Friday Offcuts 22 June 2012
From Australia, log pricing practices are again being questioned in Queensland and Victoria and there’s a sawmilling “good news story” – which have tended to be few and far between over the last 12 months – with the ramping up of some WA wood processing and manufacturing operations after the sale, just over a year ago, of Gunns’ Deanmill operations.
In New Zealand, like many other regions, the Gisborne area is starting to scope out improvements to their roading systems for log transport - part of NZ$60 million proposal by the New Zealand Land Transport Authority to upgrade parts of the nation’s road network to cater for larger trucks, or HPMVs (High Productivity Motor Vehicles). Both harvest optimisation and transport operations are going to be the focus for the ForestTECH 2012 series later in the year – details of which will be outlined in future issues of Offcuts.
In other news, the World Bank has just released a new report that says despite the well documented falls in carbon pricing over this last year, the value of the global carbon market actually grew 11% over 2011 to some US$176 billion. Despite these falling prices, New Zealand's carbon market value also grew threefold to US$351 million. As detailed in a story below, the very latest on carbon trading and options for forestry will be discussed by forestry and investment companies at Australasia’s Carbon Forestry 2012 event planned for Auckland on 22-23 August 2012. Registrations are now flowing in for this annual event and you can check out the programme on www.carbonforestryevents.com.
This week we have for you:
World Carbon Market $176bn in 2011The Carbon Market trading reached a record value of $176-billion in 2011, rising 11 percent spurred by secondary trading volumes which offset lower prices and slowing economies, the World Bank reported recently.
The driver appears to be companies and governments turning to emissions trading as a way of complying with climate change legislation, with the European Union by far the most active since its cap-and-trade scheme began in 2005.
Record numbers of emissions products were traded in 2011, even though prices of EU carbon permits and international offsets plumbed new depths well below 10 Euro per EUA late in the year, the bank said in its annual report on carbon markets. Worldwide emissions trading volume last year rose 17% to 10.3-billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, with permits in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) accounting for more than three quarters of the total.
The rise in volume lifted the value of the EU market to $148-billion from $134-billion in 2010, despite average EU carbon prices falling 4% year on year to 12 Euro per EUA. If EUA continue to remain below 8 Euro there will be little incentive for companies and governments to invest in low-carbon projects, a bank official told reporters.
"There is a question over whether (prices) are high enough to support new projects coming in," said Alexandre Kossoy, senior financial specialist with the World Bank's Carbon Finance Unit. He said carbon prices could rise if the EU agreed to toughen its 2020 emissions-reduction ambitions or took other policy measures to rebalance a massive potential oversupply of carbon units that is likely to last until 2020.
But front-year EUA prices are averaging under 8 Euro so far this year, as the bloc's sluggish economy dampens demand for carbon permits in a market that analysts say has a surplus well into the billions of units mostly from UN programs such as the CDM. The reality however is the oversupply remains a function of over allocation in the European scheme. This arises from the miss match of the expected emissions versus the actual emissions.
Other national and regional carbon schemes showed mixed results. New Zealand's carbon market value grew threefold to $351-million, while the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in North America was nearly halved to $249-million, the bank said. Much of the volume in the New Zealand market came from CER and the price quickly followed the EUA down with NZU quote recently by carbon match at just over $6 NZ.
The very latest on carbon trading and options for forestry will be the focus for forestry and investment companies at Australasia’s Carbon Forestry 2012 event planned for Auckland on 22-23 August 2012. Programmes have now been finalised and a copy of the Carbon Forestry 2012 programme can be viewed here.
Source: ETIG Carbon Monitor 2012
Kimberly-Clark to reduce forest fibre footprintKimberly-Clark Corporation has laid out a bold vision to significantly reduce its Forest Fibre Footprint, including a goal to transition at least 50 percent of wood fibre sourced from natural forests to alternate fibre sources by 2025. The announcement was made in conjunction with the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
In 2011, the company used nearly 750 thousand metric tons of primary wood fibre sourced from natural forests. With this new commitment, Kimberly-Clark pledges to cut the amount sourced from natural forests in half by 2025, an amount equivalent to the fibre used to manufacture over three and a half billion rolls of toilet paper. In its tradition of innovation and responsibility, the company's initiative includes exploration of alternative sources of fibre for its products.
