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Updated: 1 hour 33 min ago

NZ – Tree seedling deliveries by drones tested

Tue, 23/07/2019 - 12:01

David Herries from Interpine was able to open the minds of many of the harvesting contractors and forest managers who attended the HarvestTECH 2019 event a couple of weeks ago. The opportunities of using drones operationally in a raft of forestry activities was outlined to those attending.

Already in New Zealand, some 118 foresters have successfully gone through the Interpine training courses and UAV’s are appearing and being used routinely in forests from North to South.

In this clip at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhenTtWaHZU

As part of the presentation, drones are being used to deliver radiata pine seedlings to the planters in some pretty steep terrain. Think of the alternative here – planters carrying and ferrying tree seedlings by hand into those areas that need to be planted – and the opportunities that UAV deliveries could offer in future savings.

Planting crews that they worked with as part of the trial say that they were immediately 30% more efficient. That’s aside from the upside of not putting stress and strain on the workers

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NZ$19.5 m for Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence

Tue, 23/07/2019 - 11:10

The New Zealand Government is to contribute NZ$19.5 million to establish a Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence in Gisborne. The funding has been announced by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones, and is part of NZ$27.1 million extra for the region from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).

Jones said the centre was being developed as a hub for wood processing, wood products, marketing and distribution, and training and research. “This first funding tranche will be for NZ$5 million and will generate at least 30 full-time jobs,” he said.

He said it was expected that employment would continue to grow as the centre was developed in stages. The NZ$27.1 million is in addition to the NZ$152 million already committed to the region from the PGF.

Source: Newshub, Stuff
Photo: Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones

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Ghana signs agreement with World Bank to cut carbon emissions and reduce deforestation

Tue, 23/07/2019 - 10:32

Ghana – with one of the highest deforestation rates in Africa – has become the third country to sign a landmark agreement with the World Bank that rewards community efforts to reduce carbon emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.

Ghana’s five-year Emission Reductions Payment Agreement (ERPA) with the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Carbon Fund, which is administered by the World Bank, unlocks performance-based payments of up to $50 million for carbon emission reductions from the forest and land use sectors.

In Ghana, forest degradation and deforestation are driven primarily by cocoa farm expansion, coupled with logging and a recent increase in illegal mining. Working in close partnership with the Forestry Commission, Cocoa Board, and private sector, Ghana’s program with the FCPF Carbon Fund seeks to reduce carbon emissions through the promotion of climate-smart cocoa production.

In Ghana’s ERPA, the FCPF Carbon Fund commits to making initial results-based payments for reductions of 10 million tons of CO2 emissions (up to US$50 million). Ghana’s ERPA also specifies on carbon emission baselines, price per ton of avoided CO2 emissions, and a benefit-sharing mechanism that has been prepared based on extensive consultations with local stakeholders and civil society organizations throughout the country.

Ghana’s emission reductions program area, located in the south of the country, covers almost 6 million hectares (ha) of the West Africa Guinean Forest biodiversity hotspot. The wider program area covers 1.2 million ha of forest reserves and national parks and is home to 12 million people.

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Denmark pellet imports decline 40.3% in January-May 2019

Fri, 19/07/2019 - 11:28

Pellet imports to Denmark fell 40.3% y-o-y to 1.2 million tons in first five months of 2019 while average price jumped 14.5% to $154 per ton, according to Eurostat. Pellet imports to Denmark from U.S. decreased 39.8% to 285.9 thousand m3 with import value dropped 32.0% to $50.3 million. Imports from Estonia contracted 26.1% to 257.6 thousand m3, import value was down 19.2% to $36.8 million.

From January through May, UK pellet imports expanded 28.1% to 2.5 million tones with import value soared 34.7% to $578.0 million. Pellet imports to UK from U.S. surged 11.6% to 2.0 million tons, import value rocketed 16.4% to $339.3 million.

Total pellet imports to EU slid 6.34% to 6.4 million tons while average price increased 8.52% to $166 per ton.

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John Deere Announces New Registered Apprenticeship Program

Fri, 19/07/2019 - 10:40

John Deere has received approval from the U.S. Department of Labor for its new Registered Apprenticeship Program and is making it available to its Agriculture & Turf and Construction & Forestry dealers. The program will help address a widespread shortage of service technicians, especially in rural areas across the country, by providing dealers with a formalized, on-the-job and technical training plan to help them develop more highly skilled employees.

