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Ontario Supports Business Development in Timmins

International Forest Industries - 5 hours 25 min ago
Strategic investments help five local companies expand operations and create new jobs

TIMMINS – The Ontario government is providing more than $2.2 million to help five local companies purchase new equipment and expand operations in Timmins. This investment will help support job creation and economic growth and development in Northern Ontario.

“Supporting local companies as they grow their operations helps to create jobs and keep the North competitive,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “These investments have real, tangible positive effects for local business. With this funding, local companies can thrive, leading to economic prosperity and providing opportunities for northerners.”

The following funding is being delivered through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC):
• $1 million for Timmins Mechanical Solutions Inc. – a heavy equipment repair and maintenance services company – to build a second workshop
• $400,000 for The Bucket Shop Inc. – a heavy equipment manufacturing and refurbishing business – to build a second workshop, upgrade the existing workshop and purchase equipment
• $345,207 for Steelworks Inc. – a structural steel fabrication and installation business – to build an additional workshop and purchase equipment
• $321,380 for DeBastos & Sons Ltd. – a large-scale logging contracting company – to purchase equipment
• $159,418 for Diversified Forestry Inc. – a land clearing services company – to purchase equipment
The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects—big and small, rural and urban—that stimulate growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $414 million in 3,934 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.4 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 6,000 jobs.

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Quick Facts

• In February 2021, the Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programs that support more projects in rural northern communities and make it easier for more people and businesses to apply. The programs target existing and emerging markets, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the North.

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Quotes

“Timmins Mechanical Solutions has been in business for over eight years. Since building this new shop with the help of the Ontario government, we’ve hired over 25 employees including apprentices and a co-op student.”

– Eddy Lamontagne
Vice President, Timmins Mechanical Solutions Inc.

“NOHFC programs have made a significant positive impact to our expansion projects. Their contributions have supported our capital expenditures towards the addition of two new research and production facilities. This has helped us add value to our clients, increase our economic and employment levels, and bring solutions to the mining sector that improved their productivity or lowered their costs. Thank you for the continued support of our company, the employees, the region, and the sector that we serve.”

– Jamieson Pouw
Business Optimization Lead, The Bucket Shop Inc.

“Our company recently received a grant from the NOHFC to help finance our new cutting-edge drill line shop addition. Steelworks Inc. prides itself on being a vital part of Northern Ontario’s industrial and manufacturing economy and the opportunity to receive funding through the NOHFC is consequential to our craft, our future and our ability to proudly serve this community. We are immensely appreciative for this assistance. Thank you to the Ontario government.”

– Marco Julien
President, Steelworks Inc.

“The Ontario government funding we received allowed us to increase our production to meet the needs of local mills that we supply.”

– Marek Svec
General Manager, DeBastos & Sons Ltd.

“We want to thank the Ontario government for awarding us a grant. This has helped us grow our company significantly. We were able to buy newer equipment and bring down our costs and downtime. The key to making it in this business is minimizing down time, but to get to that point you need good assets which is usually really costly. Thank you again for helping make our business a success.”

– Dale Allard
Owner, Diversified Forestry Inc.

Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry

Photo: Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry.

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Sawmills in Europe & North America enjoyed record profits in 1H/21

International Forest Industries - Tue, 07/12/2021 - 13:58

Sawmills in Europe and North America enjoyed record profits during the first half of 2021, but fell in the 3Q when lumber prices plunged.

Sawmill profits in North America and Europe continued to rise in the spring and early summer of 2021, surging to all-time highs on both continents. With lumber prices reaching unprecedented levels and costs for sawlogs moving up relatively less, profits for sawmills reached record highs in the 2Q/21. The gross margins, defined as the margin between lumber prices and net wood costs, were by far the highest in most regions covered by the WRQ since it started tracking quarterly sawmill profits in 2005.

The surprisingly strong demand for lumber and high operating rates at lumber manufacturers resulted in increased costs for sawlogs during the past year, with some of the most significant increases occurring in western Canada, the Nordic countries, and Central Europe.

Despite the higher production costs, the gross margins more than doubled in Europe and tripled in North America over the past year. However, in July and August 2021, margins fell substantially because of plunging lumber prices, while sawlog costs saw smaller price adjustments. As a result, many sawmills reduced operating rates in Western Canada and Northwestern US, where the revenues from lumber sales infrequently did not cover the cash costs.

In the US South, gross margins also fell as lumber prices crashed, but thanks to low sawlog costs, sawmills were still running at profitable levels into the 3Q/21. As a result, the estimated gross margins in August were noticeably higher than the average over the past decade.

Profit levels for sawmills in the Nordic countries have also increased in the past year, although at a slower pace than in Canada and the US. Higher revenues for lumber and byproducts more than compensated for recent increases in the costs for sawlogs in both Finland and Sweden in the 2Q/21. This positive development resulted in gross margins for sawmills in the Nordic countries hitting their highest levels in over 15 years.

Swedish lumber companies have seen their profits rise faster than their Finnish competitors. They have benefited from lower sawlog costs than lumber mills in Finland and have had a higher share of lumber shipments to high-paying markets, including the US, Norway, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Some of the major destinations for Finnish lumber have been lower-cost markets such as the MENA region and China.

Contact Information:
Wood Resources International LLC
Hakan Ekstrom, Seattle, USA
info@WoodPrices.com

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Changes in management at Komatsu Forest in Brazil

International Forest Industries - Tue, 07/12/2021 - 13:15

Komatsu Forest have announced changes in top management of Komatsu Forest Ltda Brazil. The company’s current managing director (MD), Mr Felipe Viera has decided to leave the company in pursuit of other professional challenges in a different business segment. Mr Juergen Munz is temporarily taking on the role as MD for Komatsu Forest Brazil.

Mr Munz comes from Germany and has worked for Komatsu Forest since 2007, since 2018 he is MD for the German sales company.  Mr Munz assignment in Brazil is an interim solution until the company has recruited a new managing director locally.