To reduce its Forest Fibre Footprint, Kimberly-Clark is pursuing high-potential fibre alternatives. Andrex Eco bath tissue for example was launched in the United Kingdom which contains 10% bamboo and 90% recycled fibre. K-C Professional is currently test marketing tissue products which contain 20% bamboo in North America.
K-C has also recently signed a development agreement with Booshoot, a biotech firm in Washington State and the global leader in bamboo forestry. The agreement will enable further exploration into the supply chain to manufacture K-C tissue products containing bamboo using Booshoot's unique bamboo propagation technology.
"Waste" fibres that are currently discarded or considered of low value such as agricultural crop remnants that remain in the field after harvesting are also being reviewed. K-C Professional is currently test marketing tissue products made in part with alternative fibres including wheat straw in North America.
Nanotech coating keeps out water – lets in airKeeping porous building materials free from stains and water damage has gotten a little easier in the past few years. Thanks to advances in technology, we’ve seen the advent of things such as spray-on glass and anti-graffiti coatings.
Now, Spanish nanotech company TECNAN is offering a nanoparticle-based coating that repels liquid, yet still allows the underlying material to breathe.
The hydrophobic coating, known as TECNADIS, is made by suspending nanoparticles in a liquid carrier. By altering their concentration, the properties of the coating can be fine-tuned for different applications. When applied to materials such as concrete, ceramic, brick, stone or wood, TECNADIS causes any liquid subsequently applied to them to bead up and roll off instead of soaking in. It doesn’t completely seal their pores, however, so air can still pass in and out of them, minimizing moisture retention-related problems such as mould.
The coating is completely transparent, and reportedly won’t change the colour or surface texture of materials. It stands up to regular cleaning methods, along with UV light exposure, and is said to remain effective for over ten years
For further details on the story, check out the latest R&D Works Newsletter
A review of steep terrain ground-based loggingThe CRC for Forestry in Australia has released a bulletin on steep terrain harvesting. The bulletin (Number 21, January 2012) is titled “Review of new ground-based technologies for steep terrain”, and is authored by M Ghaffariyan, M Acuna and P Ackerman.
Ground-based harvesting systems potentially have lower costs than cable systems, but can also cause more environmental damage. The article examined some of the new ground-based logging systems currently being used in Europe and North America.
The felling and processing, forwarding and skidding activities are included. Results from recent research studies and publications are presented in tables for each activity, with the following information presented for each:
• Machine or system
• Productivity (m3 per productive machine hour)
• Tree size
• Soil and stand damage
Please contact Mark Brown at email@example.com for a copy of the bulletin, or access www.crcforestry.com.au for more CRC activities and information.
Bark cloth – fabric from tree barkA collaboration between a German and Ugandan company has produced a new textile called Bark Cloth®. Actually it is not really new. It’s based on material that was made thousands of years ago.
Bark Cloth® is made from the bark of a Ficus tree called Mutaba in East Africa. The bark is carefully peeled off, soaked and pounded until it is soft. The tree heals itself and in one year its bark can be harvested again. It can be processed to be so thin it is translucent or left thick with properties similar to leather.
The resulting textile is being used for; shoes, upholstery, wall coverings, flooring, lamp shades even automobile components. It has been further engineered by adding properties such as water-proofing or fire-resistance to make it more appropriate for apparel, product or interior design.
Its manufacturers believe it may be used in the future for such things as; renewable air conditioner filters or biodegradable wound dressings. Source: FPIntel
Manjimup mill back in productionJust over a year ago, Manjimup thought its valuable timber industry was gone when 40 timber workers lost their jobs after forestry company Gunns Limited closed their native timber operation. Auswest timber stepped in and bought the WA mill and processing plant late last year, which has rejuvenated the local forestry industry.