“The new Registered Apprenticeship Program complements our existing John Deere TECH program,” said Grant Suhre, director, region 4 customer and product support for John Deere Ag & Turf. “In addition to the on-the-job training experience, an apprentice will receive technical instruction and be assigned a personal mentor as a part of the highly organized training structure. Upon completion of the apprenticeship, he or she will receive a nationally recognized journeyworker certificate.”

Through participation in the apprenticeship program, dealers formally commit to developing additional talent in an earn-while-you-learn program. A participating apprentice benefits from structured, on-the-job training in partnership with an experienced mentor. As training progresses, apprentices are rewarded for new skills acquired.

According to Tim Worthington, manager, customer support for the John Deere Construction and Forestry Division, participating dealerships will see numerous benefits.

“Because of the earn-while-you-learn nature of the program, it will help dealers more easily recruit new employees and further develop a highly skilled workforce,” Worthington said. “This can improve a dealer’s productivity and profit potential as employee turnover costs are reduced and employees are retained longer. In addition, John Deere customers benefit from access to more highly skilled dealer personnel who are servicing or supporting their equipment.”

John Deere dealers can collaborate with any number of local organizations as part of the Registered Apprenticeship Program. These organizations include, but are not limited to, the John Deere TECH Program, K-12 schools, community colleges, labor organizations, economic development groups, foundations and workforce development boards.

John Deere dealers who wish to participate can receive support and technical assistance from John Deere and JFF (Jobs For the Future, a US Department of Labor intermediary), who will expedite the registration process  with their state or federal apprenticeship agency. After registering, dealers can immediately enter employees into the Agriculture Equipment Technician or Heavy Construction Equipment Mechanic programs. In addition, they can select other occupations for the apprentice program, including sales professionals, parts professionals, accountants or many other occupations and develop appropriate work processes for those jobs. Next, dealers will identify master-level employees who are capable of and willing to mentor apprentices. Finally, dealers will identify potential candidates or incumbent workers who would benefit from the apprenticeship program and enroll them.

When apprentices participate, they track and report their on-the-job learning and technical training time in conjunction with their employer. The dealer’s program administrator then inputs this data into the appropriate state or federal database. To ensure high standards are maintained, dealers are required to follow specific guidelines, developed over years of apprenticeship experience, after they are registered.

To simplify participation for its dealers, John Deere created national guideline standards for the Registered Apprenticeship Program, which have been shared with its dealer channel and is providing technical assistance to dealers interested in participating. “These guidelines provide a consistent apprenticeship program template that any dealer can implement if they participate,” Suhre explained. Dealers can utilize these national guideline standards to have a program approved and operating in a very short timeframe.

For more information about the John Deere Registered Apprenticeship Program, please visit your local John Deere dealer.

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NZ -Dominion Breweries choosing chips

Wed, 17/07/2019 - 11:42

DB Breweries is planning to switch its brewery at Timaru onto wood chip by the end of next year as part a plan to halve the group’s emissions by 2030. Thee company operates six breweries around the country. But DB Draught’s plant at Timaru is the biggest user of coal-fired steam and thus the single- biggest contributor to the group’s emissions.

A DB spokesperson says Timaru is the logical focus given it accounts for most of the steam emissions, which in turn accounted for almost a third of the group’s carbon footprint last year. In 2018, natural gas use across the group was the biggest contributor at 34 percent, with electricity at 18 percent, transport fuel at 7 percent, refrigerant losses at 5 percent and LPG at 4 percent.

DB is looking to switch entirely from coal-fired steam, which it says would require almost 3,000 tonnes of wood chip a year. It is still considering its options for that supply, but expects it will be a forestry residue by-product.

Capitalising on DB’s decision, Bioenergy Association says woodlot owners could look to local biofuel markets as an alternative to exporting logs – “Recent news that the log export logs to China are dropping off and harvesting of some trees for export is unprofitable means woodlot owners could look to new outlets for their wood. Using the wood to make wood fuel is one of those immediately available options – and it requires no research,” says Brian Cox, executive officer of the Bioenergy Association.

His comments come after reports of New Zealand logs piling up at ports in China as other wood makes its way by train into the People’s Republic from Russia and Scandinavia.

