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GreenFirst Completes Acquisition of Rayonier Forest and Paper Product Asset

International Forest Industries - Tue, 31/08/2021 - 14:59

VANCOUVER, BC, August 30, 2021 – GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. (TSXV: GFP) (“GreenFirst” or the “Purchaser”) has announced that on August 28, 2021 it closed the previously announced purchase of a portfolio of forest and paper product assets (the “Purchased Assets”) from Rayonier A.M. Canada G.P. (“RYAM GP”), Rayonier A.M. Canada Industries Inc. (“RYAM Industries”) and Rayonier A.M. Canada Enterprises Inc. (collectively with RYAM GP and RYAM Industries, “RYAM”), each a subsidiary of Rayonier Advanced Materials Inc. (NYSE: RYAM).

GreenFirst acquired the Purchased Assets for an aggregate purchase price of approximately US$234 million (the “Purchase Price”) which was comprised of a base amount of US$140 million plus approximately US$87.5 million which reflected the value of the inventory on-hand at the time of closing (the “Closing”) and other adjustments. Approximately US$193 million of the Purchase Price was paid in cash (the “Cash Purchase Price”), approximately US$34 million was paid in common shares in the capital of GreenFirst (each a “Common Share”) and C$7.9 million was paid through the issuance of a chip offset credit note (the “Set-off Note”).

Strategic Benefits to GreenFirst

The acquisition of the Purchased Assets establishes GreenFirst as a significant player in the Canadian forest products industry. The Purchased Assets include six lumber mills which are located in Chapleau, Cochrane, Hearst and Kapuskasing in Ontario and in Béarn and La Sarre in Québec as well as one newsprint mill located in Kapuskasing, Ontario. The Purchased Assets have an annual production capacity of 755 MMFbm and are capable of producing a wide range of forest products used in residential and commercial construction, including SPF lumber, wood chips and by-products. The newsprint mill has an annual production capacity of 205,000 MT/year. Collectively, the Purchased Assets rank as a top ten producer of lumber in Canada, based on recent publicly available industry rankings.

GreenFirst believes that there are significant operational efficiencies to be gained by optimizing operations and making capital investments, in the future, in the Purchased Assets. The Purchased Assets also include the rights to access approximately 3.29 million m3 of guaranteed fiber supply in Ontario and Québec and include a twenty year chip supply agreement with RYAM (the “Chip Purchase Agreement”) and established chip supply agreements which will provide steady support and demand for the chips produced by the lumber operations.

Management Commentary

“We are excited to announce the closing of this transaction and to begin working to invest in and optimize the lumber mills,” said Rick Doman, Chief Executive Officer of GreenFirst. “Our experienced management team has developed a plan which we believe will allow us to significantly reduce cash costs and potentially increase lumber capacity. We also intend to make improvements to the mills’ management structure, sales processes and supply chains which we expect will generate meaningful operational improvements.”

Paul Rivett, Chairman of GreenFirst, commented that “The closing of this transaction is a significant milestone for GreenFirst representing the culmination of a year of hard work and tremendous effort by all those involved. GreenFirst is now well capitalized to begin the first chapter of its plan to become a premier lumber producer in North America. We would also like to thank our financial partners, Senvest and Blue Torch, and our external advisors, KPMG, Norton Rose Fulbright, NordStar Capital and RBC, for supporting us in this transformative acquisition”

Sustainability Commitment

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) is central to everything GreenFirst does.

GreenFirst makes environmental stewardship a priority through leading sustainable forest management practices, while promoting energy efficiency and carbon reduction through the production of lumber. GreenFirst is also committed to sustainable forest management and to maximizing biodiversity and forest health as part of its operations. GreenFirst’s operations are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) (FSC-C167905)..

Mr. Doman added, “GreenFirst is focused on being a responsible steward of forests and on playing a positive role in the communities that we operate in, through our commitments to sustainability and inclusivity.”

Asset Purchase Agreement

The Common Shares issued to RYAM GP pursuant to the transaction are subject to a four month hold period in accordance with applicable Canadian securities laws. RYAM GP has agreed not to sell its Common Shares for a period of six months following the Closing.

The Set-off Note issued pursuant to the transaction is non-interest bearing and has a principal amount of C$7.9 million. The principal amount is payable in five equal annual installments on the anniversary of the Closing and GreenFirst may elect to set-off the principal amount of the Set-off Note against amounts owing by RYAM under the Chip Purchase Agreement.

Conversion of Subscription Receipts

On July 30, 2021, the Company completed its offering of rights and issued 111,665,880 subscription receipts (the “Subscription Receipts”) at an exercise price of C$1.50 per right for gross proceeds of C$167,498,820. In connection with the Closing, the Company delivered the release notice to Computershare Trust Company of Canada constituting confirmation of the satisfaction or waiver of all of the conditions to the completion of the transactions. As a result, each Subscription Receipt was automatically exchanged, without payment of additional consideration or further action by the holders thereof, for one Common Share on the Closing. The gross proceeds of the offering of rights less the expenses and costs relating to the offering of rights, and all interest thereon, was released to the Company with a portion directed to RYAM to pay a portion of the Purchase Price.

Following the exchange of the Subscription Receipts for Common Shares and the issuance of 28,684,433 Common Shares to RYAM G.P., GreenFirst has a total of 177,737,061 Common Shares issued and outstanding (or 209,489,679 on a fully-diluted basis, assuming the exercise of all outstanding options, warrants and other convertible, exchangeable or exercisable securities).

This press release is not an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy Common Shares or other securities of GreenFirst. Such securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements.

Debt Financing

Concurrently with the Closing, a wholly owned subsidiary of GreenFirst (the “Borrower”) entered into a financing agreement among the subsidiary, as borrower, GreenFirst and its subsidiaries as guarantors, Blue Torch Finance LLC, as administrative agent and collateral agent and the lenders party thereto, pursuant to which the lenders made available to the Borrower a term loan in an aggregate principal amount of US$100 million. On Closing, the Borrower drew down the full amount of the senior secured term credit facility, less fees and expenses, to pay a portion of the Cash Purchase Price and certain related expenses.

The Borrower also entered into a credit agreement, among the Borrower and Lumber Assets Holdings LP, as borrowers, GreenFirst and its subsidiaries as guarantors, Royal Bank of Canada (“RBC”), as administrative agent and collateral agent, and the lenders from time to time party thereto. on Closing pursuant to which the lenders made available to the borrowers a senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility in the aggregate principal amount of C$65 million. The proceeds of the revolving credit facility are expected to be used to provide working capital, for capital expenditures and permitted investments and acquisitions from time to time and for other general corporate purposes (including the payment of fees and expenses related to the acquisition).