Auswest has taken over all Deanmill assets including the Manjimup processing centre as well as a retail outlet in Welshpool in Perth. The mill has been running since January this year but they've gradually been commissioning various parts of that over the last few months.
"It was only up until about two weeks ago that we got the final piece of machinery up and running that enabled up to get into full production," Managing Director of Auswest timber, Gary Addison said. There have been 42 new positions created at the Deanmill and saved 44 positions at the Manjimup processing centre which would otherwise close if the main business wasn't taken over.
Queensland and Victorian log prices questionedCarter Holt Harvey Ltd and Timber Queensland Pty Ltd. are calling for an investigation into Hancock Timber Resource Group’s log pricing practices in Queensland and Victoria, Australia, reported ABC News on 20 June.
Sawmills in the two Australian states are seeing their profits eroded by having to deal with “essentially monopolistic organizations” that continually raise prices while sawmills are forced to cut their prices in a competitive world market, said Ian Tyson from Carter Holt Harvey.
Timber Queensland voiced similar concerns last week, said Tyson. Both Australia-based groups want Hancock Timber’s pricing strategy investigated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and appropriate state agencies, ABC News reported.
Most of Hancock Timber’s supply agreements include mechanisms allowing for log prices to be adjusted in line with market conditions, Hancock Timber said in a statement, noting that it would continue to work with customers on pricing issues. Source: Industry Intelligence
East Coast highways $60 million upgradeScoping work has begun on what is described as the “number one roading/transport project for Gisborne”. The work is part of a far-reaching NZ$60 million proposal by the New Zealand Land Transport Authority to upgrade parts of the nation’s road network to cater for larger trucks, or HPMVs (High Productivity Motor Vehicles).
The project here has been outlined as part of the draft Regional Land Transport Plan and is seen as having a major economic impact on the district. The basis of the plan is for major improvements to all aspects of the roading system involved in moving logs from the forests behind Tolaga Bay to Gisborne’s port and the Aerodrome Road log storage area.
Acting highways manager for the eastern area of New Zealand Transport Authority Gordon Hart says the project is aimed at enabling the road system to carry larger trucks up to the maximum 62 tonnes. “This would have a huge benefit for the efficiency of the forestry and transport industry, and result in a major boost to the local economy,” says Mr Hart.
Source: The Gisborne Herald
Time for forest activists to be held accountableIn a media release put out yesterday, the Australian Forest Products Association says it's deeply concerned by the latest round of misinformation being spread by extreme green groups to damage manufacturing and cause job losses in Australia. Dr David Pollard, chief executive officer, said, "Targeting customers with misleading information about legitimate, legal and certified timber product organisations must stop".
"Markets for Change have been targeting customers in Japan and encouraging people to click on a web-link which automatically spams multiple email addresses in Japan telling customers that PEFC certification (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) is “totally inadequate for Australian wood products".
"This blatant attempt at commercial sabotage has two clear objectives, firstly to close down a natural and sustainable industry in Australia and secondly to destroy the brand value of PEFC, the world's largest forest certification organisation which currently certifies over 240 million ha worldwide".
"Some environmental groups like Markets for Change and the Last Stand, which share the same video footage, are on a quest to close down any industry that they take a dislike to – paying no regard to the facts, the science and the environmental benefits of storing carbon in forests and harvested wood – for the life of the product".
"The Tasmanian forest industry is a sustainable, biologically focused industry which takes great care in preserving Tasmania’s forest for the next generation to enjoy. AFPA has taken the unprecedented step of producing its own YouTube video to counter some of the misinformation and to provide comfort to customers of Australia’s renewable forest products industry. Australian workers in regional areas deserve no less support and I do wonder where the Australian government is on this issue," said Dr Pollard.
