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Increases in notified areas of final felling in Sweden

Australian timber industry news - Do, 13/12/2018 - 01:55
In Sweden, the notified area of final felling increased by 18% and amounted to 34,369 hectares in November, compared with the same month last year, according to the latest monthly statistics from the Swedish Forest Agency. It is the highest monthly recorded data for November since 2007 in the whole country. Source: Timberbiz The notified area of final felling increased in all regions. In the region North of Sweden increased by 22% to 7825 hectares. This is the highest monthly recorded data for November in the region North of Sweden. Corresponding figures in the region South of Northern Sweden the notified area increased by 10% and amounted to 8920 hectares. The main reason for the increase was due to the forest fires of the summer, which is now reported in the statistics as the notified area of final felling. The notified area of final felling in the region Central Sweden increased by 21% and amounted to 8256 hectares and it is the highest monthly recorded data for November since 2007. In the region South of Sweden, the notified area of final increased by 19% and amounted to 9368 hectares. On a county level, the notified area of final felling increased in 18 of 21 counties. The largest increase was in Stockholm County with a doubling of the area, in Gävleborg County by 54% and increased in Östergötland County by 45%. There was a decline in notified area of final felling in Västernorrland County by 25% and in Kalmar County by 11%. During the first 11 months of the year, 10% more area has been reported compared with the same period last year. Statistics refer to total notifications and applications for permission in productive forest land for final felling. The survey is part of Official Statistics of Sweden.

New paper provides agricultural harvesting residues in Europe

Australian timber industry news - Do, 13/12/2018 - 01:55
A new and spatially accurate forecast of the available waste biomass from agricultural activity in Europe has been made, with the results soon to be published. This data, gathered as part of a Rehap project, can be used by the second-generation bioconversion industry to drive Europe towards a post-petroleum age where materials and fuels are made from renewable resources. Source: Timberbiz The European Commission has recently been pushing a more sustainable renewable resource strategy, with the aim of ensuring food security, managing natural resources sustainably, and reducing dependence on non-renewable and unsustainable resources. Part of this strategy involves modelling, mapping and accurately understanding the available biomass in the agroforestry sector. The idea is to find out what biomass is available across Europe, which could be used to create materials which are normally derived from fossil fuels. In light of increasing demand for sustainably-sourced biomass, the EU-funded project is soon to publish a paper that uses new methods to provide a spatially explicit forecast of biomass potentials from the agricultural sector that are available for conversion into useful products. The paper outlines the materials and methods of this forecast prediction, data on the specific raw material yields and potentials, and results on the forecasted agricultural residue potentials of biomass until the year 2030 in the EU. The broader aim of the Rehap project is to create new materials for the construction sector that are derived from agricultural and forestry waste. This new and spatially explicit forecast of where and when this waste can be found in Europe will ensure that any biomass they use is sustainably-sourced. The publication of this paper will also provide other researchers access to the new and improved forecast, facilitating a significant step towards a greener and more resourceful use of natural resources in Europe, whilst promoting a more competitive bioeconomy. By conducting this research, Rehap is leading the way in furthering the new EC strategy, as the results from this forecasting can be used for decision-making by those working in the bioeconomy to ensure that any biomass being used is not required for cultivation in agriculture, but will be facilitating the progression of the circular economy without damaging other sectors. The paper, “Spatially explicit forecast of feedstock potentials for second generation bioconversion industry from EU agricultural sector until the year 2030“, has been published in the Journal of Cleaner Production.

Renewable and biodegradable straws

Australian timber industry news - Do, 13/12/2018 - 01:53
Stora Enso and Sulapac are combating the global problem of plastic waste by launching a demo for sustainable drinking straws at Slush 2018, a leading startup event that gathers 20,000 tech enthusiasts from around the world. The demo, which targets production on an industrial scale, is designed to replace traditional plastic straws with renewable ones. Source: Timberbiz The straws are based on Sulapac’s biocomposite material – made of wood and natural binders – designed to be recycled via industrial composting and biodegrade in marine environments. Stora Enso signed a joint development agreement with Sulapac in May 2018 to license its materials and technology. The development of the demo straw is a joint collaboration between Stora Enso and Sulapac – a co-operation which complements Stora Enso’s extensive biocomposite portfolio. The target is to have the straws commercially available in the second quarter of 2019.