“I look forward to work together with our Brazilian team. The Brazilian market has a strong, sustainable growth and Komatsu Forest has strong, long-term partnerships with our customers. My main focus will be to find the new MD for the company, and I will do my best to make the transition between Mr Viera and the future MD as seamless as possible,” Munz explains.

Komatsu Forest is also reinforcing its local product planning function. The range of forest machine models based on Komatsu crawler base machines, like PC200, PC350 and D61, increases and becomes more and more purpose built for forestry applications. Komatsu Forest will therefor reinforce the product planning function for Komatsu Crawler based products sold in South America.

Mr. Sandro Soares will be the new Product Manager, starting from 1 December 2021, based in Brazil. Sandro will work together with the Product Planning team of Komatsu Forest head office in Sweden.

“Sandro has many years of experience working for Komatsu Forest Ltda, as a Service Manager and with Design engineering. This, in combination with his large network of market contacts will be valuable in the new role,” Munz continues.

Mr Viera who is leaving the company concludes “I’m extremely grateful to Komatsu for the opportunity given to me and honored to have served alongside a such committed team. I’m proud of Komatsu’s trajectory and certain that the company’s future will look bright. Komatsu has an inquisitive team that are restless to keep pushing for improvement and innovation. I wish Mr. Munz and all Komatsu’s team member all the best. Same feeling and thoughts to the forest market colleagues and friends.”

Mr Felipe Vieira left the company on November 30 2021. Mr Juergen Munz has been on site in Brazil from December 6.

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PEZZALATO -EQUIPMENT FOR PROCESSING FIREWOOD WITH LOGS BETWEEN 5 & 90 CM

International Forest Industries - Tue, 07/12/2021 - 12:27

Pezzolato have recently delivered a new equipment for the preparation of firewood to a long-standing customer in northern Italy, designed to work with heterogeneous materials and with dimensions up to 900 mm in diameter.

The TLA 15 cutting unit, equipped with a 1500 mm diameter disc to cut bundles of wood and single logs with maximum diameters up to 610 mm and a maximum length of 6 m, is fed by a sawmill make log loader with a capacity of 30 tons equipped with 4 chains and partializing half-moons.

Splitting is done by means of two independent 11-ton and 40-ton units and the cutting operator, depending on the size of the material arriving from the log loader, determines whether to convey the cut logs, by means of a translator placed at the exit of the cut, towards the independent splitting station SC11 (11 tons) or towards the independent splitting station TB 900 (40 tons), which can be fed with logs up to 900 mm in diameter via an external conveyor and which will automatically split the cut logs to the desired section previously set.

This system makes it possible to effectively exploit the wood of local forests and imported logs, always obtaining important yields and good quality firewood logs, minimizing processing waste, working with a reduced number of operators.

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West Fraser Announces Completion of U.S. South Lumber Mill Acquisition

International Forest Industries - Tue, 07/12/2021 - 11:43

Vancouver, B.C. – West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (“West Fraser” or the “Company”) (TSX and NYSE: WFG) has announced that further to its news release of October 12, 2021, the U.S. regulatory review has been completed and the other closing conditions have been satisfied.  As such, the Company is proceeding to close the acquisition of the Angelina Forest Products lumber mill located in Lufkin, Texas.

The Company

West Fraser is a diversified wood products company with more than 60 facilities in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe.  From responsibly sourced and sustainably managed forest resources, the Company produces lumber, engineered wood products (OSB, LVL, MDF, plywood, and particleboard), pulp, newsprint, wood chips, other residuals and renewable energy.  West Fraser’s products are used in home construction, repair and remodelling, industrial applications, papers, tissue, and box materials.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking information or forward-looking statements (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of applicable securities laws, including the timing to complete the acquisition of the Angelina Forest Products lumber mill.  Any such forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to us and are based on assumptions and analyses made by us in light of our experience and our perception of historical trends and current conditions.  Readers should also refer to the risk factors set forth in the Company’s annual information form and management’s discussion and analysis for the year ended December 31, 2020, each dated February 11, 2021, available at SEDAR (www.sedar.com) and EDGAR (www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml).  There can be no assurance that the plans, intentions or expectations upon which forward-looking statements are based will be realized.  Actual results may differ, and the difference may be material and adverse to the Company and its shareholders.

West Fraser shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange under the symbol: “WFG”.

For more information:

West Fraser Investors:
Robert B. Winslow, CFA
Director, Investor Relations & Corporate Development
Tel. (416) 777-4426
shareholder@westfraser.com

West Fraser Media:
Heather Colpitts
Director, Corporate Affairs
Tel. (416) 643-8838
shareholder@westfraser.com

 

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West Fraser Celebrates Two Billion Trees Planted

International Forest Industries - Tue, 07/12/2021 - 11:15

This video first released in October 2021 marks the significant milestone of the planting of two billionth tree in 2021. Reaching this milestone reflects West Frasers 65-year commitment to sustainable forest management in Alberta and B.C., where they directly manage the forest lands for its operations. In other jurisdictions, such as their operations in central Canada, the U.S. and Europe, they focus on sustainability by sourcing from third-party certified forests where available.

West Forest’s reforestation program reflects many environmental, social, economic and cultural values, ensuring long-term sustainability of this valuable resource which helps fight climate change, creates jobs and provides recreation opportunities among many other benefits.

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INVL announces Baltic Forest Fund 1 full divestment with a 27% IRR / STAFF II EUR200mn hard cap

International Forest Industries - Tue, 07/12/2021 - 10:24

INVL Asset Management (“INVL”) today announces the successful full exit of its INVL Baltic Forests Fund I vehicle as it transitions towards a full focus on its recently announced successor, INVL Sustainable Timberland and Farmland Fund II (“STAFF II”). The acquirer of the portfolio is Latvian Forest Company AB.

INVL Baltic Forests Fund I was founded in 2017 and invested in forests in the Baltic States, with a keen focus on Lithuania whose landscape is well suited to support forest-based activities. The aim was to build up a consolidated package of forest land plots, thus increasing their value and the potential income from planned harvesting. It was the first fund with this strategy of its kind and this full exit of land and properties sees INVL achieve a track record of 27% IRR for its investor base.

