imported plants too often for signs of trouble. Don’t presume that because your supplier found no evidence of a pest or disease that you won’t either. You might spot something that they have missed.

If you suspect OPM, you should not attempt to destroy or move infected material as the nests and caterpillars can pose a risk to human health. To report sightings of pests and diseases, use the Tree Alert Online Portal.

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Planting target ‘smashed’ in Scotland

Tue, 30/07/2019 - 14:41
More than 10,000 hectares of new woodland have been planted in Scotland for the first time in almost 20 years, it was recently announced.

Confor has welcomed the figures – 11,200 hectares of new planting, up from 7,100 the previous year – and called on the forestry industry to maintain the momentum and drive on to meet the next landmark Scottish Government target of 15,000 hectares by 2025.

Stuart Goodall, Confor’s CEO, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve met and gone well beyond our planting target in Scotland.

“This is great news for the sector, but also for all Scotland now that the First Minister has announced a climate emergency.

“Planting trees locks up carbon and by harvesting and replanting them sustainably, we can produce an infinitely renewable supply of wood with which to build homes and to manufacture an array of everyday products – while also reducing carbon in the atmosphere.

“Scotland is leading the way in the UK, with 84 per cent of all new planting happening in Scotland.

“Confor has worked long and hard with the Scottish Government to get to this point and I truly hope the momentum will be maintained in the coming years. We now need the rest of the UK to move beyond ramped-up rhetoric on a climate emergency and begin to take the positive action that we see in Scotland.”

Confor has set a target of 18,000 hectares of new planting annually in Scotland by 2030 as part of its ambitious but achievable targets to drive up UK-wide planting to help mitigate climate change – part of Confor’s campaign #ThinkGlobalPlantLocal.

“Fergus Ewing supported the 18,000 hectare target when it was announced, although it went beyond existing Scottish Government targets, which is very positive,” said Mr Goodall. “We look forward to continued constructive partnership with Scottish Government, Scottish Forestry and all stakeholders to keep driving up planting to deliver multiple benefits, including creating jobs, supporting wildlife and tackling climate change.”

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “This is fantastic news that we’ve smashed the targets. It is testament to the Scottish Government making forestry a priority and investing and helping growing the industry.

“The whole tree planting effort has truly been a national endeavour with all forestry interests, both large and small, pulling together.”

The statistics were released the day after the UK Government signed up to deliver net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Successive reports by the Committee on Climate Change have highlighted planting new forests as crucial in removing atmospheric carbon and reaching the net zero position.

Mr Goodall added: “It is also encouraging that the conifer percentage of the new planting is higher than in the last decade, as they will be the lifeblood for the Scottish timber processing industry of the future and help both Scotland (and the rest of the UK) attain future new housing targets – and deliver many of the wood products we all use.”

Andrew Heald, Confor’s Technical Director, said: “What is particularly good to see is that so much of this new woodland has been created at relatively small scale by farmers and estate owners, indicating that the message of integrated land use is better understood. There is much greater understanding that planting trees can provide excellent shelter-belts for livestock, helping with animal health and welfare and a diversified income in the long term.

“We also welcome the investment by others to buy land and create larger new forests and woodlands. We need that mix of large and small areas of planting to deliver on our wide-ranging economic, environmental and social ambitions.”

Stuart Goodall, Confor’s CEO

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UPM to build 2.1 million tonne greenfield eucalyptus pulp mill near Paso de los Toros in central Uruguay

Fri, 26/07/2019 - 12:08

UPM will construct a 2.1 million tonne greenfield eucalyptus pulp mill near Paso de los Toros in central Uruguay, company announced. The mill investment of $2.7 billion will grow UPM’s current pulp capacity by more than 50%, resulting in a step change in the scale of UPM’s pulp business as well as in UPM’s future earnings. Additionally, UPMwill invest $350 million in port operations in Montevideo and local facilities in Paso de los Toros. The mill is scheduled to start up in the second half of 2022.

With a combination of competitive wood supply, scale, best available techniques and efficient logistics the mill is expected to reach a highly competitive cash cost level, approximately $280 per delivered tonne of pulp. This figure includes the variable and fixed costs of plantation operations, wood sourcing, mill operations and logistics delivered to the main markets. This would position the mill as one of the most competitive mills in the world and enable attractive returns for the investment in various market scenarios. Furthermore, the safety and sustainability performance of the value chain from plantations to customer delivery is expected to be on an industry leading level.

The prerequisites for the investment have been carefully prepared in cooperation with the state of Uruguay. For UPM, it has been important to ensure sustainable, competitive operations long-term and to minimize risks both in the project phase and during continuous operations. For Uruguay, the project and the infrastructure development offer significant opportunities for economic and social development.

“During the past decade UPM has developed additional plantation areas in Uruguay and created a market driven pulp business with wide customer base in growing end uses. At the same time, we have consistently improved our financial performance and achieved a truly industry leading balance sheet. We are now in an excellent position to take this transformative step and capture the opportunities of attractive, growing markets in a sustainable and highly competitive way,” says Jussi Pesonen, President and CEO of UPM.


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by Dr. Radut