Active fuel management can help reduce bushfire risk

Australian timber industry news - Do, 13/12/2018 - 01:53
The Queensland timber industry has praised the efforts of the state’s fire and emergency services in the recent central Queensland bushfires, while recommending that more action be undertaken on fuel reduction and preventative management to mitigate future impacts. Timber Queensland Chief Executive Officer, Mr Mick Stephens said the professionalism of the fire and emergency services agencies in responding to these fires has been exceptional. Source: Timberbiz “We recognise the brave work they do in ensuring public safety and fighting dangerous fires,” said Mr Stephens. “For an industry such as ours, fire management has always been a high priority as fire can not only devastate lives, property and wildlife, it can destroy valuable timber resources. “Going forward, it is timely to look at some of the longer-term risk factors that are contributing to the impacts and severity of the state’s bushfires. One of the biggest risk factors is simply the amount of fuel in the landscape in the form of combustible biomass and vegetation.” Reducing excessive fuel loads is a preventative measure that can help reduce the intensity and spread of bushfires, and is commonly practiced in state forests and on private forestry land. However, there has been a decline in the amount of fuel-reduction generally undertaken in many public native forests and woodlands in Australia over the past few decades. This has simply increased the extent and severity of bushfires when weather conditions turn for the worst. “Some of the reasons relate to the narrow window of safe burning days and concerns over smoke in built up areas, and a passive approach to fuel management particularly in protected land areas such as reserves,” said Mr Stephens. “What is needed is a more concerted effort to managing fuel loads in the landscape to reduce future bushfire risk. Measures that are typically used by land managers can include burning, grazing and mechanical treatments such as vegetation thinning and removal. “We are calling on the state government to ensure adequate resources and policies are directed at promoting longer-term fuel management on public and private land, which can assist in reducing the risks of more intense and large-scale bushfires. This can be a win-win for the community and environmental protection as well as for rural based industries such as forestry and agriculture, and should be an important part of an overall risk mitigation strategy,” said Mr Stephens.

Victoria still tops the housing scorecard … for now 

Australian timber industry news - Do, 13/12/2018 - 01:52
The strength of new home building in Victoria has once again kept it ahead of New South Wales as the number one state on the Housing Scorecard according the HIA’s Acting Principal Economist, Geordan Murray. The HIA Housing Scorecard report presents analysis which ranks each of the eight states and territories based on the performance of 12 key residential building indicators. Source: Timberbiz “The buoyant housing markets in Melbourne and Sydney provided a particularly good environment for residential building over recent years, but we are now in a new phase of the housing cycle. The housing market has softened considerably over the second half of 2018 and it will be increasingly challenging for these two states to continue outperforming,” said Mr Murray.  “Queensland, Tasmania and the ACT all look capable of bumping the big two off the top of the table. Each of these states has a strength: Queensland with renovations, Tasmania with detached home building and the ACT with multi-unit building. To ascend to the top of the table they will need to improve in other areas.  “In the wake of the resources investment boom the Northern Territory and Western Australia have both been experiencing very challenging conditions for residential building. These two jurisdictions rank seventh and eighth respectively.  “While conditions in WA appear to have stabilised, albeit at very low levels the path to a recovery will a long one. There are signs of improving conditions in the broader state economy but these are yet to translate into any improvement in residential building,” concluded Geordan Murray.  The HIA Housing Scorecard benchmarks the contemporary performance of twelve key indicators of activity in residential building against long term averages in each state and territory. This analysis is aggregated in a scoring system to generate a league table ranking the relative strength/weakness of residential building conditions in each jurisdiction.

Christmas gift from Forestry Corp to government

Australian timber industry news - Do, 13/12/2018 - 01:51
A Christmas tree grown by Forestry Corporation of NSW proudly sits in Government House in the Centre of Sydney as a visual reminder of the forestry industry and the value it provides. In the spirit of Christmas, the Forestry Corporation donated the 5-metre tall Christmas tree – a radiata pine sourced from its Moss Vale softwood plantation – to Government House, where it takes pride of place in the building’s iconic foyer. Source: Timberbiz Forestry Corporation’s Moss Vale Area Supervisor, Tom Bagnell, said the organisation was happy to support Government House’s Christmas display and help raise awareness of the NSW timber industry. “This particular tree started its life as one of around seven million seeds sown in our Tumut nursery in 2011,” Mr Bagnell said. “From there it spent the next seven years in our Belanglo State Forest pine plantation, before being harvested for this special role.” Forestry Corporation operations in both plantations and native forests, are certified sustainable to international standards, which guarantees that timber has been grown and harvested from a sustainable forest. “This tree is one of the countless that cover the two million hectares of NSW State Forests,” Mr Bagnell said. “Around half of our estate is managed solely for community enjoyment and environmental outcomes, and a small percentage of our forests are harvested each year to help build our homes and supply timber products.” Radiata pine (Pinus radiata) was originally named Pinus insignis or ‘remarkable pine’, an apt name for a tree, which has a host of practical uses. This species has been grown in the local Moss Vale area for over 100 years. “Radiata pine is used in construction, landscaping and pulp and paper products, with NSW State Forest pine plantations producing enough timber to construct a quarter of houses built in Australia each year,” Mr Bagnell said. Guided tours of Government House are conducted regularly. More information is available at www.governor.nsw.gov.au/government-house Forestry Corporation is the largest manager of commercial native and plantation forest in NSW. The organisation manages recreation, environment sustainability and renewable timber production across over two million hectares of NSW State forests. For more information about Forestry Corporation of NSW, visit www.forestrycorporation.com.au