“The growing demand for wood fuel to replace coal and gas is a potential opportunity for woodlot owners close to industry requiring process heat to move their farm from being only a food producer, to being a food plus fuel producer. ” Mr Cox said. “With large energy users such as Christchurch and Otago hospitals, Fonterra and DB Breweries transitioning to use wood fuel means that for some farmers there is a potential revenue stream waiting fo them to pocket if they live near to one of these sites.”

In addition farmers can use bioenergy as a tool for offsetting the biological emissions from their animals. The BioenergyAssociation has identified that 1.8Mt CO2-e of greenhouse gases could be reduced by using wood fuel instead of coal and gas.

Mr Cox said that “Using our logs within New Zealand for timber or fuel, instead of unprofitable exporting, should be on ever tree growers radar so that their business resilience is improved.”

Source: Scoop News

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John Deere Construction & Forestry Builds new Illinois training facility

Tue, 16/07/2019 - 11:58

John Deere recently completed the construction of a 7,500 square foot facility in Coal Valley, Illinois to better meet internal training demands, along with supporting customer visits and events. The building is part of the Construction & Forestry Training Campus and includes three classrooms that can be used separately for training purposes, or combined to hold over 250 people for larger events. In addition, there is nearly 4,000 square feet of covered canopy space for outdoor training and equipment walkarounds.

“The primary function of this new facility is to provide much-needed additional classroom space for dealer sales staff and technician training,” said David Reilly, manager, worldwide training, John Deere Construction & Forestry. “Training is a core part of our program, but beyond that, the C&F Coal Valley Training Campus also hosts other important events throughout the year.”

The facility will also include a John Deere simulator – further bridging the gap between the classroom and jobsite. Onsite events include customer-specific activities where they can demo equipment and interact with John Deere experts.

“With this new facility customers and dealers can walk out of the classrooms and directly into the demonstration area,” said Tim Hilton, manager, Demonstration Sites, John Deere Construction & Forestry. “We’re excited to share this new experience with dealers, technicians, customers, and media.”

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NZ – Aratu: New owner brings new name

Wed, 10/07/2019 - 12:36
New Forests has finalised the acquisition of Hikurangi Forest Farms (HFF), based in Gisborne, New Zealand, on behalf of its investment clients.

As part of the ownership transition HFF has been renamed Aratu Forests Limited. A formal launch of the new rebranded business is planned in Gisborne in September 2019.

The purchase is one of the largest forestry estates in the Gisborne region and includes around 25,000 hectares of radiata pine plantation on 35,000 hectares of freehold, forest rights, and leasehold land. Significant investment has been carried out since the assets were acquired in 1997, building a high yielding and sustainable forest estate that is a significant contributor to the regional economy.

New Forests continues to implement an ownership transition plan incorporating continuity of operations. Aratu Forestry employs 32 staff directly and spends over $40 million annually in the East Coast community. Both companies have undertaken engagement with key stakeholders, including local businesses, Tangata Whenua representatives, councils, and community groups.

“We are encouraged by the positive engagement with stakeholders through the transition period and look forward to further collaboration to support the long- term sustainability of this regionally significant forestry asset,” Matt Crapp, Director Operations for New Forests said.

Aratu Forests Limited will continue to be responsible for the ongoing legal proceedings related to breaches of the Resource Management Act following the Tolaga Bay storm damage in June 2018. “We will be actively pursuing strategies under the relaunched business to ensure that our management practices learn from the outcomes of the Tolaga Bay storm and meet local regulatory and international third-party forest certification standards,” said Crapp.

Mark Rogers, Managing Director for New Forests’ Australia-New Zealand business said, “New Forests and our clients represent long-term, stable, institutional ownership that we believe will be a key enabler for the future sustainable growth of New Zealand’s forest industry.”

Photo: Mark Rogers, Managing Director for New Forests’ Australia-New Zealand

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Tree plantings needs Wood First policy

Wed, 10/07/2019 - 12:13

OPINION: Billion Trees will fail without Wood First policy

(Marty Verry is CEO of Red Stag group, which operates the Southern Hemisphere’s largest sawmill and has investments in over 3,000 ha of forestry, a pre-fabrication plant and property developments.)

Would you invest $481 million in growing a product on the assumption that the price and demand for it in China in 28 years will be the same as it is now? Of course not. But you are. We all are through the Billion Trees programme.

China takes seventy-five percent of New Zealand’s logs. You could say we have all our logs in one basket. So the question nobody has asked is, will the demand for our trees be there in twenty-eight years and at what price?