About GreenFirst

GreenFirst is a forest-first business, focused on environmentally sustainable forest management and lumber production. We believe that sustainable forest planting and harvesting, coupled with the long-term green advantage of lumber, provide GreenFirst with significant cyclical and secular advantages in building products. GreenFirst’s long-term pursuit is to be a global leader in environmentally sustainable lumber. For more information, please visit: www.gffp.ca.


Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP acted as legal counsel to GreenFirst, RBC Capital Markets acted as financial advisor to GreenFirst, NordStar Capital acted as transaction advisor to GreenFirst and KPMG Transaction Services provided due diligence assistance to GreenFirst.

For further information: Larry G. Swets, Jr., 630-824-8199

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Södra’s green investment continues – with switch to recycled material in packaging

International Forest Industries - Tue, 31/08/2021 - 10:44

Södra’s investment in circularity continues. Through a new partnership with Swedish company Trioworld, Södra’s timber packaging will now contain 30 percent recycled plastic, which will reduce annual emissions from the packaging by around 23 percent.

“With the new packaging, we are ensuring high-quality deliveries for our customers, while also taking an additional step towards a more circular business model with lower emissions. This is a trend we will continue to pursue. On the challenges with sustainability, there is no finish line to pass and we are constantly working to be the market leader and develop our processes. This will help Södra and our customers contribute to a sustainable climate transition,” said Andreas Jonasson, Sales & Marketing Director at Södra Wood.

Reduce emissions by 23 percent

The new timber packaging is called Trioworld Loop and will be used for all Södra’s timber deliveries – both domestic and exported. The material contains at least 30 percent Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) Plastics. As a result, Södra expects to cut its emissions by nearly 385 tonnes of CO₂ equivalents per year, corresponding to 23 percent of annual emissions from the packaging.

Södra is first to offer timber packaging with PCR plastic in larger scale. The development is in line with Södra’s targets for reducing its emissions and building a climate-positive business.

“Trioworld believes in long-term partnerships. When developing sustainable solutions for tomorrow, ambitious partners such as Södra are a key lever for minimising the environmental impact of packaging without compromising on transport safety or the protection of the timber. Our solution with 30 percent post-consumer recycled content will significantly reduce the environmental impact of the packaging – and that’s just the beginning of sustainable packaging for the forest industry from Trioworld,” said Adam Fransson, Senior Account Manager, Trioworld.

Södra’s timber products will be delivered with the new Trioworld Loop packaging from September.

For more information, please contact:

Andreas Jonasson, Sales & Marketing Director, Södra Wood
E-mail: andreas.jonasson@sodra.com
Tel: +46 (0)470-892 77

Adam Fransson, Senior Account Manager, Trioworld
E-mail: Adam.Fransson@trioworld.com
Tel: +46 (0)76 130 3106

Casper Danielsson, Press Officer, Södra
E-mail: casper.danielsson@sodra.com
Tel: +46 (0)470 890 90

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Woodgrain Inc. to create 100 new jobs in Grayson County, Smyth County

International Forest Industries - Fri, 27/08/2021 - 13:34
Woodgrain Inc., a manufacturer of wood moulding and trim, will invest nearly $9 million to expand its operations in Smyth County and invest more than $8 million to purchase and expand the former Independence Lumber sawmill in Grayson County reports Augusta Free Press.

These projects will create 100 new jobs, save 80 existing jobs, and increase purchases of Virginia-grown forest products.

“Forestry is the Commonwealth’s third-largest private industry, supporting more than 107,000 jobs in our rural communities and providing an economic impact of $21 billion annually,” Gov. Ralph Northam said. “Woodgrain continues to bring welcomed employment opportunities and capital investment to Southwest Virginia, supporting my administration’s goal to bring economic vitality to all corners of the Commonwealth. I’m thankful to Woodgrain for their commitment to Virginia forest products and look forward to continued partnership in the future.”

These two projects will lead to the creation of 100 new jobs in the region and will save 80 jobs at Independence Lumber, which is Grayson County’s largest private employer. When the sawmill upgrades in Grayson County are complete, it will become the primary supplier for the company’s Smyth County operation.

This will allow Woodgrain to source 90 percent of its new forest products needs from the Commonwealth, leading to the purchase of an additional nine million board feet of Virginia-grown forest products over the next three years.

Woodgrain, a family-owned business based in Idaho, is one of the largest millwork companies in the world. They produce and distribute high-quality lumber, mouldings, doors, and windows at 27 facilities employing more than 3,500 individuals nationwide. In addition to millwork manufacturing, Woodgrain owns and manages forestlands and several sawmills in the Pacific Northwest.

The dimensional sawmill in Grayson County will be the company’s first sawmill on the East Coast. Woodgrain plans to retain the sawmill’s existing employees and create 20 new jobs at the facility. In Smyth County, Woodgrain will improve its existing manufacturing facility and expand into another building, creating 80 new jobs and increasing that facility’s purchases of Virginia-grown forest products by nearly 20 percent.

“New and expanding markets for Virginia forest products are vital to the sustainable management of the Commonwealth’s 16 million acres of forestland,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring. “These major expansions by Woodgrain will not only retain and create new high-paying jobs in Southwest Virginia, but also expand important market opportunities for our landowners, leading to a healthier forest resource.”

“For nearly thirty years, Woodgrain has been a valued contributor to the Commonwealth’s forest products industry,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “The company’s additional investment in Southwest Virginia reflects the strength of Virginia’s workforce and favorable business environment, two of the many reasons why the Commonwealth was just named America’s Top State for Business by CNBC. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with Woodgrain.”

“We are excited about expanding our operations and furthering our commitment to Southwest Virginia,” said Woodgrain Eastern Region Millwork Manager Robb Hitch. “We believe this will have a significant, positive impact on the local economy and allow us to further leverage our vertical integration by supplying lumber to our millwork location in Smyth County and throughout the Southwest. It’s a win-win situation that will allow us to continue to provide best-in-class service and product.”

“We are very pleased to see this sawmill continue to grow and thrive in Grayson County,” said Grayson County Administrator William L. Shepley. “We look forward to working with Woodgrain and to the growth of employment opportunities for our citizens.”

“Independence Lumber has been a good partner with Grayson County for many years,” said Grayson County Board of Supervisors Chair Kenneth R. Belton. “And we welcome Woodgrain for many years to come.”