New thinking transforms housing construction

Australian timber industry news - Do, 13/12/2018 - 01:50
If you’re in the housing design, manufacturing or construction business, you know the industry in Australia is challenged. Skilled labour is in short supply, productivity levels are low and have not improved in decades, and construction costs are soaring. Against a backdrop of a global housing shortage, the challenge is to utilise a faster, technology driven approach to building that reduces costs significantly – offsite timber construction. Source: Timberbiz The move to offsite construction in Europe has solved cost and productivity issues so successfully, some countries have reached 80% of all homes built using offsite systems. It’s a revolution in construction and it’s paying big dividends. For the residential building industry in Australia offsite construction comes with a myriad of benefits. It generates efficiencies in building design and prefabrication, encourages greater collaboration and integration, reduces cost and improves affordability for home-buyers. One of the world’s foremost authorities on offsite construction is Gerry McGaughey, the CEO of US building systems company Entekra. He was a keynote speaker at the IWBC conference held in Boston, USA during October. Mr McGaughey has guided home builders in Europe and North America in transitioning from inefficient stick-framing to offsite construction – enabling them to significantly reduce cycle times and boost productivity while delivering higher-quality, more sustainable buildings. In his presentation he said: “Offsite construction is a process not a product, and it forces a change in thinking about how you go about building. “The process enforces a discipline on everyone involved in the building construction to get together up front with all the information and operate as a team”. “A key element for success is getting people to create systemic change, and then use process improvement to drive further change for higher efficiency”. Another speaker Tedd Benson, founder and owner of high quality Bensonwood and Unity Homes in USA, advised the housing construction industry needs to develop better ways to build. He advocated adoption of the best digital technology to “build it twice – digital before actual” and embrace the software solutions now available to attain high levels of accuracy and quality in manufacture of energy efficient housing. In Australia, these topics will be discussed at the Frame 2019 ‘Timber Offsite Construction’ conference and exhibition in June next year, a two-day event held in Melbourne. The program will include international speakers and local experts presenting in speaker sessions, along with Panel discussions and Workshop sessions. Highly relevant topics will encompass the design and construction of offsite timber and mass wood residential and commercial buildings.  

Top 5: Market Points from IndustryEdge

Australian timber industry news - Do, 13/12/2018 - 01:49
Every month, IndustryEdge publishes Wood Market Edge, Australia’s only forestry and wood products market and trade analysis, and supplies its customers with hundreds of unique data products, advisory and consulting services. Find out more at www.industryedge.com.au 679,284 bdmt – Australia’s exports of woodchips in October 2018 totalled 679,284 bone dried metric tonnes (bdmt), of which 91% were hardwood chips 1.008 million bdmt – Global hardwood chip imports to Japan in October 2018 were up 17.7% on the prior month Eight Vessels – the Port of Portland saw eight woodchip vessels depart in October 2018, carrying an estimated 215,188 bdmt, accounting for almost 32% of Australia’s total exports for the month 81,079 m3 – Australia’s imports of dressed sawn softwood in October 2018 continue to track towards 1.0 million m3 per annum A$180 Million – Listed tissue manufacturer Asaleo Care sells its Australian consumer tissue business (Handee, Sorbent, Deeko) to Solaris Paper, an affiliate of global giant, Asia Pulp & Paper