Tens of thousands of hectares of farmland has been snapped up by investors, giddy with grants from the $481 million Provincial Growth Fund allocation to the Billion Trees programme. They have pushed land prices up forty-five percent according to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand.

Farming communities are up in arms at the rapid change, and rightly so in my view. No so much because trees are bad (they are great), but because many of these forests could become investment failures, never to be harvested, and a fire and forest disease risk for decades. A white elephant in every rural road.

So why the doomsday scenario, and what can be done about it? -Firstly, a reality check on relying on China long term for our billion trees. Despite MPI targeting having two-thirds of its 50,000 hectares extra planting annually going into natives, the Billion Tree cabinet paper acknowledges most will be in plantation crops requiring harvesting and re-planting. This seems right given MPI’s own CO2 sequestration look-up tables show natives only absorb one tonne CO2 per hectare annually after fifty years. Hardly a long-term solution to climate change, and certainly not a great return for investors.

What about manuka honey? Manuka is a nursery crop for the larger natives that will eventually take over. So no long term putea for the mokopuna, as the forestry minister might describe the lack of money for the grandkids.

No, the majority of the billion trees will be radiata pine, and radiata pine needs harvesting and re-planting to make the feasibility models work and keep forests healthy. That relies on demand and pricing that covers the cost of land, planting, silviculture, harvesting and transporting the logs.

The problem arises because we are not the only country to work out trees sequester CO2, and launch a billion tree policy. There are a plethora of them around the world. India has planted a billion trees. So has Ethiopia. Pakistan has a ‘Billion Tree Tsunami’ programme underway. A UN billion tree campaign was so successful it was upgraded to a Trillion Tree programme. Even Australia has a billion tree policy.

So, will China need our one billion trees? Ten years ago it temporarily stopped harvesting to replenish its own forest estate. New Zealand’s supply shot up to forty-three percent of China’s log imports. However, it recently announced plans to increase its own forestry estate by 11 billion cubic meters by 2050. China could be producing enough of its own wood products to replace log imports from New Zealand six times over.

This is before one factors in the huge increase in supply targeting China from the rest of world and New Zealand’s own increased production, and the fact that the demand now from China is largely driven by the huge urbanisation programme underway there which will be largely complete by the time our billion trees mature.

This supply-demand imbalance is already playing out in China. Log prices there have crashed by fifteen percent in the last month on the back of huge volumes of cheap wood from Russia and Europe being back-loaded cheaply on trains that would otherwise return empty to China. The Silk Road project will make it easier still. At wharf gate returns are reportedly off up to $29/tonne locally, with logging crews reportedly being laid off as foresters can’t justify harvesting.

This is the market reality for our Billion Trees unless New Zealand can widen its markets and demand for wood products. Wood dominates in lower-rise housing in most countries, so the big opportunity is in the market for mid-rise buildings. New mass timber products such as cross laminated timber (CLT) and glulam are the enablers here.

Governments around the world have recognised the key leadership role they can take in this area, given they are typically the largest procurers of buildings in any country. Many have adopted ‘wood first’ policies for their own building procurement.

In its 2017 Election Manifesto, the Labour Party promised if elected that it would require that “all government-funded project proposals for new buildings up to four storeys high shall require a build-in-wood option at the initial concept / request-for-proposals stage. … Due to advances in engineering and wood processing technologies, we will increase the four story requirement to 10 stories.”

Research conducted for this policy established it could lead to a doubling of demand for structural timber in New Zealand.

Without it, planting one billion trees targeting China risks almost certain failure – either for the government achieving its policy goal, or ultimately for the investors holding white elephant forests.

The Wood First policy has strong broader rationale for adoption, including regional jobs and manufacturing, faster build times, cheaper, safer, less polluting construction, and the displacement of mainly imported steel and concrete which each account for around five percent of climate change emissions.

The folly of having all our logs in the China basket is becoming apparent. To date, the government has failed to implement its promised Wood First policy. What credibility does New Zealand have in international climate change accords if it fails to implement its domestic pledges?


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OneFortyOne continues to invest

Tue, 09/07/2019 - 14:42

OneFortyOne set to invest a further $19M at its Mt Gambier Mill – When OneFortyOne took ownership of Mount Gambier’s Jubilee Highway Sawmill in 2018, it not only cemented the company’s commitment to the Green Triangle region, but it also marked the first of many significant investments to be made at the site. Over the past 18 months, OneFortyOne has invested $19 million in various projects, ensuring the mill remains one of the largest and most efficient mills in Australia, and at the cutting edge of domestic processing.