“Woodgrain’s continued investment at their Atkins facility shows how much they believe in their employees and our community as a whole,” said Smyth County Administrator Shawn Utt. “We want the company to know how much we believe in them, as well, and appreciate those investments. They have long served our County as a prime employer, and we look forward to many more years of progress and growth.”

“The Board of Supervisors are thrilled Woodgrain continues to show faith in Smyth County,” said Smyth County Board of Supervisors Chair Charles Atkins. “With Woodgrain’s expansion bringing 80 new jobs to our area, it will continue to support our citizens and grow our County. We look forward to continuing to work with such a strong employer in our community and wish them a long future of success.”

“Virginia’s Industrial Advancement Alliance is extremely excited to help finalize both expansions of Woodgrain Millwork in Grayson and Smyth Counties,” said Virginia’s Industrial Advancement Alliance Executive Director Josh Lewis. “These expansions will strengthen the supply chain in the region. Congratulations to Grayson County, Smyth County, VIAA Business Retention and Expansion staff, Virginia Economic Development Partnership project managers, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Tobacco Commission for helping deliver another big win for the region.”

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia Economic Development Partnership, and Virginia’s Industrial Advancement Alliance worked with Grayson and Smyth Counties to secure the project for the Commonwealth.

Northam approved $350,000 in awards from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development program to secure these projects for the Commonwealth. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

“This is an exciting day for Southwest Virginia,” said Tobacco Commission member Sandy Ratliff. “Woodgrain is an industry leader, and I am pleased that the Tobacco Commission was able to support their expansion in Smyth County that will bring new jobs and millions of dollars of investment to our region. I wish Woodgrain the best as they get their project underway, and I know they will continue to find success here in Southwest Virginia for many years to come.”

“Southwest Virginia is a great place to live, work, and raise a family because of companies like Woodgrain,” said State Sen. Todd Pillion. “This investment demonstrates a special commitment to the region that will add value to Virginia’s forestry industry while saving existing jobs and creating new opportunities. The local economy and entire community will benefit from this exciting expansion.”

“This investment by Woodgrain in Grayson County will have a tremendous impact on the County and all of Southwest Virginia,” said Del. Israel O’Quinn. “Independence Lumber has been a wonderful business partner in our area, and this purchase by Woodgrain will ensure that it provides more great jobs and economic benefit for our region.”

“I am pleased to take part in the announcement of Woodgrain’s second expansion in five years here in Smyth County,” said Del. Jeffrey Campbell. “Woodgrain has been an integral part of this community for many years, and is poised to continue to grow and prosper. The addition of 80 new jobs with this investment is welcomed as our economy continues to recover from the effects of the pandemic and I am truly thankful for the men and women who have worked very hard, every day, at Woodgrain to make this into reality.”

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Segezha Group increases pellet production and exports to Europe

International Forest Industries - Fri, 27/08/2021 - 13:17

Segezha Group PJSC (‘Segezha Group’ or the ‘Company’, MOEX: SGZH), a Sistema company and one of Russia’s leading vertically integrated timber holding companies with a full cycle of logging and deep wood processing, has reported increased pellet production and export to EU countries.

In the first half of 2021, KsyloTech-Siberia, the Company’s pellet asset in Krasnoyarsk Krai at the Lesosibirsk Sawmills and Woodworking Plant (LLDK No. 1), produced 43,400 tons of pellets, a 17% year-on-year increase. Between January and June 2021, 40,200 tons of pellets were shipped to Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK and France from the port of St. Petersburg. In comparison, in 1H 2020, the total volume shipped amounted to 36,400 tons. Pellets are exported in 20-foot-long containers and transported to New Port station (St. Petersburg) by container trains holding a minimum of 114 containers each (an average of three-four trains per month). From there, they are transported to ships en route to destination countries.

“Denmark, the UK and the Netherlands remain our core long-term consumers in Europe. There is also a demand for Siberian biofuel in France, Ireland, Sweden and Finland. In 2020, EU pellet exports amounted to almost 90,000 tons, and in 2021, we plan to further increase this volume”, said Julia Shevlyakova, Sales Director at LLDK No. 1.

The Lesosibirsk plant uses sawdust and fine chips, the by-products of coniferous sawn timber production, as raw material to produce pellets. Product quality complies with the rigorous SBP and ENPlus A1 European standards. Driven by the increase in biofuel orders and enabled by a third processing line commissioned in 2020, KsyloTech-Siberia has increased its production output from 70,000 to 110,500 tons. In 2023 the Company plans to build a second pellet plant with a 100,000-tonne capacity. With the opening of yet another pellet production unit, the Company will boost its product portfolio margins and increase environmentally friendly outputs.

Biofuel is an important focus of Segezha Group’s environmental policy. Fuel pellets are produced under high pressure without the use of chemical binding agents. Pellets are a green renewable energy source. Their heating efficiency is comparable to that of hard coal. At the same time, pellets emit less sulfide when combusted. Boiler conversion to biofuel facilitates reduced GHG emissions and improves environmental conditions.

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Segezha Group increases production of premium plywood

International Forest Industries - Fri, 27/08/2021 - 12:35

Segezha Group, (“Segezha Group” or “the Company”, MOEX:SGZH, a Sistema Company), a leading Russian vertically integrated holding company in the forest industry performing a full cycle of operations from logging to advanced wood processing, produced almost 98,000 m³ of plywood in the first half of 2021 at its Vyatka Plywood Mill, up 2,000 m³ YoY. The premium birch plywood segment saw the highest increase in production volumes – up 38% to 7,500 m³.

Within this segment, a new addition to the Segezha ClearPly product range demonstrated the most significant production growth – laminated plywood offered in two coating options: transparent and semi-transparent. The second option features a hint of opal white guaranteed to brighten any interior. This product was developed and launched in 2019. In 1H 2021, Vyatka Plywood increased its production of laminated plywood by a factor of 11.6 YoY.

Segezha ClearPly’s protective film will neither blister nor flake, deform when drilled or cut, nor change colour when exposed to moisture or sunlight. ClearPly can be used to make furniture or wall plates without needing any additional treatment. Distinguished by its enhanced durability, the product is not only ideal for interior finishing but also for outdoor solutions, be it external cladding, or decorating a street café, recreational area, or children’s playground.

The company supplies its high-quality plywood to Russia, Europe, Asia and the United States, while sales in China, India, Japan and South Korea are growing. The company exports nearly 80% of its products. The mill is equipped to produce 193,000 m³ of plywood.