KPMG report shows Australia behind in biofuels

Australian timber industry news - Do, 13/12/2018 - 01:48
A 299-megawatt power station in the UK fuelled totally from timber residues is an example to Australia of the role that wood can play in the sustainable bioenergy economy, according to a new report. Tees Renewable Energy Plant is a biomass-fired combined heat and power plant that is under construction, says the report by KPMG for Bioenergy Australia. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz It will cost about 650 pounds to build and will power about 600,000 homes. The power plant will consume 2.4 million tonnes of wood pellets and wood chips per annum sourced from sustainable forestry operations. Tees qualifies for a subsidy under the UK’s contract for difference scheme, which supports large-scale renewable projects. The country has a renewable energy target of 15% by 2020. The report also notes that in Switzerland, a biomass plant sourced from 220,000 tonnes of municipal waste produces steam and heat. A nearby paper mill, which uses large amounts of steam, uses the biomass plant to lower its carbon dioxide levels. The KPMG study, ‘Bioenergy State of the Nation Report’, is a report on Australia’s bioenergy performance. It says in Australia, biomass makes up about 4% of energy consumption, whereas in the European Union, it is 10% and is set for massive growth. Amongst OECD and International Energy Agency countries in 2016, Australia produced less than 10 gigajoules of bioenergy per capita, placing it in the bottom third of countries. “Within the EU, energy from biomass contributes over 60% of primary renewable energy production,” the report says, helping to meet energy security challenges and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “We note Australia has less demand for heating than European countries, and a greater range of energy supply options, and this could therefore contribute to lower levels of bioenergy use on a per gigajoule (GJ) basis.” Nevertheless, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation estimates a potential investment of $3.5 billion and $5 billion in energy from urban waste, agricultural waste and forest residues in Australia, the report says. Bioenergy is generated by converting solid and liquid biomass into dispatchable electricity, heat, gas, liquid fuels and bio-based products. Biomass feedstock – waste from wood, agriculture, industry and organic municipal waste and animal residues – is converted to products through technologies such as combustion, anaerobic digestion and gasification. Biomass electricity can be produced through co-firing – the combustion of biomass with fossil fuels, such as in coal-fired generators. The report says that in 2017, biomass made up only 1.4% of Australia’s total energy production. However, electricity is the main form of bioenergy in Australia, accounting for 92% of output, followed by biofuel at 5% and biochemical at 1%. “We note that wood pellets are produced in Australia and exported to produce electricity in overseas markets,” says the report. “Co-firing of solid biomass, such as wood pellets, has become common in Europe and Asia. Co-firing is relatively low cost compared to a new power station, and emissions of an existing coal-fired plant can be reduced.” The report emphasises that bioenergy, if sustainably produced, is a renewable and carbon-neutral form of energy. While it releases CO2 in the production process, “living biomass, such as wood residue from forests takes in carbon as it grows, offsetting the carbon that is released when it is converted into energy”. “This results in a carbon-neutral cycle that does not increase the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases,” the report says. KPMG identifies 222 operating bioenergy plants in Australia, of which 165 produce electricity. Of these, 40 generate more than five MW and 62 generate between one to five MW. There are 14 projects that produce bio-products (fuel, wood pellets) for export. Of Australia’s bioenergy projects, wood waste makes up 33% of feedstock in Tasmania. In the other states, it is WA (14%), Qld (6%), NSW (2%), Victoria (17%) and SA (10%). The report emphasises that a government plan and vision is crucial for the bioenergy sector to grow. It lists various policy levers to make this happen. They range from a bioenergy target or mandate to feed-in tariffs, capital grants, soft loans and guarantees and fuel-tax exemptions. The report can be accessed on www.bioenergyaustralia.org.au

Norske Skog to invest $7m in NZ

Australian timber industry news - Do, 13/12/2018 - 01:43
The Norske Skog group has decided to invest about AUD$7 million to upgrade the Nature’s Flame wood pellets facility in New Zealand to more than double its annual production capacity to 85,000 tonnes. The increased production capacity will be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2019. Source: Timberbiz The approval of the 85,000 tonne capacity upgrade is also a building block for potential further expansion of Norske Skog’s pellet operations in New Zealand. Mr Eric Luck, regional president Norske Skog Australasia said that the investment supports Norske Skog Australasia’s ongoing strategy to “Build Our Future from Fibre and Energy”. “The additional production capacity is aimed at producing premium industrial grade pellet fuels for both the domestic New Zealand commercial and industrial market, as well as for the rapidly growing Japanese and Korean green energy generation markets,” he said. Nature’s Flame’s plant at Taupo was acquired by Norske Skog in 2015, and is well positioned in the centre of the north island where the bulk of New Zealand’s forest based industry is located. Wood pellets produced by Nature’s Flame are a premium heating fuel made from wood residues from nearby timber processing facilities. The materials used are originally sourced from sustainably managed, FSC certified softwood plantations in New Zealand. The wood pellets carry the internationally recognised DINplus certification as well as recognition from BioGro New Zealand Ltd that the pellets, as well as the ash remaining after combustion, are Certified Organic materials. The wood pellet fuel produced is truly renewable and is a lower carbon alternative to replace fossil based energy sources like coal and gas.