The company has announced this week a further $19 million investment at the site for two major capital projects. Work is set to start this month with the purchase and installation of a new scanner and two new highly efficient Continuous Drying Kilns, with the projects set to conclude in 2020.

OneFortyOne’s Executive General Manager Australia, Cameron MacDonald said “We are excited to see the positive impact of our ongoing investment across the mill, ensuring it continues to be a world class plant for many years to come.

We know this will provide job security for our team and is another positive for our local economy.”

Maintaining the internationally recognised timber industry in the Green Triangle is critical to ensuring that Australian grown and processed timber products are competitive against those imported from overseas.

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Maximum Power, Compact Size – the new 910G and 1010G Forwarders from John Deere

Tue, 09/07/2019 - 10:35

Agile and versatile, the new John Deere 910G and 1010G Forwarders provide loggers with a reliable solution designed with their needs in mind. Equipped with ultra-comfortable cabs and available with a variety of boom, load space, axle and cabin options, the 910G and 1010G machines can be customized for different worksites or operational needs.

“With the addition of the new 910G and 1010G Forwarders, we are rounding out our forwarder product line to offer a solution for every logging operation,” said Niko Solopuro, product marketing manager WCTL Forwarders and Automation. “Compact in size, these versatile machines deliver power and productivity, even in the most demanding conditions. When in the woods, it is critical to have reliable equipment that ensures operators can efficiently finish jobs, no matter what they may face.”

Available in a six-wheeled or eight-wheeled configuration, the 910G and 1010G models are ideal for early-to-late thinning operations and smaller end final felling applications. Both machines feature an improved design, including a shorter frame in front of the engine to reduce overhang, making operation easier in challenging terrain. Balanced bogie axles, rigid front axles on the six-wheel model, and an unbalanced front bogie axle option offer increased durability. Additionally, the 1010G is designed for improved, terrain-friendly operation and performance in soft soil, and available with a low-ground pressure rear bogie axle option. The models can be equipped with one of two large load space options, narrow and wide, and the headboard offers better visibility to the load area.

The 910G and 1010G models are available with a fixed or rotating and leveling cab. The rotating and leveling cabin helps the operator maintain the correct working posture to prevent stress on the back and shoulder areas, even on uneven terrain, and reduces vibration during operation. A cab rotation of 290 degrees provides a better view of the boom and grapple, while large windows allow for virtually unrestricted all-around visibility. Equipped with comfortable ergonomic armrests, a fully adjustable air-cushioned seat and automated climate-control system, the cab reduces operator fatigue and increases productivity throughout the day.

All booms come standard with precise boom control, and the CF5 boom is available with optional Intelligent Boom Control (IBC). The IBC feature simplifies boom operation, automatically controlling the lift, slew and the extension of the boom based on the location of grapple, increasing accuracy, productivity, and, ultimately, the number of loads per each work shift. With IBC, the operator no longer needs to control each independent boom joint movement separately, instead controlling the boom tip directly.

Both models are designed to enhance drivability and productivity, featuring a transmission with high tractive force and Adaptive Driveline Control (ADC). A first in the forestry industry, ADC improves drivability and productivity by allowing the operator can select the desired RPM setting (Eco, Normal, Power) for the operating conditions. Once selected, the system automatically adjusts the engine’s RPMs to correspond with the engine load. In high-load situations, driveline control ensures that the diesel engine runs smoothly and uses the available maximum tractive force efficiently.

The 910G and 1010G models feature the TimberMatic™ control system, which includes a configurable user interface, cruise control and inclination display. MECA control modules, simple CAN busses and a streamlined electrical system improve the efficiency of machine functions. Additionally, the machines are compatible with the TimberMatic Maps and TimberManager technology offerings, which provides a streamlined software solution that enhances machine connectivity and communication. An extension of the control system, the TimberMatic Maps solution utilizes a mobile network to share real-time product information between machines, such as harvester and forwarder, as well as with the managers in the office. This data can be accessed using the TimberManager web-based solution, which allows the managers to follow progress of the work site, offering total visibility to the operation from the land harvest to the machines at work.

To learn more about the 910G and 1010G Forwarders, as well as the rest of the John Deere forwarder line, visit your local John Deere Forestry dealer or www.deere.com/forwarders.