Large-size sheet plywood is ideal for use in construction, furniture making, the automotive and shipbuilding industries, and as a flooring or decking material. Birch plywood also performs excellently as a finishing material, thanks to its moisture resistance nature, durability, lightness, and resistance to abrasion and rot.

Alexey Stepanov, Vice President of Segezha Group, Plywood and Panels: “Vyatka Plywood Mill aims to increase the production of premium plywood products, making quality assurance its top priority across the entire production process, from raw birchwood to finished products. Before plywood is shipped to customers, it undergoes ultrasound scanning using state-of-the-art equipment, as well as sheet-by-sheet surface quality control. We value the reputation Vyatka Plywood’s products have earned and approach every order with the utmost attention to detail.”

In addition to the ClearPly product line, Vyatka Plywood Mill also produces Segezha Creative (laminated plywood with tinted film coatings), Segezha Art (paint-ready plywood with no priming needed), Segezha PlyForm (improved plywood for decking applications) and Segezha Anthracite (plywood for flooring in light commercial vehicles).

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Ponsse manufactures its 17,000th forest machine, the Ponsse Elk

International Forest Industries - Fri, 27/08/2021 - 11:37

The 17,000th PONSSE forest machine has rolled off the production line in Vieremä. The milestone machine, a PONSSE Elk built in mid-August, will start its career in the sure hands of Kuusmoto Oy.  

“It is a special privilege to hand over the 17,000th PONSSE machine to the Finnish Kuusmoto Oy. I wish to thank Kuusmoto for their trust and fantastic cooperation as we continue our journey together,” says Sales, Service and Marketing Director Marko Mattila.

Founded in 2014 and hailing from Posio in Finland, Kuusmoto Oy currently employs 17 people. They operate in seven municipalities in Finnish Lapland. The company has a total of nine PONSSE machines.

“We are happy to receive this excellent machine and its plaque. Our current plan is to put the birthday boy to work in Posio or Ranua. It will be a fine addition to our fleet,” says Tomi Kuusela, managing director of Kuusmoto Oy. 

PONSSE Elk – compact and agile

The PONSSE Elk is a smaller midsize machine, a highly versatile size class. The Elk is an excellent choice when you need an economical but powerful workhorse for thinning-oriented harvesting. Its compact design makes the Elk very agile, while its components, shared with larger machines, make it a powerful and durable tool with a first-rate load carrying capacity. The responsive engine, impressive torque and sturdy loader make working comfortable, especially when the operator can enjoy the most spacious cabin on the market, including ergonomic controls.

Introduced into production in 2005, Ponsse has manufactured a total of 947 PONSSE Elk forwarders and delivered them to over 20 countries.

Milestone machine completed in challenging circumstances

Ponsse’s 17,000th forest machine was built to completion at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, plagued by global challenges in component availability and delivery. The company’s operations and growth have continued with success in spite of the exceptional circumstances. The Ponsse way has always been to work together, which is a great boon in difficult times and operating environments.

Starting as the dream of Einari Vidgrén, Ponsse is a family-owned business that now operates in the harvesting markets of over 40 countries. All PONSSE forest machines are still made in Vieremä in Finland. Environmentally friendly harvesting and customer-driven R&D are strongly emphasised in Ponsse’s business.

Contact : Marko Mattila, Sales, Marketing and Service Director, Ponsse Plc, +358 400 596 297, marko.mattila@ponsse.com

Ponsse Sales, Service and Marketing Director Marko Mattila

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Weyerhaeuser appoints Travis Keatley as SVP of Timberlands

International Forest Industries - Fri, 27/08/2021 - 11:06

Weyerhaeuser Company appoints Travis Keatley as senior vice president (SVP) of Timberlands, effective September 13, 2021. Keatley has served as vice president of Western Timberlands for the company since January 2020, and his appointment follows the planned retirement of Adrian Blocker, who will stay on through mid-October to serve as a senior advisor and aid in the transition.

Travis Keatley joined Weyerhaeuser in 2000. He has since held a variety of operations and leadership positions, including serving as vice president of Southern Timberlands prior to his current role leading Western Timberlands, and among other key projects he led the successful integration of our Longview Timber acquisition in 2013.

Weyerhaeuser Company, one of the world’s largest private owners of timberlands, began operations in 1900. The Company owns or controls approximately 11 million acres of timberlands in the U.S. and manage additional timberlands under long-term licenses in Canada.

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Ponsse Offers Innovative Solutions For Working On Slopes

International Forest Industries - Tue, 24/08/2021 - 11:04

Ponsse’s Cut-to-Length forest machines have proved an excellent solution for harvesting on steep slopes. An environmentally friendly solution is in high demand due to more work being done on steep slopes as the number of tree plantations increases globally.

At the autumns first Ponsse Studio live-event they will share more information about their solutions for safety work at the areas where ground shapes and slope steepness vary.

The most important solution for harvesting at steep slopes is PONSSE Synchrowinch, which enables the forest machine to work with high productivity in an environmentally friendly and safe manner, even in difficult conditions.

English language live-event will take place 25 August at 10:00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m. (EEST)

  • The event at 10:00 a.m. is subtitled in German and Russian
  • The event at 6:00 p.m. is subtitled in Spanish and Portuguese


Welcome – book your seat now!

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NZ – A Logs Export Explainer

International Forest Industries - Fri, 20/08/2021 - 12:25

(Lucy Craymer, Stuff) – Millions of cubic metres of logs leave our shores every year – all while we remain desperately short of timber. If you want to build a house in New Zealand, you’ll likely want timber. But in a country that cuts down around 40,000 hectares of trees, there is a shortage of the stuff. National Correspondent Lucy Craymer explains why trade is affecting our ability to produce structural timber.

Builders are struggling to get hold of basic building materials and there are warnings that prices – already high – could rise as much as 35 per cent this year. It’s an ugly forecast for builders charged with tackling a chronic shortage of housing. And it is not easily fixed without the government doing a U-turn on the country’s entrenched devotion to free trade.

The problem has its roots more than 10,000km away in Chinese provinces like Shandong and Hebei, known for wood processing – and also in a trade agreement that has heralded significant benefits to our economy while at the same time undermining the country’s wood manufacturing sector over the course of a decade.

Why does so much timber go to China? – Simply, they are able to pay more. But there is more to the answer than just pure supply and demand. Let’s start with the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which New Zealand and China signed in 2008. This got rid of import taxes on New Zealand logs going to China but did not eliminate those on other wood products New Zealand produces such as plywood (tariffs on many of these will be eliminated when an upgrade to the FTA takes effect).