STAFF II focuses on sustainable timberland and farmland across the Baltic States and Central and Eastern Europe. STAFF II announced in June 2021 that it had successfully raised a further EUR 18.5 million via a second offering and had reached a size of EUR 51 million towards its overall EUR200 million hard-cap target. Fundraising activity is currently ongoing with further closings expected in H1 2022.

Long-term value is created for investors by consolidating portfolios of top-quality forests and agricultural land. In its activities, the fund focuses heavily on the sustainable management of forests and arable land, considering not just the conservation of nature but also corporate and social responsibility. The fund bases its work on sustainable forestry standards and always implements the principles of sustainable farming on its agricultural land.

Sigita Bizulienė, Fund Manager at INVL Baltic Forest Funds I, commented: “We are very pleased to report such a great return of 27% IRR for our highly valued investor base as we announce this full exit for INVL Baltic Forests Fund I. Our intention is now to further develop and make STAFF II a similar success and to that end we have already invested in the Lithuanian and Latvian markets while we continue to explore and originate new targets both in the Baltic regions and in Central and Eastern Europe more broadly.”

Martynas Samulionis, STAFF II’s Managing Partner, added: “Investors increasingly want their capital to bring not only a strong financial return but also to be sustainable and integrated with an increasing comprehensive range of ESG metrics. Following this divestment success and the associated impressive returns for our investors, we intend to become one of the leading and most trusted funds in the European Union, working with sustainable, alternative investments while also creating real long-term benefits, not just for our investors but also protecting nature for future generations. This is one of the core investment philosophies for STAFF II. We look forward to announcing further developments both on fundraise closings and deal flow in the first half of 2022.”

Media enquiries:
EQ James Culverhouse
T: +44 (0)20 7223 1100 / +44 (0)7912 508 322
E: james.culverhouse@eqcorp.co

INVL Sustainable Timberland and Farmland Fund II (“STAFF II”) The fund was established in the second half of 2020 and is administered by Apex Group, one of Europe’s largest providers of fund services. The fund invests in sustainably managed forests and agricultural land in the Baltic Sea region and Central and Eastern Europe. It is intended for investors from EU countries. The fund operates under the laws of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

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Latvian Forest Company Ab (Publ.) Has Completed The Transaction Regarding The Purchase Of All Shares In Uab Siluona.

International Forest Industries - Fri, 03/12/2021 - 10:54

Latvian Forest Company AB (publ) (“LFC”)  has completed the purchase of all shares in UAB Siluona today. Through the purchase, LFC will acquire 1,338 hectares of land with 301,000 cubic meters of timber stock.

The transaction value of UAB Siluona’s value-creating assets: forest and agricultural properties amounts to EUR 7.5 million. The purchase price for the shares amounts to EUR 3.16 million. In addition, EUR 0.97 million is paid for outstanding shareholder loans according to a special agreement. In connection with the purchase, the company will take out a bank loan corresponding to EUR 3.4 million from SEB in Lithuania.

The acquisition covers all shares in UAB Siluona. UAB Siluona’s assets consist of 1,338 hectares, of which 1,272 hectares are forest land with a total timber stock estimated at 301,000 cubic meters. Following the acquisition, LFC owns a total of 7,189 hectares, of which 6,591 hectares are forest land and the timber stock is estimated to correspond to 1,011,740 cubic meters in Latvia and Lithuania.

For further information contact

Alexander Tralmaks, VD
+37129203972
aleksandrs.tralmaks@latvianforest.se
Or visit our website:  www.latvianforest.se

About the company:

Latvian Forest Company AB (publ) is a Swedish listed company that acquires, sells and conducts forestry on favorably valued forest in Latvia. The three main foundations of the business are, in addition to the fact that forest is a sought-after real asset that grows on its own;

  • an expected increase in price levels for Latvian forestry and agricultural properties
  • to create value increase through active forest management
  • to create value increase by building up a larger property portfolio.

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Weyerhaeuser Appoints David Graham As President Of Its Canadian Subsidiary

International Forest Industries - Thu, 02/12/2021 - 13:12

Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE: WY) has announced the appointment of David Graham as president of Weyerhaeuser Company Limited, its wholly owned Canadian Subsidiary, effective January 1, 2022. Graham will report to Travis Keatley, senior vice president of Timberlands, and his appointment follows the planned retirement of Fred Dzida, who has served as president of the company’s Canadian subsidiary since 2014 and will stay on through March 2022 to aid in the transition.

“David has more than 30 years of diverse industry experience, and he has deep familiarity with our Canadian operations from a people, operational and business perspective,” said Keatley, who leads Weyerhaeuser’s timberlands operations across North America. “We’re excited to have him step into this important leadership role and help us continue to build on our strong relationships with our communities, customers and other partners across Canada.”

“I also want to thank Fred for his more than 40 years of outstanding service with Weyerhaeuser,” Keatley added. “He has had a profound impact across our Canadian operations as a champion of people, innovation and operational excellence, and he has dedicated significant energy to promoting and advancing our industry through his participation on many boards and associations across Canada. Although he will be greatly missed on our team, we wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement.”

ABOUT DAVID GRAHAM

Graham joined Weyerhaeuser in 1991 as an engineer and has held a variety of senior leadership positions in the company’s Wood Products and Timberlands organizations, including most recently as vice president of HR supporting the Timberlands and Corporate Development businesses and previously as vice president of the company’s Oriented Strand Board business. He has worked and resided in three provinces — Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan — and among other key projects has helped with integration on several acquisitions and developing a framework for labor relations at Weyerhaeuser. Graham earned a bachelor’s in engineering from the University of Alberta.

ABOUT WEYERHAEUSER

Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world’s largest private owners of timberlands, began operations in 1900. They own or control approximately 11 million acres of timberlands in the U.S. and manage additional timberlands under long-term licenses in Canada. They manage these timberlands on a sustainable basis in compliance with internationally recognized forestry standards. They are also one of the largest manufacturers of wood products in America. The company is a real estate investment trust. In 2020, it generated $7.5 billion in net sales and employed approximately 9,400 people who serve customers worldwide. It’s common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WY.