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Leal from Uruguay wins the IC Competition for PONSSE mechanics

Fri, 05/07/2019 - 14:09

The international championship competition for PONSSE mechanics was completed in Junein Iisalmi, Finland. This year´s winner was Facundo Leal from Ponsse Uruguay service team. This year mechanics from 13 different countries from all over the Ponsse network took part in the challenge.

The other prizes in the two-day competition went to Russia. The second highest scores got Andrey Izyurov who is working as a mechanic at Ponsse´s dealer OOO Lespromservis in Komi region and the third highest scores got Nikolay Kovalenko from Ponsse Groups subsidiary OOO Ponsse. The yearly competition is open for each Ponsse subsidiary and dealer and is organised by Ponsse Global Service in cooperation with Ylä-Savo Vocational Collage (YSAO).

The winner of the International Ponsse Mechanics’ competition Facundo Leal regarded the challenges and tasks very difficult, especially the technical part. “Unbelivable feeling to win, one of the best experiences in my life! This is completely different experience than anything else and was fun to share it with everyone from around the world”, Leal tells about his experiences. “When I was younger I wanted to be an architect but there was a work shop in front of our house and I ended up working there. After that I told my parents that I wanted to study engineering instead”, Facundo Leal says.

The first prize is a trip for two to any Ponsse site in the international Ponsse network.

The competition for mechanics contains both theory related and practical tasks

The competition measures a wide range of skills. It measures the mechanics’ knowledge in theory and skills with practical exercises. The exercises are connected to the technique, service and troubleshooting for PONSSE models.

The purpose of this vocational skills competition is to raise the profile of this important profession. Today, the mechanics’ work is extremely diverse and the mechanics have to be proficient in mechanics, hydraulics, and in information systems, says Global Service Manager Terho Tanskanen who is in charge of the arrangements of the competition.

Terho Tanskanen, Service manager Global Services
tel. +358 40 504 9789, terho.tanskanen@ponsse.com

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Borregaard to invest in project aimed at increasing the use of bioenergy

Fri, 05/07/2019 - 13:44

Borregaard has decided to invest NOK 131 million ($15.4 million) in a project aimed at increasing the use of bioenergy from production residuals at the Sarpsborg site in Norway.

When completed in 2021, the bioenergy produced as a result of this project will be approximately 20 GWh per year, representing a reduction of CO2 emissions of 1,200 tonnes. Longer term there is a potential to increase production to 34 GWh per year, and a corresponding reduction of 1,400 tonnes CO2 emissions.

Enova SF, a state enterprise under the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, has decided to support the project by a grant of NOK 46.2 million ($5.4 million), thus reducing Borregaard’s project cost to a net amount of NOK 85 million ($10 million).

Borregaard owns one of the world’s most advanced and sustainable biorefineries. Borregaard produces advanced and eco-friendly biochemicals.

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Norske Skog to invest Euro 72 mill in energy boiler

Fri, 05/07/2019 - 13:30

Norske Skog to invest Euro 72 mill in energy boiler at its mill in Austria. The board of directors in Norske Skog AS has approved a Euro 72 million investment in a new 50MW wide range energy boiler at the Norske Skog Bruck mill in Austria.

The investment will improve the carbon footprint, further strengthen the mill’s profitability and create new business beyond publication paper. The new revenue streams will be derived from utilizing refuse derived fuels and paper production residuals.

Sven Ombudstvedt, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Norske Skog, commented: “This investment fits perfectly with our long term green diversification strategy. This energy plant will represent a step-change in our Bruck mill competitiveness as a publication paper producer and will generate significant cash flow from the start-up in 2022. ”

Norske Skog’s long-term strategy remains to improve the core business, to convert certain of the Group’s paper machines and to diversify the business within the bioenergy, fibre and biochemical markets.

The boiler project fits well with Norske Skog’s strategy of doing attractive energy investments and further increasing the Bruck mill’s cost competitiveness, along with increasing the Group’s exposure to revenue streams beyond publication paper.

The energy cost saving will come from reduced consumption of gas and no need of purchasing CO2 allowances; thus, the mill’s carbon foot print will be substantially improved. The boiler project will mainly be financed by external loan from Austrian banks at very competitive terms.

Photo: Sven Ombudstvedt, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Norske Skog

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KiwiRail goes long for logs

Wed, 03/07/2019 - 14:11
Longer log trains between Waingawa and Wellington will deliver clearer roads and lower greenhouse gas emissions, KiwiRail Group Chief Executive Greg Miller says.