Brazil timber and construction companies promote domestic timber

Australian timber industry news - Di, 11/12/2018 - 00:43
Brazil’s Wood Technology Reference Centre in the Institute for Technological Research (IPT) recently brought together professionals and representatives from the timber and construction industries to discuss promoting greater use of wood in domestic construction. Participants from different regions of the country (São Paulo, Paraná, Mato Grosso, Rio Grande do Sul and Minas Gerais) contributed to identifying what must be done to expand the consumption of wood products in the domestic construction sector. Source: Timberbiz During the event, five working groups were formed, namely: Forests, Components, Education, Projects and Construction. Among the topics that emerged were the need to discuss fire regulations, the production of documents and technical publications that can be used as support materials in capacity building of professionals and verifying the legality of raw materials. Other aspects discussed were production of components; capacity building for professionals in wooden structures; aspects that should be considered in building design and wood construction projects and prospects for construction sector markets.

Confor forestry prize to UK Masters student

Australian timber industry news - Di, 11/12/2018 - 00:42
Lorna Johnson, a Masters student at Harper Adams University, has won Confor’s first Future of Forestry writing prize. The 22-year-old, also a graduate agricultural consultant with ADAS, won £500 and a certificate, presented by the UK Forestry Minister David Rutley MP at a Westminster reception organised by Confor for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry. Source: Timberbiz Sandy Davidson, a Forest Management student at the Scottish School of Forestry in Inverness, won £250 for second place, while Rob Coltman and David Pelly of Tiilhill Forestry were placed joint third, receiving £100 each. The event, sponsored by Tilhill Forestry, was organised to celebrate the contribution of young professionals and students to the profession. They were asked to write on ‘How can forestry and wood processing help deliver a Green Brexit and a more sustainable society in the UK?’ Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive of Confor, said: “We were delighted with the response to the competition and there could have been many more winners from the entries received. It was fantastic to see all four winners at Westminster to receive their prizes. They were excellent young ambassadors for our industry – thoughtful, articulate and passionate about the future of forestry.” David Rutley said: “There is a growing interest in the forestry sector in parliament and real opportunities as we leave the EU. The concept of public money for public goods provides new levers which we can use to bring forestry to the fore.” Chris Davies, Chair of the APPGF who opened the event, said: “There was an incredibly positive vibe about the reception and the essay prize, which augurs well for the future of forestry. I’m certain the industry has a very bright future if it is in the hands of hugely impressive young people like our four award-winners.” Lorna Johnson, who is doing her Masters on Conservation and Forest Protection, said: “I’m really delighted to win this award and it was brilliant to meet my fellow winners and so many forestry professionals at Westminster to discuss the exciting future of this great industry.” Peter Whitfield, Business Development Director at Tilhill Forestry, said the forestry and wood sector was gathering really positive momentum – and that his company had been delighted to support the competition and encourage young professionals to think creatively about the future – and to challenge convention.

Best practices, best science could stop forest fires

Australian timber industry news - Di, 11/12/2018 - 00:41
The recent horrific Californian wildfires were caused by years of neglect in forest management that created dead and dying timber, according to a leading US Government official. The Secretary of the US Department of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, a former Navy seal who fought in Iraq, said the Californian fires were the worst devastation he had ever seen. “It was like a flame-thrower of embers, shooting through the forest,” he said in an interview with ‘Breitbart’.  Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz “We know the problem. It’s been years of neglect, and in many cases, it’s been radical environmentalists that want nature to take its course. We have dead and dying timber. We can manage it using best science, best practices.” Mr Zinke said he had long maintained the forests needed active management. “You have rising temperatures, the fire season is longer, but on top of that, the density of trees, the dead and dying trees from beetle kill, from drought, the amount of fuel in the forests is at a historic high,” he said. “You get a lightning strike, you get an ignition by humans, and it begins … this is as much about mismanagement over time. This is not just in the last administration, this has been going on for years.” Mr Zinke said it was necessary to get back to prescribed burns late in the season so those catastrophic burns did not occur. The fire fighters must have access on the roads to the woods. “It is about making sure you have defendable space, whether it’s on federal land or state land. It’s making sure we thin the forest,” he said. “In many cases the only defendable areas in the forest are those that have been previously burned, or have had fuel reductions. “You used best science, best practices, and that’s what Americans should be doing, but when we are prevented from managing our forests by these radical environmentalists.” Mr Zinke said lawsuit after lawsuit had promulgated to let nature take its course. “This is the consequence of letting nature take its course … the human devastation,” he said. There was the cost, “let alone the cost of human life, which you can’t put a price on”. Mr Zinke said the Department of the Interior had an earlier bill for 870 million dollars from earlier fires just to repair infrastructure, rods and sewer systems. “This is going, of course, to be worse. That doesn’t even cover the billions of dollars we are going to spend on fighting forest fires,” he said. “Why don’t we spend the money on building trails? Why don’t we spend that money on fuel reduction? Why don’t we spend that money on visitor experience … rather than fighting fires and spending money repairing the damage of those catastrophic fires.” Mr Zinke said he and Californian Governor Jeremy Brown agreed there was not just one answer to fix the problem, but a myriad of solutions. “Remove dead and dying timber. Remove the density of trees. Make sure you can have a sustainable harvest. All these things we can do, and should do, and it is a lot less expensive,” he said.