Boral Timber appoints new Executive GMBoral Timber has announced the appointment of Steve Dadd as Executive General Manager, replacing Bryan Tisher who is taking on the role of Divisional Managing Director for Boral Building Products. In his new role, Dadd will lead the Boral Timber team to drive growth within the division.
Dadd has managed Boral Timber’s integrated hardwoods business for the past five years, developing extensive knowledge of the industry and Boral Timber’s markets. Prior to joining Boral, Dadd held senior managerial roles at The Boston Consulting Group and CSR Sugar.
Shipping rates fall for logsShipping prices for logs have eased in the past month. The cost of shipping logs to China is currently around US$38 per JASm³, accounting for approximately 30% of the in-market price. The Baltic Dry Index has plunged over the past month falling 23% in value. Meanwhile the Handysized sub-index firmed in the later part of May but has dropped away through the early part of June.
Global demand for large ships is currently very weak, driven by a reduction in Chinese demand for coal and iron ore. Meanwhile the smaller Supermax and Handysize ships are still in reasonable demand for transportation of dry bulk commodities.
Demand for general freight may improve should the stimulus package recently announced by China provide the intended boost to this economy. Interest rate cuts are one of the tools that China’s government is using to stimulate their economy.
Colorpak integrating CHH assetsColorpak Ltd. announced that it will move its operation in Villawood, New South Wales, Australia, to its Regents Park site, also in New South Wales, by this December, reported Food Processing on 19 June.
The Regents Park folding carton and flexibles factory was established in 2006, while Villawood was built in the 1960’s and its costs are “relatively high,” said Alex Commins, managing director of Colorpak, which is based in Braeside, Victoria, Australia.
The move is part of the ongoing integration of the New Zealand and Australia operations of Carter Holt Harvey, which Colorpak took possession of in March 2011. “The CHH integration is tracking to plan,” said Commins, Food Processing reported.
Campaign for World's largest forest restoration initiativeAhead of the Rio+20 Earth Summit, campaign ambassador Bianca Jagger, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Airbus launched “Plant a Pledge” – an online campaign to mobilise public support for the largest restoration initiative in history. The 150 million hectare target is known as the Bonn Challenge, after ministers and CEOs met last year in Germany to issue an urgent rallying cry to the global community.
The Global Partnership for Forest Landscape Restoration (GPFLR), who along with the German government hosted the original Bonn Challenge meeting, recently identified two billion hectares of land worldwide – an area the size of South America – as offering opportunities for forest landscape restoration. For this and a related story click here and here
Tree piece helmets from D.firIf you want your product to stand out while also looking classy, warm and organic, there’s one sure-fire way of doing in – make it out of wood. In recent years, we’ve seen things like wooden headphones, MP3 players, and bicycles.
Now, sports helmets can be added to that list.
Oregon-based woodworker Dan Coyle started making his own wooden-shelled helmets in the late 90s, for his own use while white-water kayaking. Just in the past few years, however, he got the idea of making them for other people. The result is his current line of Tree Piece Helmets.
The helmets are made mainly from sustainably-harvested kiln-dried Douglas Fir, although a number of more exotic woods are available for discerning customers. Coyle designs them using CAD software, then carves them from solid blocks of wood (or sometimes multiple blocks laminated together) using a CNC router.
Cork is used for the inside padding on some models while coatings of epoxy and polyurethane are added to the outside, for added strength and protection against dings and scratches – oh yes, and because it makes them nice and shiny, too.
Dan has been able to safety-test his helmets on a professional impact drop tower, and they reportedly scored quite high. Unfortunately, however, because all of his helmets are unique, getting official safety certification is proving to be a challenge. As he points out, though, a wooden helmet won’t suffer from the amount of UV degradation that would occur with one made from plastic.
Buy and Sell
...and one to end the week on...the deaf Italian bookkeeper
A Mafia Godfather finds out that his bookkeeper,Guido, has cheated him out of US$10,000,000.00
And on that note, have a great weekend. Remember, if anyone in your workplace isn't receiving Friday Offcuts directly each week, tell them to sign up. It's free. Cheers.
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