SOURCE Weyerhaeuser Company

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Elephant King – Ponsse’s solutions for heavy-duty forwarding

International Forest Industries - Wed, 01/12/2021 - 10:27
PONSSE Elephant King – more wood in one go

The Elephant King forwarder is the most powerful machine in PONSSE’s forwarder range. Possibly the most productive forwarder on the market, offering a superior level of comfort, it is particularly economical and efficient when transport distances are long or transported trees are large.

Forwarders.

When Elephant King is equipped with PONSSE Active Crane, a loader control system for forwarders, productivity in demanding conditions will improve even further. With the Active Crane system, the operator controls grapple movements instead of individual functions, lightening the operator’s workload. Active Crane is easily controlled using two levers, one of which controls the grapple height from the ground and the other controls the direction of movement.

The PONSSE K121 loader offers unprecedented efficiency and speed for load handling in tough conditions.

The Elephant King forwarder with the K121 loader is a powerful combination at worksites where load handling takes up a large part of working hours. The K121 loader also makes working easier at sites where large trees are handled and on steep slopes where the loader needs to be powerful. The high slewing and lifting power, longer reach, new loader geometry and good controllability speed up loading and unloading.

“Elephant King’s technology, tested in extreme conditions in the Russian cold and the Brazilian heat, improves productivity and helps the operator keep going. This forwarder’s cabin offers an enjoyable work environment for professionals who appreciate comfort, safety and ergonomics. The powerful engine and the 20-tonne load carrying capacity guarantee that trees are transported efficiently,” Juha Haverinen, Product Manager.

Heavy-duty forwarding online event, organized 24 November, recording can be found: https://youtu.be/QV8zdSMTOQU

Further information 

Juha Haverinen, Product Manager, Forwarders, Ponsse Plc

Tel. +358 40 839 8529, juha.haverinen@ponsse.com

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Wintersteiger & Perception Park deliver automated quality control using “chemical sensing”

International Forest Industries - Fri, 26/11/2021 - 14:14

Using the Perception HEAD enables the Woodtech Division of Wintersteiger AG to precisely detect the structure of defects in wood. This allows chemical characteristics such as blue stain, weak spots, branch decay, galls, and knotholes to be precisely scanned & machined, setting new quality assurance standards in the timber industry.

Changes in the price of wood alongside new material requirements and applications present challenges in the growing, constantly shifting timber market. At the same time, this offers up opportunities for innovative timber processors aided by improved quality control and long-term cost savings. The application of chemical sensing in the timber industry addresses quality requirements, price pressures, and application innovation all in one.

Scanner technology is among Wintersteiger’s core competencies and is applied in systems for timber surface repair as well as in diverse sorting lines. Perception Park now supplies the Perception HEAD, a special solution that uses hyperspectral imaging technology. This innovative technology that enables the “chemical sensing” of the raw material to be identified has aroused a great deal of interest among Austrian machinery and plant engineering businesses.

“Our current scanner technology gives us information on the geometry, position, color, and size of a defect, such as a knot or a crack in the wood. Our solutions from the “Timber Repair & Cosmetics” product group can then automatically clean or machine out the defect and permanently fill it. Hyperspectral imaging will then additionally tell us about the structure of a defect. So, only those defects that would cause problems in the downstream process, such as knotholes, can be pinpointed and removed. That way, you can achieve a more natural look,” explains Markus Weissenbrunner, Head of Strategic Product Development at Wintersteiger AG, as he sets out his vision for how the HSI technology could be used.

Another application example can be found where there is a need to distinguish heartwood from sapwood when cutting green round timber, such as pinewood. Since the color of the heartwood will only change on contact with UV light, production has to be halted to be able to definitively detect the differences. Using the Perception HEAD means the wood can be scanned and classified at the sawing stage.

Wintersteiger is currently testing hyperspectral imaging for other customer requirements, e.g., for moisture measurement to trace signs of decay when analyzing glued joints in multilayer boards or when detecting resin. “In addition to our existing scanner technologies, hyperspectral imaging gives us much more information and is opening up completely new application areas in wood processing,” according to Weissenbrunner, who delightedly points out the potential of the HSI technology.

The cooperation saves costs in later production steps. Variations in quality (in lumber, engineering timber, etc.) can be identified enabling more accurate pricing. Its use also represents a benefit for the end customer – since the quality of timber products can be better matched to the application.

“Fitting wood scanners with a Perception HEAD was pure inspiration! Chemical sensing permits new levels of quality – as yet unseen – that will significantly improve production processes,” believes Ulrich P. Schön, Business Development Manager at Perception Park.

Cooperation driven by innovation.

The outstanding benefits of this new inspection technology will become available to future customers of Wintersteiger AG. This cooperative development between the Woodtech Division of Wintersteiger AG and Perception Park GmbH is set to further strengthen the position of both companies in the market.

VAP-Wintersteiger GmbH as part of the Woodtech Division in the Wintersteiger Group specializes in plant engineering and automation. From feasibility studies to remote maintenance of the overall installation, the innovative plant engineers deliver automation solutions for the production of windows, engineered flooring, furniture, and multi-layer boards, as well as large sawmills.

Perception Park is a world-renowned pioneer in the field of chemical sensing, often enabling solutions to problematic challenges where other technologies miss the mark. This technology allows materials that are very similar visually to be distinguished on the basis of their chemical composition or the concentration and distribution of their constituents – such as in foodstuffs or pharmaceutical products – and to precisely capture this data in real time.

Chemical sensing.

Their chemical properties mean substances reflect completely different spectrums of light. Using a hyperspectral camera, images can be captured outside the visible range, such as infrared. Unlike normal cameras, hyperspectral technology shows a spectral image of the light reflected from the material. Each point is depicted not only by an intensity value, but also by hundreds of spectral wavebands. This ultra-precise spectral measurement allows the properties of materials to be tested and their chemical composition to be visualized. The user gets a unique “fingerprint” or “spectral signature” of the object, which in its turn allows flaws and dirt invisible to the naked eye to be detected.