Yesterday KiwiRail announced it has increased the number of wagons on its daily trains transporting logs from Masterton to CentrePort.

“Last year KiwiRail moved 267,000 tonnes of export logs from the Wairarapa to CentrePort. Increasing the number of wagons from 30 – 45 a day, we will be able to move up to 370,000 tonnes a year. That’s about a 40 per cent increase in capacity,” Mr Miller says.

“Our log trains already avoid about 16,000 log truck journeys into Wellington each year. The additional rail capacity will avoid a further 6,000 truck journeys each year on the Remutaka Hill Road, the Hutt motorway and the pinch-point of Aotea Quay.”

“Not only does this help reduce congestion on the highways, it also reduces road maintenance costs, and transport emissions – given rail has 66 per cent fewer emissions per tonne of freight carried than trucks.”

“This is a great example of taking a multi-modal approach to transport. Trucks transport logs from the forest to the Waingawa hub but rail covers the distance to CentrePort. It shows how rail and road can work effectively together to create economic and social benefits for the people of the wider Wellington region.”

Given log harvests in the lower North Island are expected to see a sustained increase in the coming years, KiwiRail is working with CentrePort and the forestry industry on the potential of further capacity increases from the Waingawa hub.

KiwiRail is also currently developing a log hub at Wairoa, to transport logs on the recently reopened Napier-Wairoa rail line to Napier Port and the Government has announced potential funding for another log hub in Dannevirke.
To go to KiwiRail click here.

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Valutec to supply a continuous drying kiln to Vida Nössemark in Sweden

Wed, 03/07/2019 - 13:49

Vida Nössemark is investing in a continuous drying kiln from Valutec. This will increase the annual drying capacity at the sawmill by 70,000 cubic meters (29,700 MBF).

Nössemark, in the province of Värmland, Sweden, produces planed structural lumber with a good deal being exported to Asia. Today, the sawmill produces 150,000 cubic meters (63,600 MBF) but has plans to eventually expand to 250,000 cubic meters (106,000 MBF). Investing in a continuous drying kiln from Valutec will increase the drying capacity by 70,000 cubic meters (29,700 MBF), while the quality of the wood will also increase.

The continuous drying kiln is of FB type and has heat recovery. It will be used exclusively to dry 2.45 metre spruce planks to a moisture content of 18 per cent.

The kiln comes with Valutec’s new Valmatics 4.0 control system. This is the only control system that combines adaptive control simulator technology and enables optimisation of capacity, quality and energy consumption at the same time. The delivery also includes a switch to Valmatics 4.0 on two existing compartment kilns from another supplier.

Installation of the kiln and replacement of the control systems will commence in January 2020 and the facility is expected to be operational in April next year.

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German Log Exports To China Soar

Wed, 03/07/2019 - 12:42

In January-May, log imports to China from Russia declined 26.2% y-o-y to 3.6 million m3 with import value dropped 27.2% to $439.8 million, according to China Customs data. U.S. log exports to China fell 39.5% to 1.6 million m3, export value decreased 44.6% to $338.4 million. Share of Russia in Chinese log imports slid 4.97 pp to 14.3% and share of U.S dropped 4.16 pp to 6.5%.

From January through May, log imports to China from New Zealand expanded 15.4% to 7.4 million m3 with import value surged 13.2% to $1.04 billion. Australian log exports to China jumped 29.9% to 2.5 million m3, while average price declined 18.5% to $109 per m3. Log exports from Germany to China soared 243.0% to 959.0 thousand m3, average price fell 39.8% to $153 per m3.

Total Chinese log imports slid 0.59% to 24.9 million m3, while average price decreased 12.1% to $169 per m3.

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Tornator appoints Henrik Nieminen as new CEO

Wed, 03/07/2019 - 12:15

Henrik Nieminen, currently the Deputy CEO of Tornator Oyj, has been appointed as the new CEO. He has been working for Tornator since it was founded in 2002.

The Board of Directors and the current CEO, Sixten Sunabacka, have mutually agreed that he will step down from his current position. The change has the full backing of Sunabacka, who will continue to work for Tornator as Senior Adviser until the end of 2019.

Tornator is the leading company in Europe specialised in responsible forestry with own forests in Finland, Estonia and Romania.