In short, this means it can be more economical for China to buy logs from New Zealand than other wood products. It also means New Zealand logs are comparatively attractive to logs from countries without FTAs with China. This demand has resulted in higher prices for New Zealand logs.

And Chinese buyers can pay more for these logs even though they have to ship them all the way to China for a few reasons, including that the manufacturing sector in China receives some subsidies. A recent investigation by Canadian authorities into Chinese decorative wood moulding listed possible subsidies that manufacturing companies in China can receive, including: export market grants, significant reductions in corporate tax and other preferential tax policies and rent reductions.

Tava Olsen, a professor at the University of Auckland who specialises in supply chains, adds China’s processors also benefit from being larger and having fewer environmental restrictions such as the chemicals they use and how they dispose of them. She says it’s also easier to ship logs than higher value products that would require more care to prevent damage.

The premium that Chinese buyers are often willing to pay has been a boon for forestry owners – many of whom are not New Zealanders but foreign corporations that have invested in land here. A 2019 report for the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment found that forest owners were selling logs to local sawmills at the same price as they could get when they exported them. “Effectively, Chinese log buyers are setting the market price for New Zealand sawmills,” it argues.


Source: Stuff

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Tasmania Forestry Hub appoints new GM

International Forest Industries - Fri, 20/08/2021 - 11:45

After more than 25 years’ working in domestic and international forestry and agriculture sectors, the Tasmania Regional Forestry Hub’s new general manager will soon return to his home state where he hopes to make a tangible difference to the growth and standing of the local forest and forest products industry.

Simon Talbot—who hails from six generations of Tasmanian farmers and foresters—will commence his new role in mid-September, following an interstate move from Victoria where he currently holds the position of Executive Director for the state’s largest land manager, Parks Victoria/DELWP.

“My career began in Tasmanian working in silviculture, forestry and paper sectors and has let to opportunities directing agricultural policy and associated plantation investments across Asia Pacific, for the world’s second largest food company, Kraft/Cadbury,” Mr Talbot said. Despite living and working outside the state for many years, Mr Talbot said Tasmania has always remained ‘home’.

“I have family and friends in sawmilling and harvesting operations in Tassie and believe I have a thorough knowledge of Tasmania’s forestry sector from more than seven years working across in the pulp and paper industry in the state’s north-west, as well as active investments in plantations and promotion of specialty timbers.

“I believe we are on the cusp of a golden age, for the industry and Tasmania in general, and I want to be a part of helping showcase what is being achieved, to support innovation and new developments, a revitalised supply chain, help create a pipeline of talent and achieve the right patient investment models.”

A federal initiative, the Tasmania Hub’s vision is to grow a sustainable, innovative forest industry that supports Tasmania’s community and economy into the future and is supported by the community by focusing on four strategic priorities: climate and carbon policy, workforce skills and training, resource and land access, and supply chain and infrastructure.

Tasmanian Forests and Forest Products Network Convenor, Therese Taylor said in recruiting its new GM, the Hub was looking for someone who could work with industry to implement a roadmap addressing the sector’s identified priority areas which focus on strategic actions that encourage the planting of new trees and foster an innovative and forward-looking industry.

“Simon will be a great asset to the Hub’s work. He has a proven track record working with a range of stakeholders on complex and significant projects and in this new role, will work with the industry across the state to develop agreed pathways forward to advance opportunities for progress and growth of the forest industry into the future,” Ms Taylor said.

Mr Talbot and his family will relocate permanently to their recently renovated farmhouse in northern Tasmania next month.

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Sustainable bioproducts in concrete?

International Forest Industries - Fri, 20/08/2021 - 10:59

There’s no end in sight to the worldwide interest in sustainable bio-based materials. Their role towards a global and sustainable bioeconomy is crucial. Integrating local bio-sourced products in concrete applications has specifically been a growing interest for the Canadian government and industry.

In its efforts to introduce forest-based biomaterials to new markets, FPInnovations developed expertise in concrete over the past few years and has been working with the concrete industry towards the use of innovative bioproducts in concrete applications. The concrete industry has been praised for its efforts in seeking innovative products to continuously improve its material properties, to reduce its carbon footprint, and to compensate for depletion of suitable raw material sources.

Global market trend

The use of cellulosic bioproducts in concrete has specifically been gaining momentum in recent years, which has led to the emergence of new products across global markets such as Cellulose Filaments (CF).

“Cellulosic bioproducts hold unique characteristics and properties that make it stand out as a major player in the bioproducts market and that make it a great addition to concrete applications”, says Frédéric Lory, Project Leader at FPInnovations. When derived from sustainably-managed forests such as Canada’s, cellulosic bioproducts can be renewable and can reduce carbon emissions of the concrete industry through carbon storage and through reduced greenhouse gas emissions. They are also readily available in volume since they are a byproduct of other forest operations processes, and are easy to handle and transport in large quantities.

Research conducted by FPInnovations and other research groups has found that adding cellulosic bioproducts such as CF as an additive in concrete can be beneficial in many ways:

  • Improves the service life of concrete structures (stability at fresh state and freezing/thawing durability)
  • Reduces maintenance costs (better durability and longevity of structures)
  • Economically competitive, compared to other types of concrete additives
FPInnovations’ in-house concrete lab Measurement of the air content of fresh concrete.

To develop and enhance its expertise in concrete, FPInnovations built a remarkable in-house concrete laboratory over the span of 3 years.

Since its creation, the in-house concrete lab has received widespread recognition and praise from concrete industry players. Here’s why:

  • The lab has testing stations for the entire life cycle of concrete: from the first few minutes of its fabrication when mixed, all the way to its end of life.
  • The lab has highly specialized equipment (including calorimeter, dynamic mechanical analyzer (DMA), and cement paste rheometer), that are not readily available at standard laboratories.
  • The lab has  access to other equipment and expertise developed at FPInnovations over many years.


Storage of concrete cylinder in lime saturated bath.

The lab offers an agile environment for the development of bio-sourced products within the context of concrete production. The synergy between the concrete and the bioproducts laboratories and expertise at FPInnovations opens the door for future collaborations and allows for exciting new ventures. The lab is in constant evolution and is continuously being upgraded and fine-tuned.

Flow table test for mortar mix.

“Unique within North America, the concrete lab has been a major stepping stone towards the development of new and innovative bioproducts for concrete applications that are market-ready”, adds Lory. In fact, new scientific breakthroughs in CF in concrete research are leading to major and exciting advancements in the field.