Chemical sensing is used for applications where materials need to be analyzed and/or sorted based on chemical information.

It is used in the food-processing industry (to identify pressure marks and decay in fruit, ripeness requirements), the recycling industry (material-selective plastics sorting), and diverse medical technology applications.

Defect: raw, repaired, and sanded down (photograph: Wintersteiger)

The results of hyperspectral imaging are shown on the right in each photograph; in this case, a growth defect (knot) (Photograph: Perception Park)


Hyperspectral imaging showing an area contaminated with blue stain (shown in blue)
(Photograph: Perception Park)


Growth rings (heartwood/sapwood detection) Detection of early and late wood within the annual rings (Photograph: Perception Park)

Fully automated timber repair and cosmetic system TRC 3000 with defect scanner (photograph: Wintersteiger)

About Perception Park

Perception Park is a pioneer and innovator in the field of chemical sensing. Their software products are marketed globally by partners. Customer and sector-specific solutions are realized to meet application requirements.

Ulrich P. Schön
Business Development Manager
Tel.:  +43 676 7306091
E-Mail: u.schoen@perception-park.com

Information about the Division WOODTECH

Wintersteiger combines 4 product areas for the timber industry under the umbrella term “World of WOODTECH”: Precise thin-cutting and surface repair of wood, saw blades engineered and produced in-house, mobile and stationary sawmill technology, as well as automation solutions.

Wintersteiger is known for its state-of-art thin-cutting technology, which is used in lamella production throughout the world. The product range includes thin-cutting frame saws and thin-cutting band saws, including upstream and downstream processing. The thin kerf, highest accuracy, a ready-to-glue surface, and processing the lamellas without additional steps are key benefits for users. TRC (“Timber Repair & Cosmetics”) machines for semi- and fully automatic wood surface repair complement this product area.

Wintersteiger Sägen GmbH develops and produces carbide and Stellite® saw blades and offers saw services such as cleaning, straightening, leveling, and sharpening.

With the acquisition of SERRA Maschinenbau GmbH in January 2019, mobile and stationary sawmills were also added to the Wintersteiger product portfolio.

VAP-Wintersteiger (part of the Wintersteiger Group since 2012, “VAP Gruber Automations GmbH” until 2021) realizes automation solutions from fully automatic woodworking machines through to the optimization of production by means of customer-specific automation solutions.

Information about the company

Wintersteiger AG is an international machinery and plant engineering group. Founded in 1953, it has gradually established itself as a leading provider of innovative solutions for customers in technically sophisticated niche markets. The divisions of the company consist of:

  • Division SEEDMECH:

Turnkey solutions for plant breeding and research

  • Division SPORTS:

Rent & Service: One-stop supplier for the rental and servicing of sports products

Bike & Retail: Bike Services and custom solutions for feet

Drytech: Solutions for the hygienic drying of sports kit and work clothing, and for active air disinfection

  • Division WOODTECH:

Solutions for engineered flooring, furniture, and multi-layer boards

Saw blades for wood, food, and metal

Solutions for the sawmill industry

Plants and automation solutions

  • Division METALS:

Leveling technology machines and systems

Wintersteiger is the world market leader in its SEEDMECH, SPORTS and WOODTECH divisions. The group delivers to no fewer than 130 countries from its headquarters in Ried im Innkreis, Upper Austria, and via 15 subsidiaries and 60 representative offices. Wintersteiger has more than 1000 employees worldwide. For more information, please visit www.wintersteiger.com.

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Blanca Forestry Products purchases a GradeScan from Lucidyne

International Forest Industries - Fri, 26/11/2021 - 12:47

Blanca Forestry Products has purchased a GradeScan with deep learning artificial intelligence from Lucidyne for installation in their Blanca, CO planer mill.

After closely examining the different lumber scanner systems offered in the market, Blanca was all in for Lucidyne.  All new Lucidyne GradeScans come standard with Lucidyne’s patented Intelligent Grading platform, using deep learning artificial intelligence for unmatched defect detection and grading results. Blanca also purchased Lucidyne’s Grade-VU Projector System to integrate with the GradeScan system. This project is scheduled for installation in August 2022.

“We evaluated all the grade scanning systems available and chose the Lucidyne because of the reliability of the GradeScan’s uptime performance and Lucidyne’s willingness to push the envelope in regard to new technology.” Rick Engebretsen General Manager, Blanca Forestry Products

Lucidyne, located in Corvallis, Oregon, is a leading manufacturer of scanning technologies for the wood product industry.  As a division of Microtec, Lucidyne provides scanning solutions for the North American market.  Microtec, headquartered in Italy, is the world’s most trusted scanning and optimization provider for the sawmilling and wood processing industry.

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Komatsu 931XC 8WD harvester & 855-3 forwarder offer forestry customers enhanced productivity

International Forest Industries - Fri, 26/11/2021 - 12:23

North America – Komatsu 931XC 8WD harvester & 855-3 forwarder offer forestry customers enhanced productivity in most terrains

Forestry equipment operates under difficult and demanding conditions. Engineered for the rugged terrain of forestry and logging work, Komatsu now offers two new machines, the 931XC-3 8WD harvester and the 855-3 forwarder.

931XC-3 (eXtreme Conditions) harvester

Designed for extreme conditions from smarter thinning to heavy-duty final felling, Komatsu’s 931XC-3 8WD harvester is exceptionally maneuverable in most types of forests and terrain. With an effective mix of power, torque and fuel economy, the harvester’s system has been optimized for low working speeds, including a broad powerband and high torque backup for challenging operations.

  • Unique 8WD system
    For excellent handling, the 8WD unique double Komatsu Comfort Bogie drive system follows the terrain more closely than other 8WD machines with a fixed rear-axle design, greatly reducing rear ground pressure. It offers high ground clearance and enhanced traction; hydrostatic transmission matching power and traction; and automatic cab/crane leveling.
  • Powerful parallel crane
    Promote enhanced production with a single control lever movement that extends the boom/arm on a parallel path. The three-pump hydraulic system enables simultaneous slewing, feeding and maneuvering, plus a ±180° cab/crane rotation with automatic 4-way cab/crane leveling.
  • Modern, large, spacious cab
    Critical to productivity are operator comfort and visibility. The automotive-quality cab on the 931XC-3 8WD harvester includes a giant front window, ergonomic seat, automatic climate control, sound-deadening measures, and heated and cooled meal storage, as well as an easy-to-understand machine interface.