Photo: https://esaimaa.fi/uutiset/lahella/dbfe3ecb-e3a1-4ce9-aaac-888c0dc30df5

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Practical focus to international sawmilling series

Tue, 02/07/2019 - 12:55

Mark the dates into your diary – if you’re a local sawmiller. Two years ago – over two weeks – the WoodTECH conference series run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) achieved a record turnout of sawmilling companies.

They were drawn from throughout Australia and New Zealand. Over 400 delegates from all major sawmilling companies in the region in addition to leading technology providers from throughout Australasia, North America and Europe converged on Melbourne, Australia and Rotorua, New Zealand.

Two years later, in September 2019, WoodTECH 2019 will again be attracting scanning, sawing, saw and mill maintenance technology specialists, innovators and leading practitioners from around the world into Australasia. The two-day independent programme will again provide New Zealand and Australian sawmills with a unique opportunity to learn about the very latest in technologies and operating practices from around the globe.

“This will be achieved through a series of tailored presentations, practical workshops and on-site exhibitions that have been set up with the industry”, says FIEA Director, Brent Apthorp. “It’s expected again to be the largest gathering of sawmilling expertise yet seen in this part of the world”.

Practical workshops set up for local sawmills
“What makes the 2019 event stand out is the series of workshops that have been set up for local mills” says Mr. Apthorp. “Following on from the success of the 2017 event, a series of practical troubleshooting workshops have been designed for a much wider cross section of sawmill production and operational staff. They’re going to provide a unique insight into how sawmills can extract the best performance out of their saws, machine centers and sawing operations”.

Workshops of between 60-90 minutes are being given on; primary breakdown and machine alignment and maintenance techniques to improve machine reliability, real-time quality control, condition monitoring, saw and guide alignment and trouble-shooting saw guides. In addition to the workshops, presentations throughout the two days in each country have also been geared towards sawmill production staff.

A series of presentations on technology advancements with robotics and automation in the saw shop, some of the new equipment and operating practices drawn from throughout Europe, North America and Australasia together with tips and tools from respected saw doctors will be of real benefit to those working in the saw-shop.

On sawing machine centers, new non-contact, real-time saw temperature monitoring systems will be outlined by leading tech providers out of North America. Saw performance monitoring systems can accurately measure, in real time, the performance of the saw when in the cut for both circular and band saws. This provides real-time feedback of saw performance data to the user which can be used within the mill to evaluate the effect of varying sawing parameters.

“Based on feedback from the major sawmilling event in 2017 and more recent discussions with local mills, we’ve rejigged the two-yearly tech update in both countries. The change in focus is 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” says Mr. Apthorp. “This will ensure that teams can collectively put the practical learnings into practice once back on site”.

Registrations to both events in the series are now open and can be accessed via the event website, www.woodtech.events. Details of the programmes for both countries likewise can be viewed on line. The series runs in Rotorua, New Zealand on 11-12 September and then again in Melbourne, Australia on 17-18 September 2019

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UK increases 32.4% pellet imports in January-April 2019

Tue, 02/07/2019 - 11:53

From January through April, UK pellet imports surged 32.4% to 2.7 million tones, import value jumped 35.8% to €436.0 million, according to Eurostat. Imports to UK from U.S. expanded 10.0% to 1.5 million tones, imports from Canada increased 23.3% to 509.5 thousand tones, imports from Latvia jumped 342.6% to 331.9 thousand tones and that from Estonia soared 554.3% to 102.2 thousand tones. Total pellet imports to UK expanded 32.4% to 2.7 million tones, with import value rocketed 35.8% to €435.0 million.

Denmark’s pellet imports fell 33.6% to 1.1 million tones, average price of pellets exported to Denmark jumped 13.5% to €154 per ton. Italy decreased 22.9% pellet imports to 414,6 thousand tones with import value declined 26.0% to €82.0 million.

In first four months 2019, pellet exports from U.S., the biggest supplier of pellets to EU, slid 2.99% y-o-y to 2.0 million tones with export value was up 2.3% to €330.8 million. Canada’s pellet exports to EU declined 11.7% to 527.6 thousand tones with export value dropped 7.36% to €80.9 million. Pellet exports from Russia surged 22.7% to 487.6 thousand tones, export value jumped 35.8% to €73.3 million.

Total pellet imports to EU slid 3.38% to 5.4 million tones, average price for pellets imported to EU  dropped 7.59% to €166 per ton

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by Dr. Radut