New CEO for Master Builders Victoria

Australian timber industry news - Di, 11/12/2018 - 00:40
Rebecca Casson has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Master Builders Association of Victoria (Master Builders) and will take up the role early next year. Ms Casson, currently chief executive officer of the committee for Geelong, replaces Radley de Silva who is retiring after five years as chief executive officer and 17 years with the Master Builders. Source: Timberbiz Ms Casson was appointed from an extensive list of well qualified candidates. Melanie Fasham, president of the Master Builders, said that Ms Casson’s extensive history of advocacy and outstanding organisational skills makes her an exceptional appointment. “Construction is critical to the state’s economy being the largest full time employer in Victoria, supporting more than 280,000 jobs,” Ms Fasham said. “This appointment will result in the Master Builders continuing to expand our leadership role representing the interests of the industry and the people who work in it, as well as further contributing to the industry through our extensive training program,” she said. The board also paid tribute to Mr Radley for his outstanding and dedicated service to the Master Builders. “I joined at the height of the HIH crisis, one month after its collapse and the significant impact that this had on the industry. This made it a steep learning curve of our membership but with hindsight, was the most beneficial in understanding the issues that they faced,” said Mr Radley. Although it was a somewhat tough start to the role, Mr Radley’s work has had a number of milestones. “Some of the key achievements that I reflect proudly on are: a) The increased commercial focus of the organisation with 70% of its revenues emanating from commercial activities as against membership fees. b) The finances of the organisation have strengthened significantly over this period with consistent seven figure surpluses and 40% increase in total assets. c) Establishment of the state-of-the-art Building Simulation Training Centre which is the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere.” Mr Radley said that over the past five years the organisation had made significant progress in lobbying for changes to regulations in the industry culminating with the recent passing of legislation to introduce trades registration. “The industry as a whole has been extremely buoyant over the last three years with our increasing population and this is forecast to continue into the foreseeable future. “The industry contributes over 45% of the revenue of the state and employs over 330,000 people,” he said.

AFCA Hall of Fame and industry presentations

Australian timber industry news - Di, 11/12/2018 - 00:40
The Australian Forestry Contractors’ Association (AFCA) has continued the tradition of recognising and celebrating the important contribution those in the forestry industry have made over a long period of time at the Hall of Fame and annual dinner 2018. More than 100 guests witnessed the presentation of awards to those who have played a significant role in supporting industry, those who have been part of the industry contracting for over 25 years and those who have gone above and beyond to play a significant role within industry. Source: Timberbiz An industry icon is the highest recognition and is only awarded to contractors that have contributed over a long period of time their services to industry through innovation, ingenuity and setting out to achieve a better future for our industry. The evening was a special occasion where AFCA not only recognised those for their service to industry but also inducted seven members into the Hall of Fame and elevated two members to Industry Icons.  It was a great celebration and wonderful to recognise the dedication of contractors. The following Awards were presented by AFCA Chair, Adan Taylor, on behalf of the Board: Elevated to Industry Icons  Kevin Morgan Karen Hall HOF Recipients Phillip Voss Kevin Muskett Geoffrey Muskett Stephen Cocks Gary Bergin Douglas Bowen (Dec.) – Presented to Rachel and Troy Bowen in memory of Douglas Karen Hall Recognition of Service to Industry  Mark Sealy Garry Kennedy The awards presented to date mean more than 200 people have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since it commenced and there are now 16 industry icons, including the first female. It is clear that the Hall of Fame has become an important way for us to recognise the people within forestry contracting and the important role they play within industry.  All members of the Hall of Fame have been operating within industry for more than 25 years and this is a significant achievement through the ups and downs the industry has faced. It is a tribute to their resilience and adaptability to be successful over such a long period of time.