Long history with CF

FPInnovations has been at the forefront of CF research with scientists in laboratories in Montreal, Quebec and Vancouver, British Columbia. Researchers continue working towards improving the functionality of CF, and have taken it out of the lab and into production. In fact, FPInnovations’ CF production technology has been commercialized twice: in 2014 in collaboration with Kruger Biomaterials, and again in 2020 in collaboration with Resolute Forest Products.

FPInnovations: a bridge between industries

FPInnovations holds a unique position as the bridge between the forestry and the concrete industries: It has expertise in bioproducts, newly-acquired expertise in concrete, as well as a complete understanding of supply and production chains.

Cement paste prism for shrinkage measurement containing cellulose fibre.

FPInnovations’ position also allows it to offer a complete and dynamic solution:  its research professionals are able to not just test cellulosic bioproducts in concrete applications, but also modify, improve, and adapt the integration approach based on the specific needs. The constant communication and collaboration between FPInnovations and its various partners also ensure faster product innovation and market-readiness.

What’s next?

Well, it’s a beehive!

Scientific research is advancing fast, and FPInnovations is actively pursuing industrial solutions in response to new global economic, environmental, and societal needs. FPInnovations is focusing its efforts on creating a comprehensive strategy for the development of bio-sourced products in concrete applications.

FPInnovations latest research findings are opening the doors to new and exciting opportunities, so stay tuned! For more information, contact Frédéric Lory, Project Leader at FPInnovations.

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Envico Technologies NZ – Seed-dropping drone being trialed

International Forest Industries - Fri, 20/08/2021 - 10:00

A New Zealand team hopes a drone dropping thousands of seeds over the Hūnua ranges could provide a boost to native reforestation efforts. RNZ reporter Louise Ternouth and cameraman Nick Monro were there for its launch.

If the trial works, the drone-testing team say New Zealand could be progressing on the government’s ambitious goal of 1 billion trees planted by 2028 years earlier than expected. For the last three years native trees have been slowly planted by hand in the former pine forest in the Hūnua Ranges.

It is one of the biggest reforestation projects in New Zealand -and the drone method could be a game changer. In a trial, five thousand of the specially made ‘seed pods’, or seed bombs, were loaded into the drone at a time, then scattered over a one-acre testing section from the air.

Sam Vye from drone firm Envico Technologies said the method was much better than planting by hand. “The traditional methods of going around and planting a seedling every square metre is great but it’s slow, and the New Zealand landscape is pretty steep terrain so any method that we can do by air that improves the speed, improves the efficiency and reduces the cost.”

Dropping seeds alone had little success – so the team adapted a popular method for encasing seeds in a ball of organic matter to help them germinate and get established, known as a seed bomb, and have called their version a ‘seed pod’. “We were getting a really poor take, real poor germination so we came up with the idea of actually encapsulating the seed within an organic mixture and putting that into a pod.”

The seeds are mixed with water, clay and compost and compressed into a small ball shape. Each one weighs about two grams, is about the size of a lolly, and contains five to six different native seeds gathered from the area. Ten drone flights could spread 50,000 of the tiny parcels in just half an hour, Vye said.

“We think, per hectare we would be under $1000 in a commercial operation.” That compared to costs of about $10,000 to 20,000 per hectare to plant by hand. It would be about three years before they know if the trial has worked, but the seeds are expected to germinate this spring.

To check out video footage of the recent trial click here.

Source: RNZ

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Data management as value-adding entity is part of Ponsse´s forestry digitalization roadmap

International Forest Industries - Wed, 18/08/2021 - 13:57

“The role of data and information in forestry has increased incrementally, and the digital transformation now being experienced is introducing an entirely new era of data-driven business. Ponsse wants to lead the development of future sustainable forestry business models.

“Technologies such as connectivity, data acquisition and management enable the development of new tools for remote machine data configuration and scalable data platforms for business development. Also new services such as fleet management, predictive maintenance and sustainability reporting are developed together with our customers.

“With increasing amounts of data and analyzing tools, we are starting to shift from data-based to data-driven solutions. This shift in data architecture enables the generation of new digital services and solutions that benefit each party in the value chain.” says Juho Leskinen, Product Group Manager, Digitalization and Information Systems

Shaping the future webinars

“At the webinar´s panel discussion Ponsse specialists shared thoughts about the future PONSSE Manager platform (web + mobile). PONSSE Manager is a key part of Ponsse digital offering portfolio, which will collect all digital services for customers in one place, accessible in a single user interface. The modularity and user friendliness of the platform are key to serve a variety of customer demands in transforming data into valuable information.

Listen the recording of the webinars and learn more
Check out also their recently published White Paper – Data and Digitalization in Logging from link below:

White Paper – Data and Digitalization in Logging release

Further information
Juho Leskinen
Ponsse Plc, Product Group Manager, Digitalization and Information Systems, juho.leskinen@ponsse.com, Tel.+358 40 5742704

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Woodsafe heads down under

International Forest Industries - Wed, 18/08/2021 - 12:47

Woodsafe Timber Protection Ltd has launched an exclusive collaboration with Australias market-leading fire protection coatings company – Fireshield, extending its reach of its specialised pressure impregnated timber processes to New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands.

The trend to build with sustainable, climate-neutral products continues to grow and demanded by architects and customers alike worldwide. With our exclusive collaboration with Fireshield, New Zealand and Australia will benefit from the innovative, environmentally-friendly and fully fire compliant Woodsafe processes.  Fireshield was founded by Per Olsson, an expert fire engineer with over 25 years global experience, to satisfy the South Pacific’s growing need for innovative, environmentally friendly, fire protection solutions. With both Woodsafe PRO and Woodsafe Exterior WFX technology in its new portfolio, Fireshield is excited to continue lead the fire protection of timber in Australasia.

More information:

Woodsafe Timber Protection AB

Thomas Bengtsson, CEO.
Thomas.bengtsson@woodsafe.com | + 46 10 206 72 31
Pressroom | https://media.woodsafe.se
Webpage | https://woodsafe.se


Per Olsson, CEO.
Per@fireshieldcoatings.com | + 64 27 439 4271
Webpage | https://fireshieldcoatings.com

Thomas Bengtsson
CEO and Fire technology support
+46 (0) 10 206 72 31

Woodsafe provides a service to the construction industry to improve wood properties against fire for interior and exterior use. For more than 30 years, Woodsafe Timber Protection has focused on becoming a leading manufacturer of fire protected wood products. Our production is ISO 9001 certified and our long-term sustainability environmental work is ISO 14001 certified. Every year, Woodsafe Timber Protection, in collaboration with our premium partners, manages more than 1000 projects using fire retardant wood products for schools, high schools, colleges, hospitals, sports arenas, public buildings, multi-storey houses and facades, transportation, prefabricated building industry etc. ALL-IN-ONE by Woodsafe is a quality chain of selected partners and sales channels that facilitates and ensures companies to take a holistic approach for the litterally vital work with fire protected wood in construction projects. Customers’ natural choice. Woodsafe a trusthworthy partner for the development of new wood types and wood components with fire-retardant properties.