855-3 forwarder
Help your operator deliver productivity day after day in the 14-metric-ton class, Komatsu 855-3 forwarder. This machine works with your operator to offer power, nimbleness and smart features.

  • Machine and crane control 
    Operators can monitor and control everything from engine and crane to the transmission and service ladders with the state-of-the-art MaxiXT system. All operator-specific functions can be fine-tuned to achieve the sensitivity and speed each individual operator prefers.
  • Smooth and fast transport
    Chassis and suspensions designed to maneuver through even the most rugged forests when fully loaded. Komatsu Comfort Bogie axles with a high portal offset and V-shaped frames provide high ground clearance.
  • HD stacking blade
    If your operation requires ground or stump leveling on tough terrain, an optional heavy-duty stacking blade is available. Mounted with a high angle of departure for climbing obstacles, there’s no interference between blade, battery boxes or hood guard.

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High production Komatsu WA480-8 yard loader offers versatility across multiple applications

International Forest Industries - Fri, 26/11/2021 - 11:35

Loading and moving materials in as few passes and cycles as possible can help increase productivity, and reduce costly wear and tear on machines. Designed to be a three-pass match for loading aggregate and other processed materials onto highway trucks, the 299 horsepower (223kW) Komatsu WA480-8 yard loader can also be adapted for use in infrastructure, forestry and non-residential construction applications.

Designed for increased productivity and versatility

The curved side edges of the Komatsu-designed, 7.2-cubic-yard bucket are built to minimize spillage, and the internal space and shape provides smooth material flow. The long bucket jaw and decreased strike plane angle helps deliver easy fill and low resistance during pile penetration. The integrated load meter system in the cab lets operators see how much material is in the bucket.

Additional productivity features on the WA480-8 yard loader include excellent visibility to the pile and surroundings, an easy-to-operate Advanced Joystick Steering System (AJSS) and a comfortable air-suspension seat.

For increased bucket capacity and stability, the yard loader arrangement has more than 1,400 pounds of added counterweight (compared to the standard WA480-8). Further stability is provided by low-profile tires with increased ground contact that are mounted to new heavy-duty front and rear axles.

Collectively, the features on the WA480-8 yard loader enhance its versatility, making it suitable for truck loading, carrying, stockpiling and hopper charging applications.

Maximized brake life

To promote maximized brake life in extended load-and-carry or high-speed applications, the WA480-8 yard loader has a new, highly efficient air-cooled braking system. The dedicated system enhances higher cooling efficiency even in tough environments. Stable cooling performance under high-duty cycle operation helps to reduce the risk of the oil overheating and in severe test conditions, this cooling system demonstrated a 56 to 58 degree Fahrenheit better cooling effect. A sensor on the electric drive pump measures the axle temperature and activates only when needed.

Find out more about the WA480-8 yard loader.

About Komatsu
Komatsu develops and supplies technologies, equipment and services for the construction, mining, forklift, industrial and forestry markets.

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NZ – Log exports bolster port results

International Forest Industries - Thu, 18/11/2021 - 10:45

Napier Port credits log exports for improved results – Napier Port’s revenue for the year to 30 September 2021 rose 9% to a record $109.5 million from $100.4 million in the same period a year ago, driven by increases in bulk cargo volumes and record log exports in particular.

Napier Port, which is a key gateway for central and lower North Island freight, achieved the record despite the challenges from global container shipping disruptions and the absence of cruise ship visits to the region.

Bulk cargo revenue rose 32.7% to $41.5 million from $31.3 million principally due to higher log volumes, which increased 27.6% to a record 3.02 million tonnes. Average revenue per tonne improved due to tariff increases, one off cost recoveries, and an improved cargo mix.

Container services revenue increased by 4.8% to $65.3 million from $62.3 million, thanks to a 2.9% increase in container volumes to 276k TEU[2] and improved average revenue per TEU.

Napier Port’s result from operating activities rose 6.4% to $43.8 million from $41.2 million, with the unwinding of the protective cost saving measures introduced at the start of the pandemic in 2020 and ongoing investment in capability to drive growth, together with costs associated with increased activity, partially offsetting the impact of revenue growth.

Napier Port also invested to improve services to customers including work to deploy an on-port log debarker, which will allow the company to cease on-port log fumigation.

Outlook – In the annual report Chair Alasdair MacLeod said: “Our base-case volume forecast for log exports in FY2022 is in-line with FY2021. We have been a beneficiary of buoyant log export markets for the past year, but we are not complacent about thepotential for a cooling in these favourable conditions to impact volumes through Napier Port.

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Navigator Group relies on Raumaster’s wood processing expertise

International Forest Industries - Tue, 16/11/2021 - 14:40

One of Portugal’s largest pulp and paper producers, the Navigator Group, has ordered a new wood processing plant for its Figueira mill from Raumaster. The parties do not publish the exact transaction amount of the ordered entity, but it is significant for Raumaster.

The ordered plant will process eucalyptus wood as its raw material. Raumaster has invested significantly in the development of eucalyptus debarking and chipping technology over the past 10 years.

The project to be delivered is already the third cooperation project with Navigator Group in the last three years. The new wood processing plant will be commissioned during 2023.

The project significantly employs Raumaster’s planning and project management in Finland. The key devices are produced in Raumaster’s extensive partner network. Local companies in Portugal also play a major role in subcontracting the plant to be supplied.

“This large-scale deal is a great sign of customer satisfaction that we have managed to build on in our previous projects with Navigator Group. At the same time, this confirms that our development contribution to the development of eucalyptus processing technology has also been noticed in the customer base”, says Petri Lounasaho, Head of the Wood Processing Department.