FSC hosts Chinese forestry delegation

Australian timber industry news - Di, 11/12/2018 - 00:39
FSC Australia was asked to host a Chinese State and Provincial forestry delegation to learn more about FSC, how standards are developed and what are the drivers for certification.  Adam Beaumont, APAC Regional Director provided an introduction to FSCI (globally), followed by FSC Australia, CEO, Sara Gipton who provided insights into the development of the local standard, the growing demand for FSC certified material by large retailers and other market information. Source: Timberbiz Questions focused on the benefits of certification, barriers and access to markets. Russ Hughes, ABP, PhilWhiteman hVP, and Dave Bennett, PF Olsen the provided overview of theircompanies’ operations including drivers for certification, the benefits andalso insights into the challenges. Chinese Delegates: Mr. Ao, Anqiang – Deputy Director, Project Management Center for Conversion of Cropland to State Forestry Administration P.R. China Mr. Peng, Jiping – Director, Biomass Energy Division Department of Afforestation and Greening, National Forestry and Grassland Administration, P.R. China Office of the National Greening Commission Mr. Gao, Lipeng – Deputy Director, General Office, ProjectManagement Center for Conversion of Cropland to State Forestry Administration P.R. China Ms. Zeng, Zhu – Deputy Division Chief, Department of World Bank Loan Project Management Center of State Forestry Administration P.R. China Mr. Zhang, Pengjun – Principal Staff Member, Bureau of Three-North Shelterbelt Programmed of State Forestry Administration P.R. China Mr. Zhou, Zhifeng – Deputy Division Chief, Academy of Forestry Inventory and Planning, State Forestry Administration P.R. China Ms. Tu, Qiong – Senior Engineer, Academy of Forestry Inventory and Planning, State Forestry Administration P.R. China Mr. Zou, Quancheng – Senior Engineer, Academy of Forestry Inventory and Planning, State Forestry Administration P.R. China Mr. Yang, Hongguo – Deputy Division Director, Division of Science and Technology of Chinese Academy of Forestry, P.R. China Mr. Sun, Qiwu – Associate Professor, Research Institute of Forestry of Chinese Academy of Forestry, P.R. China Mr. Zhou, Xuewu – Vice Director, South Central China Forestry Research Planning and Design Institute of State Forestry Administration P.R. China Mr. Xie, Guolai – Deputy Division Chief, Production Technology Management Division of South Central China Forestry Research Planning and Design Institute of State Forestry Administration P.R. China Mr. Wang, Yigui – Director, Forest Resources Monitoring Centre of Northwest China Forestry Research Planning and Design Institute of State Forestry Administration P.R. China Mr. Zhang, Guangyuan – Vice Director, China Forest Exploration & Design Institute in Kunming of State Forestry Administration P.R. China Mr. Chen, Guofu – Deputy Division Chief, East China Forestry Research Planning and Design Institute of State Forestry Administration P.R. China Mr. Guo, Zhenyuan – Deputy Division Chief, Forest Monitoring and Assessment Division II of East China Forestry Research Planning and Design Institute of State Forestry Administration P.R. China Mr. Wang, Hua – Section Chief, Production and Technique Section of Institute of Investigation and Planning of Guizhou Province Mr. Kou, Mingyi – Director, Grain for Green Project Construction Office of Gansu Forestry Department

Australian forestry delegation in Japan for trade relationship

Australian timber industry news - Di, 11/12/2018 - 00:36
An Australian forest industries delegation is in Japan this week meeting with Japanese industry leaders and government officials. The trip is aimed at forging stronger trade ties and to reinforce Australia’s sustainable forest management practices. The delegation will update Japanese trade partners on exciting innovations and emerging opportunities in Australia’s sustainable forest industries. Source: Timberbiz The delegation is led by APFA, Responsible Wood, and Federal Member for Barker and Co-Convenor of the Australian Parliamentary Friends of Forestry and Forest Products group, Mr Tony Pasin MP, and includes senior representatives of various Australian forestry companies. They will meet with Japanese Government officials, Japanese industry leaders including bioenergy and paper companies, and Tokyo-based Australian officials. “The delegation’s visit is a timely opportunity to promote Australia’s forest industries and highlight new market opportunities with a valued trading partner,” Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Mr Ross Hampton said. “The sustainability and innovation of Australia’s forest industries will be forefront in the delegation’s meetings, with extra focus on hardwood exports to Japan’s mature pulp and paper and emerging biomass markets. “The delegation hopes discussions will strengthen market access for forest resources into Japan and build on Australia’s reputation as a sustainable, well-regulated and efficient producer of forest products. “Following the Australian Government’s release of its National Forest Industries Plan in September 2018, this delegation is also an opportunity to inform the Japanese Government and our trade partners about the opportunities the Plan opens up for Australia’s forest industries, particularly through the Australian Government’s commitment to plant one billion new production trees over the next decade, as well as through investment in research and development,” Mr Hampton said.