Woodsafe provides a service to the construction industry to improve wood properties against fire for interior and exterior use

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ANDRITZ to supply chip storage system to Visy Pulp & Paper, Tumut mill, Australia

International Forest Industries - Wed, 18/08/2021 - 12:14

International technology Group ANDRITZ has received an order from Visy Pulp & Paper for a 243,000 m3 chip storage and handling system, including a Stacker Reclaimer RST360, for its Tumut mill in New South Wales, Australia.

The ANDRITZ 360° Stacker Reclaimer is a complete system that stores and reclaims wood chips in a continuous 360° radial configuration. It operates on a true first-in, first-out (FIFO) chip management basis, ensuring homogeneous chip supply to the digester while at the same time offering a large storage capacity. ANDRITZ has several references for RST360 Stacker Reclaimers worldwide.

The discharge rate from the RST360 is automatically controlled, with the speed of the two metering screws in the hopper being adjusted to meet the capacity requirements of the pulping process. The equalizing hopper discharge is continuously monitored with a belt scale. Added to these features, the RST360 is delivered with a dedicated bypass to feed chips directly to the discharge hopper from the infeed conveyor.

Visy Pulp & Paper is a leading, privately owned packaging and resource recovery company, with more than 120 sites across Australia, New Zealand and Thailand and trading offices across Asia, Europe and the USA.

Andritz Group

International technology group ANDRITZ offers a broad portfolio of innovative plants, equipment, systems and services for the pulp and paper industry, the hydropower sector, the metals processing and forming industry, pumps, solid/liquid separation in the municipal and industrial sectors, as well as animal feed and biomass pelleting. Plants for power generation, flue gas cleaning, recycling, and the production of nonwovens and panelboard complete the global product and service offering. Innovative products and services in the industrial digitalization sector are offered under the brand name Metris and help customers to make their plants more user-friendly, efficient and profitable. The publicly listed group has around 26,700 employees and more than 280 locations in over 40 countries.

Andritz Pulp & Paper

ANDRITZ Pulp & Paper provides equipment, systems, complete plants and services for the production of all types of pulp, paper, board and tissue. The technologies and services focus on maximum utilization of raw materials, increased production efficiency and sustainability as well as lower overall operating costs. Boilers for power generation, flue gas cleaning systems, plants for the production of nonwovens and panelboard (MDF), as well as recycling and shredding solutions for various waste materials also form a part of this business area. State-of-the-art IIoT technologies as part of Metris digitalization solutions complete the comprehensive product offering.


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Sierra Pacific Industries and Seneca Plan to Combine Complementary, Family-Owned Forest Products Businesses With Shared Values and Sustainability Focus

International Forest Industries - Wed, 11/08/2021 - 11:54

Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) and Seneca has announced that SPI plans to acquire Seneca and affiliates, combining two complementary, familyowned forest products businesses with strong historical roots on the West Coast. Founded in 1953, Seneca operates a 175,000-acre sustainably-managed tree farm, sawmills, and a biomass plant in Oregon. SPI, a leading lumber producer that manages over 2.1 million acres of timberland in California and Washington, as well as manufactures millwork, windows, and renewable energy.

The combination of two highly complementary businesses with deep expertise in forest products will result in increased efficiency and significant benefits to employees and customers. “Aaron Jones and Red Emmerson are both icons of the wood products industry. They were also friends and had a deep mutual respect for each other as industry leaders,” said Seneca CEO Todd Payne, in reference to the founders of their respective companies. “This proposed transfer makes so much more sense given the companies provide complementary products, and have shared family values and company culture.” Both SPI and Seneca have a strong focus on sustainable tree management, also managing their timberland for thriving wildlife, healthy watersheds and soils, and world-class recreation. As Payne explains, “At Seneca, we grow more than we harvest annually. We have 92% more timber on our land today than we had 25 years ago. SPI also grows more than they harvest. Under their forest management plan they expect to have more large trees on their timberlands 100 years from now than they have today.”

The companies also share a company culture that recognizes employees as their most valuable asset, values the support of the communities they operate in and serve, and gives back by being dedicated to education and administering scholarship programs.

“Seneca is known for its commitment to its people and communities, sustainable forest management, innovation in manufacturing and quality wood products,” said SPI President George Emmerson. “As a family-owned forest products company with similar values, SPI appreciates the opportunity to continue the legacy started by Aaron Jones and carried on by the Jones sisters. Seneca’s culture and operations are a natural complement to Sierra Pacific. We look forward to bringing together our shared expertise which will result in increased efficiency and benefits to employees and customers.”

The transaction is subject to continuing due diligence and customary regulatory approvals, with the sale expected to close by the end of the third quarter 2021.

About Seneca

Seneca started as a small sawmill operation founded by Aaron Jones in 1953.

Today, owners Becky Jones, Kathy Jones-McCann and Jody Jones continue the legacy of leadership and innovation in the wood products industry, overseeing a family of companies consisting of Seneca Sawmill Company which now operates four sawmills, Seneca Jones Timber Company with 175,000 acres of sustainably managed timberlands, and Seneca Sustainable Energy which has the cleanest running biomass plant in America. Two out of six of the next generation of the Jones family work at Seneca.

About Sierra Pacific Industries

Established in 1949, Sierra Pacific Industries is a third-generation, family-owned integrated forest products company based in Anderson, California. The firm owns and sustainably manages over 2.1 million acres of timberland in California and Washington and is a leading U.S. lumber producer. The company also manufactures millwork, windows, and renewable energy. In 1949, Curly and his son Red launched R.H. Emmerson and Son, building their first sawmill together in Humboldt County, California; later becoming Sierra Pacific Industries in 1969. Today, Red is joined by his sons George and Mark in running the company his daughter Carolyn Dietz oversees the Sierra Pacific Foundation, and four out of nine of the next generation of the Emmerson family are working in various roles in the company.

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John Deere Intros 330-Horsepower Option for the 853M and 853MH Machines

International Forest Industries - Wed, 11/08/2021 - 11:26

John Deere has added a 330-horsepower option for the 853M Tracked Feller Buncher and 853MH Tracked Harvester, equipped with the Dedicated Travel System.