Photo: Wood feeding of a similar type debarking at the Celbi plant in Portugal (Picture: Raumaster)

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Ponsse opens new service centre in Tomsk Russia

International Forest Industries - Tue, 16/11/2021 - 14:09

Ponsse has invested more than €2 million in the construction of a new service centre in Tomsk, West Siberian, Russia. The grand opening of the new service centre took place on 11 November 2021. Large stocks and an efficient logistics system guarantee customers short service times and fast spare parts deliveries.

The investment aimed to create a modern service centre with a current repair area and a logistics centre with a spare parts warehouse. This training centre offers skills on PONSSE harvesters and forwarders, and an in-depth knowledge of the structure and operation of technology. In total, the centre employs 26 people.

“Ponsse has been active in Tomsk for about 15 years, and our dealer company Zeppelin Russland played a vital role at the start. From the outset, Ponsse has been fortunate enough to work with very active and loyal customers and partners who have supported and appreciated the excellent progress of Ponsse’s operations in the region. Especially good, fruitful cooperation has developed with an experienced local logger and timber processor, Alexei Vasilyevich Maslov, whose company has helped us grow for many years”, says Jaakko Laurila, Managing Director of ООО Ponsse.

“The opening of the state-of-the-art new service center is a natural development, as the client base and Ponsse machine fleet in the area are growing from year to year. Our clients in the Tomsk region are professional and ambitious, and to support the growth of their logging business, Ponsse needs to develop accordingly,” Laurila explains.

“Over the years, we’ve also seen and felt a good creative relationship with the Administration of the Tomsk region, which was one of the main reasons why Ponsse decided to invest in Tomsk”, Laurila thanks.

Today, the Ponsse service network in Russia includes 44 service centres that belong to ООО Ponsse, a dealer company. In total, the network employs about 650 PONSSE specialists, most of whom are technical personnel. All specialists are constantly undergoing advanced training. According to the unified service standards, “ESW – Effective Safety Workshop – Effective and Safe Working Environment”, ООО Ponsse pays excellent attention to the quality of services and maintains them at a high Ponsse standard level in dealer companies.

In addition to employees, the Governor of the Tomsk Region Sergey Anatolyevich Zhvachkin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ponsse Plc Jarmo Vidgren, Managing Director of OOO Ponsse Jaakko Laurila, and other honoured guests and officials attended to the opening ceremony.

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Ponsse to invest in operations in Chile

International Forest Industries - Tue, 16/11/2021 - 12:59

Ponsse Group will be in the future be responsible itself for the sales, spare parts and service business in Chile through its newly established subsidiary Ponsse Chile SpA. To this end, Ponsse and its local retailer F.C. Ventas Y Servicios Limitada (hereinafter “FC Ventas”) have on 5 November 2021 signed an asset purchase agreement related to Ponsse’s forest machine operations, according to which Ponsse Chile SpA will purchase FC Ventas’ service centre located in Chillan, including its spare parts stocks and maintenance vehicles, subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions. The aim is that PONSSE services in Chile will transfer to Ponsse Group by the end of Q1/2022.

The employees of F.C. Ventas will join Ponsse Group as established employees after the transaction has been completed. Ponsse has prepared a comprehensive integration plan that will ensure a positive continuation of the local business and sufficient orientation for the employees.

The transaction has no impact on the previous guidance, which suggests that Ponsse Group’s operating result is estimated to be significantly higher than in 2020. Currently, Ponsse’s business in Chile amounts to approximately ten million euros. The purchase price of the transaction between FC Ventas and Ponsse will not be made public by mutual agreement. Furthermore, the purchase price has no impact on the valuation of Ponsse. The purchase price will be paid in cash subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions set for the completion of the transaction. Ponsse will fund the acquisition from its cash assets.

PONSSE forest machines have a market share of about 40 per cent of cut-to-length machines in Chile, and there are 150 PONSSE forest machines in the country. Further machine deliveries are expected as cut-to-length harvesting grows in popularity.

Securing service quality and continuity

Juho Nummela, Ponsse Plc president and CEO, says that FC Ventas has built a strong foundation for continuing the development of the service selection.

“We want to provide our customers in the growing Chilean market with the best support possible in the form of excellent products and services that ensure the continuity of their business. We have expanded our subsidiary network with care and always based on customer needs. Our range of products is a good fit for the local conditions, and we believe in the growth potential of PONSSE products and services in Chile,” says Nummela.

This change will not interrupt the local PONSSE services, which include machine sales, maintenance, spare parts services and training for local customers. The FC Ventas service centre in question was completed in 2015 and it operates in Chillan in the middle of Chile’s forested region.

Ponsse first started import operations in Chile in 2014, but the first PONSSE forest machines were already working in the country in the 1990s. The sustainable annual harvesting volume has grown steadily thanks to the trees’ quick life cycle and well-managed forest plantations. In 2019, Chile’s wood harvest for sawmills, pulp mills and veneer industry applications was 47.6 million cubic metres. The country’s forest industry is based on forest plantations, and 28 per cent of their harvesting is currently based on the cut-to-length (CTL) method.

Ponsse’s Vieremä factory currently exports 80 per cent of its production, and PONSSE solutions are sold and serviced by a network of 12 subsidiaries and 44 retailers. In addition to its international subsidiaries, Ponsse Group includes the technology company Epec Oy in Finland. Ponsse Chile SpA will join Ponsse’s other South American subsidiaries in Uruguay and Brazil.

Vieremä, Finland, 05 November 2021
PONSSE PLC
Juho Nummela
President and CEO

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Timbeter and the Brazilian State of Pernambuco start cooperation project during COP26 in Glasgow

International Forest Industries - Tue, 16/11/2021 - 11:43

The Governor of the State of Pernambuco, Paulo Câmara, Anna-Greta Tsahkna, CEO of Timbeter and José Bertotti, Secretary of Environment of the State of Pernambuco, in participation with the Estonian Minister of Environment, Tõnis Mölder, signed an agreement in Glasgow, on the 8th of November 2021, to start a cooperation project focusing on strengthening legal and sustainable practices for the forest industry in Brazil. This project is called “Implementation of Timbeter technology for environmental inspection and tax control”.