EWPAA supports Senate inquiry into non-conforming building products

Australian timber industry news - Di, 11/12/2018 - 00:35
The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) supports the recommendations and final report by the Senate inquiry into non-conforming building products (NCBPs), released last week. The recommendations centre on increased compliance in all levels of the construction industry, from builders through to architects and engineers, with a view to the recommendations being adopted at a State level across Australia. Source: Timberbiz The Senate’s recommendations include that the State governments urgently look to increase responsibility at all levels of the construction supply chain, similar to recent legislation enacted in Queensland. NCBPs represent a safety risk to occupants, to neighbours, a financial risk for owners, to insurers and financiers. EWPAA CEO, Dave Gover, says that building products manufacturers have been campaigning for government awareness of NCBP issues in Australia for several years and it is time for more effective regulation, and for meaningful enforcement. The Senate inquiry also highlighted the importance of third-party certification schemes. “EWPAA and other industry associations have been running third party certification programs which blend technical expertise with rigorous certification, to ensure products are fit for purpose,” said Mr Gover. “It is our hope that the Senate inquiry’s recommendations will influence positive change to our built environment and ensure that conforming building products are, and continue to be, readily identifiable to Australian builders and specifiers,” he said. The use of wood products is well established in formwork, industrial access and residential applications, and are a growing opportunity in mid-rise construction. Conforming products certified by the EWPAA have been available in Australasian markets for more than 50 years. The Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia (EWPAA) is a member association for manufacturers of engineered and solid timber products across Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji. The EWPAA coordinates a market development program which includes product testing, product certification, standards and codes development, technical promotion, research and development, market maintenance; as well as education and training.

Solaris Paper Acquires Asaleo Care

Australian timber industry news - Di, 11/12/2018 - 00:33
Solaris Paper has acquired ASX listed Asaleo Care’s Australian consumer tissue business. In the deal which was announced to the ASX on 6 December, Solaris Paper will obtain complete ownership of Asaleo Care’s Australian brands which include, Sorbent toilet and facial tissue, Purex, Handee Ultra paper towel and Deeko serviettes and disposable kitchenware. Source: Timberbiz The acquisition adds Asaleo Care’s robust consumer portfolio to Solaris Paper’s established luxury brands. The deal puts Solaris Paper in a position to leverage a larger product range through vertical integration. “Solaris Paper’s advanced converting processes and deep vertical integration are an ideal match for the strong market position that ASALEO CARE brands have built and maintained in Australia,” Solaris Paper, ANZ CEO, Paul Tonkin said. “We expect this deal will create considerable commercial synergies, allowing us to deliver quality products our customers have come to expect, with greater efficiency and reliability.” Solaris Paper is an Australian operated company that produces and distributes high quality toilet and tissue paper brands Livi and Emporia throughout the Australasia region to both retail and away-from-home markets. Solaris Paper was established in Australia in 2007 and has a converting facility in Greystanes, NSW.

Pulp and paper leads the way in sustainability and innovation

Australian timber industry news - Di, 11/12/2018 - 00:29
Australia’s renewable pulp and paper industries are leading the way in global sustainability and innovation, according to the 2018 National Pulp and Paper Sustainability Report. “The report confirms Australia’s renewable pulp and paper industries are setting the agenda with ambitious investments in renewable energy and cutting-edge technology to underpin local manufacturing, and many regional jobs,” Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA), Ross Hampton said. Source: Philip Hopkins for Timberbiz “This report reinforces the many socio-economic benefits the pulp and paper industry deliver to their associated communities. Australia’s pulp and paper mills support almost 61,000 full time jobs, mostly in rural and regional areas, and generate more than $1 billion in exports. “Furthermore, major industry players are finding new ways to enhance sustainability.” Mr Hampton said. The report provides summaries of major initiatives by local pulp and paper manufacturers that are focussed on constantly improving the sustainability of their businesses and the sector as a whole. “Australian Paper’s Maryvale Mill is working on progressively reducing its contribution to landfill, with a zero-waste goal. In 2017, and in partnership with a local business, nearly 130,000 cubic metres of the Mill’s organic waste material was recycled into agricultural products for soil remediation and composting. The mill is also the largest baseload generator of renewable energy in Victoria. “Norske Skog’s Boyer Mill in Tasmania which produces much of Australia’s magazine and newsprint paper, has instituted a heat recovery and reuse system which lessens its reliance on coal. The greenhouse saving will equate to 14,000 less cars on the road. “Visy Industries’ Tumut Pulp and Paper Mill’s leading bioenergy generation credentials are well known, but the report also highlights another important dimension of sustainability: Visy’s support of younger people developing an interest in manufacturing and engineering, illustrated by the Company’s sponsorship of the Tumut High School’s F1 in Schools program. The independent analysis was conducted for AFPA and its members by IndustryEdge, whose managing director Tim Woods commented: “Australia’s pulp and paper manufacturers continue to prove their credentials. Ongoing efforts to reduce energy and emissions are impressive, world’s best practice recycling is confirmed year after year and community and stakeholder engagement is an increasing strength of the sector.” “Our international benchmarking proves that the sector as a whole is making strides that are equal to or better than the best in the world,” MrWoods said. The report can be found on the AFPA website here.


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by Dr. Radut