The 10% increase in horsepower, combined with the optional Dedicated Travel System, allows for higher productivity, and enhanced overall machine efficiency.

Other key features found on the 853M and 853MH machines include a comfortable operator station with excellent visibility, ergonomically designed controls, and the fatigue-reducing Rapid Cycle System (RCS).

Looking to meet the needs of the most demanding forestry applications, John Deere now offers a 330-horsepower option for the 853M Tracked Feller Buncher and 853MH Tracked Harvester equipped with the optional Dedicated Travel System feature. The combination of the travel and horsepower options on the 853M and 853MH machines enables John Deere to deliver enhanced performance in harsh conditions.

“We know that machine performance is critical for our customers, and we strive to find new solutions that further enhance operation, even when working in challenging conditions,” said Jim O’Halloran, product marketing manager, John Deere. “This new horsepower option on the 853M and 853MH further enhances the functionality of the Dedicated Travel System, ensuring our machinery always surpasses expectations. Now, operators will have the option to further improve overall productivity and efficiency on their job site.”

The Dedicated Travel System feature provides focused hydraulic functionality for the tracks, while providing independent hydraulic power and performance to the swing, boom, and attachment functions. This hydrostatic control of the travel function increases overall machine efficiency, especially during heavy multifunctioning. The additional horsepower is fully available for additional work, adding to the increased performance and productivity of the equipment.

The horsepower update further adds to the customer-driven features found on the M-Series and MH-Series machines. The operator station was designed by loggers, for loggers, with maximum comfort in mind. Floor-to-ceiling windows maximize visibility, and ergonomically designed controls further enhance the operator experience. The Rapid Cycle System allows for low-effort joystick control of all boom functions, considerably reducing operator fatigue and increasing productivity.

To learn more about the 853M Tracked Feller Buncher and 853M Tracked Harvester, as well as the complete John Deere lineup of forestry equipment, visit www.JohnDeere.com or your local John Deere dealer.

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Australia – Pentarch Group Buys Dormit

International Forest Industries - Tue, 10/08/2021 - 11:38

The Pentarch Group has announced it has purchased the assets of Dormit Pty Ltd. Dormit operates two sawmills and associated operations located at Dandenong South and Swifts Creek in Victoria, Australia. It processes hardwood logs primarily for pallet production with final processing occurring in Dandenong.

Dormit is Australia’s largest manufacturer of wooden pallets, up to 1.2 million units per annum, supplying the majority of CHEP Australia’s pallet requirements. Pentarch will continue the supply of wooden pellets to CHEP, cementing Dormit’s 30+ year relationship with the company.

This acquisition solidifies Pentarch’s strategic commitment to invest and expand its forestry holdings. It adds to the recently announced agreement to buy Boral Limited’s hardwood and softwood business in New South Wales and compliments the greenfields sawmilling operation Pentarch is developing in Eden, NSW. A briquette plant is also under development in Eden alongside Pentarch’s existing chipping and log export operations.

Paul Heubner, CEO Pentarch Forestry said “The strategic acquisition of both Dormit and Boral Timber alongside our other developments, places the Pentarch Group in an enviable position for future growth and diversification. Late last year we also purchased the assets of a wood testing laboratory, Wood Industry Technical Services Ltd (WITS – now Pentarch Technical Services) based in Kawerau, New Zealand”.

“We are looking to invest in and provide end-to-end forestry services and we are actively seeking new opportunities across both countries”. Pentarch’s purchase of Dormit took effect from 26 July 2021.

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Fully integrated Merchandising solution from USNR

International Forest Industries - Tue, 10/08/2021 - 10:22

USNR now offers a fully integrated Merchandising solution to maximize the value and volume recovery from each stem. They have developed the largest log handling product portfolio of any supplier in order to handle the needs and designs of its customers’ log handling applications.

USNR provides a completely integrated solution based on the latest technologies, state of the art product designs, world class technology platforms, and advanced software solutions. Standard configurations include features that are unique to USNR, and more advanced than others on the market. Their experience with technology for integrating mechanical, PLC controls, and optimizing the bucking process is world beating.

The Merchandiser system is offered in lineal and transverse configurations. USNR provides everything you need to build an impressive and productive operation. Visit them at the upcoming SFPA Expo, booth #929, to learn more and see what they have developed.

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Segezha Group launches pellet production facility in Sokol

International Forest Industries - Fri, 06/08/2021 - 12:49

Segezha Group, a leading Russian vertically integrated holding company in the forest industry performing a full cycle of operations from logging to advanced wood processing (MOEX: SGZH) and part of Sistema PJSFC, is continuing the construction of a pellet production facility to turn by-products and wood waste into biofuel pellets at its Sokol Woodworking Plant. The new facility will produce 65 thousand tons of pellets annually and has received around RUB 1 billion in investment.

The production site is currently being fitted with essential equipment supplied by Hekotek, an Estonian company. The buildings’ foundations are in the final stages of construction, with electrical and sewage pipes being laid and the facility’s structure starting to be erected.

Dmitry Rudenko, Segezha Group Vice President: “Once operational, this new facility will make our site fully circular. Pellets come from deep wood processing, and are currently experiencing high demand on the global market. Once up and running, the new production line will improve product margins and help us produce a greater volume of eco-friendly products, which, in turn, will make Sokol Woodworking Plant one of the “greenest” manufacturing enterprises in Russia.”

The new facility is expected to launch this fall, with all products from the new manufacturing line fully compliant with international standards. The manufacturing process is fully automated.

Segezha Group’s only other facility for manufacturing pellets is Lesosibirsk Sawmill No.1., with an annual capacity of ca. 111 ths t. Its products are fully compliant with demanding European standards such as SBP and ENPlus A1. These pellets are made from the by-products of softwood sawn timber production, that is – sawdust and a small amount of wood chips. The fuel pellets are sold onto Russian and European consumers, and are used in automated boiler rooms that provide central heating to public buildings and private homes. Once the Sokol facility is operational, the Group’s total production capacity will increase to ca. 176 ths t per annum.

Biofuel is an important pillar of Segezha Group’s environmental protection policy. Fuel pellets are manufactured using high pressure and no chemical adhesives. They represent an environmentally friendly renewable resource, and while their calorific value is comparable to that of coal, fuel pellets emit a significantly lower volume of sulfur compounds. Making the switch to biofuel in our boiler rooms reduces greenhouse gas emissions and provides a clear environmental benefit.

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by Dr. Radut