The main goal of the cooperation project between Timbeter and the Government of the State of Pernambuco is to use Timbeter’s innovative technology for measuring timber as an efficient controlling tool for the environmental inspection teams.

Paulo Câmara, the Governor of Pernambuco stated: “I’m happy with this innovative collaboration and I will compromise to take Timbeter’s technology knowledge to the other nine States that are part of Consórcio Nordeste, as these States walk together with development and technology for sustainable future”.

The Environment Minister of Estonia, Tõnis Mölder, was also present at the signing of the agreement and pointed: “The cooperation memorandum signed today between Timbeter and the State of Pernambuco is a clear indication of “act” – there’s not only talks, but also clear steps of action.“

Anna-Greta Tsahkna, CEO of Timbeter, added: “For us, it is important to have this cooperation agreement signed at COP26, because we know that Pernambuco State is bravely changing from talks to real actions. Timbeter has been very well welcomed by the Brazilian private sector and now we are happy to start a collaboration with the public sector as well. We see that in public-private partnerships, we can really make a difference.”

The increase of speed in operations, transparency and efficiency in environmental inspection processes, is the first step in a technology transfer project with the goal to digitalize the operations of environmental inspection, carried out in the national territory of the state Pernambuco.

Several other actions are planned in the project that started in October 2021 which include: government agencies, such as CPRH – State Environmental Agency of Pernambuco, CIPOMA- Independent Environmental Policing Company, the environmental military battalion, Universities and the secretariats of the Environment and Finance of the State of Pernambuco.

The second stage of the project is the roll-out of the Timbeter Tax Control solution for sustainable management of the forestry sector by combating illegal logging activities. Tax control is the first digital solution in the world using AI and Machine learning to integrate Tax documentation and environment inspection and Pernambuco will be the pioneer using this technology.

Timbeter Tax Control will be integrated with the invoice generation and tax processing processes by the state departments of finance. This will help bring digitalization, sustainability, transparency and less disputes to log companies and the State governments, including their Secretaries of Environment and Finances.

Timbeter

Timbeter’s digital solution is changing the forestry sector by enabling sustainable forest management, increasing the safety of employees, maximizing the value of each log, helping to optimize logistics and guaranteeing fair trades. Also, it helps with monitoring and controlling the timber supply chain, supporting governments and law enforcement agencies to prevent illegal logging and keep a better overview on the volumes harvested.

Timbeter has been working with some of the largest companies in Latin-America  since 2017 such as CMPC (Chile), Suzano (Brazil), Klingele (Brazil),  International Paper (Brazil), Faber-Castell (Brazil)  and many others.

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Pyrocell has started production

International Forest Industries - Thu, 04/11/2021 - 14:46

Production is now underway at Pyrocell’s plant in Gävle. The new and groundbreaking factory is turning sawdust into bio-oil.

Jointly owned by Setra and Preem, Pyrocell was formed in 2018 based on the business concept of producing bio-oil from sawdust. Production at the groundbreaking plant – Sweden’s first pyrolysis oil plant for biofuels – is now underway.

“It’s brilliant that we have built a brand new factory from scratch and it’s now up and running. We have produced the first oil and we’re very proud of the plant,” says Anders Wigstein, Production Manager at Pyrocell.

Pyrocell’s plant is located at Setra Kastet sawmill in Gävle on Sweden’s Baltic coast. It converts sawdust, a residual product in Setra’s industrial process, into non-fossil pyrolysis oil. The pyrolysis oil is then processed further to make renewable diesel and petrol at Preem’s refinery in Lysekil.

“Pyrocell is a unique industrial initiative that enables a sustainable value chain from forest to tank. We replace fossil oil and contribute to an increased share of renewables in fuels, producing lower carbon dioxide emissions,” says Pontus Friberg, Executive Chairman of Pyrocell.

The plant will produce around 25,000 tonnes of non-fossil pyrolysis oil per year, equivalent to the annual fuel consumption of about 17,000 cars.

For further information, please contact:
Pontus Friberg, Chairman Pyrocell, pontus.friberg@pyrocell.se, +46 70 234 1894.

Pyrocell – from idea to finished factory

  • In 2016, Setra launched a feasibility study on bio-oil production based on the rapid pyrolysis technology.
  • This concept formed the basis for the application to the Government’s Klimatklivet initiative that was submitted in spring 2017. In early summer, it was announced that the plant had been granted SEK 117 million in investment aid.
  • An environmental permit was gained in 2018.
  • In 2018, the company Pyrocell was formed, jointly owned by Setra and Preem. The company’s business concept is to produce bio-oil from sawdust.
  • Setra’s and Preem’s boards decided to invest in the pyrolysis plant in Gävle in 2019.
  • In the summer of 2019, the construction project was manned and procurement of pyrolysis plant and sawdust handling systems started.
  • The first ground was broken on 23 March,  2020.
  • Production started on 2 September, 2021.

About pyrolysis

Pyrolysis is a process in which a substance is rapidly heated to a high temperature so that the solid material is vaporised and can be condensed into a liquid. Pyrolysis enables waste products from the forest, such as branches, roots, tops and sawdust, to be turned into oil, which can then be refined into renewable petrol and diesel

About biofuels

In 2018, a total of around 9.5 million cubic metres of fuel was sold in Sweden, of which approximately 1.9 million was biofuel, according to the Swedish Petroleum and Biofuels Institute (SPBI). Around 15 percent of all biofuel was produced in Sweden, with the rest being imported from other countries

About Pyrocell

Founded in August 2018, Pyrocell is jointly owned by Setra and Preem. The company’s business concept is to produce bio-oil from sawdust. Setra has the raw material, sawdust, while Preem has refineries and filling stations. The pyrolysis oil plant at Setra’s sawmill in Kastet outside Gävle creates a strong new value chain for renewable fuels, from forest to fuel tank.

Read more at pyrocell.se

https://news.cision.com/setra-group/r/pyrocell-has-started-production,c3420250

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by Dr. Radut