Friday Offcuts – 17 September 2021

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With interest really starting to ramp up with large scale industrial plants switching from fossil fuels to renewables (including wood biofuels), we’ve included this week an in depth look at the growing market for wood pellets. Europe, for a number of years now, has been leading the charge with the European market accounting for 75% of the world’s consumption of wood pellets. The bulk of this is being used for heat production and the feedstock for pellet production is largely being drawn from by-products or residues produced from sawmills (around 85%). Increased demand though has led to alternate sources of raw material now being sought including biofuels from forest residues. See details and links to key reports below.

As well as pellets, there’s also significant interest being shown in renewable energy development including “carbon neutral” or “green hydrogen” utilising woody biomass. In Australia, an AU$15 million deal has just been struck to establish the country’s first wood fed hydrogen production plant in the Hunter Valley, NSW. The first two production lines will be built on a site adjacent to the Sweetman’s Millfield timber mill which will be supplying 30,000 tonnes per annum of biomass feedstock. Other announcements include; Western Australia are planning to spend AU$61.5m on hydrogen-related initiatives, AU$15m funding has just been allocated by Tasmania for renewable hydrogen projects and further afield, in the US, an infrastructure bill is proposing legislation to provide US$8 billion to establish at least four regional clean hydrogen hubs (see stories below). The forest industry’s now starting to sit up and take notice of the alternate revenue streams from wood residues that are opening up to them.

And on the front line for the industry this week, hot on the heels of last week’s announcement of Western Australia's plan to exit native forestry in just over two years, the industry in Victoria was blindsided by a move last Friday to bring a bill forward after 18 months. It could result in Victorian native forest logging contractors facing huge fines for failing to comply with a Code of Practice for Timber Harvesting. And in New Zealand, local Council’s appear again to be “circling the wagons”, and are looking to gain support from other local bodies to lobby Government on the “adverse impacts” of forestry plantings on their communities. And, so the good fight continues.

And finally, we’ve built in a story profiling a couple of presentations from international presenters as part of this year’s eagerly awaited ForestTECH 2021 event. For the first time, the European forestry giant, Stora Enso Oy will be outlining some of the “precision forestry” innovations that they’ve integrated into Finland and Sweden forests as well as their forest silviculture, harvesting, and logistic operations in China, Uruguay, and Brazil. Mechanized solutions being used in their silvicultural operations, the use of eco-RFID tags to automate product tracking along the supply chain and a practical system to measure mill yard logs and chip piles using drone-based image analyses will be included. Further details are included in the story below. Programme information for the 23- 24 November event can be found on ForestTECH 2021 website. Enjoy this week’s read.



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Inquiry demanded over looming Victorian Forestry Bill

The union for timber workers has raised concerns about a bill before the Victorian legislative council on Tuesday, calling for an inquiry and consultation before the passage of any legislation. CFMEU Manufacturing has labelled a state government move to introduce a bill it says targets forest contractors and their crews as ‘outrageous’ and an attack on workers and communities.

Michael O’Connor, the division national secretary for the CFMEU Manufacturing, said the Forests Legislation Amendment (Compliance and Enforcement) Bill introduced new laws that had the potential to embolden anti-loggers and compromise the health and safety of timber contractors and crews.

“There is no reason why this bill needs to be debated before proper consultation and serious concerns are addressed,” O’Connor said. “It needs to hold appropriate consultation and give an opportunity to have the impacts on timber workers and forestry contractors, as well as the ability for the government to deliver its wood supply commitments, properly scrutinised.”

Despite the union calling for the bill to be removed from the 14 September notice paper, and the Victorian shadow minister for public land use Melina Bath’s attempts to block the bill until the code of practice was released, its second reading was passed in the Legislative Council on Tuesday. Debate was adjourned before a final debate to occur in committee.

According to the second reading of speech for the bill, the legislation aimed to improve regulation of timber harvesting and firewood collection in Victoria’s state forests. It also aimed to modernise the regulatory framework and hold people to account for illegal activities. Because the proposed laws were not set to come into effect until March 2022, O’Connor said there was no reason for the changes to be rushed through parliament.

Furthermore, the union claims the bill was not meant to proceed until amendments to the code of practice for timber production were gazetted. The CFMEU argues that because the legislation increases penalties for forest workers and contractors who do not comply with the code, the code must be settled first.

Among the parts of the proposed bill that the union views as threatening, includes its potential to make it easier for third party litigants to seek injunctions against contractors in the Supreme Court of Victoria. O’Connor said that this would allow anti-loggers to ‘shut down the industry’ and its workers for ‘simply doing their job in accordance with government policy’. This also applied to state sanctioned quantities of wood that complied with government forestry plan volumes, he said.

Source: the mandarin.com.au

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NZ Council led anti-forestry drive destructive

New Zealand foresters are calling a proposed anti-forestry coalition of local bodies a prejudiced step backwards in time and destructive for their communities both environmentally and economically.

The mayors of Tararua and Wairoa have written to fellow mayors throughout New Zealand wanting money to fund a report designed to show that forestry is negative and ought to be restricted. Read attached letter.

The President of the Forest Owners Association, Phil Taylor, says it is contradictory for the Wairoa District to declare climate change to be a key issue in its Long-Term Plan in January, and a few months later leads a national charge to put every obstacle in the way of achieving carbon sequestration through forestry.

“Unfortunately, some council leaders are also off-beam with their understanding of the economics of forestry as well,” Phil Taylor says. “The recent MPI commissioned PwC Report quite clearly found forestry was much higher in earning power and employment than using the hill country land for continuing to farm livestock.”

Farm Forestry Association President, Graham West, says the terms of reference the Wairoa and Tararua mayors have set out for their report, are fixated on forestry and don’t look at the diverse and long-term interests of their constituency. “The mayors demand a long-term plan for forestry. But they haven’t done the same for farming. East Coast councils should be carefully looking at the impact of climate change in an already dry region and what viable land use options there are, including a mix of forestry.”

“Banning tree planting is not going to increase wool prices, nor ward off the threat of synthetic meat. New local processing industries, for both food and fibre need to be developed, which will support farming communities in the longer term,” Graham West says. “Tree farming will supply the raw material for the rapidly emerging bioeconomy, and that in turn may need new tree species instead of radiata pine.”

“The mayors could be encouraging a report which is broader and objective. A report like this could help councils build a resilient economy for their communities.” Graham West says the Climate Change Commission has budgeted an extra 380,000 hectares of new forest planting over the next 15 years.

“Hopefully, most of this planting will be integrated into farming systems, including on Wairoa and Tararua farms. Farmers should not have to fight their councils for the opportunity to earn a more diverse and reliable cash flow than they do now.”

Phil Taylor says some councils, such as Hawkes Bay Regional Council, are taking advantage of opportunities for forestry. “Some councils see forestry as a good income earning investment for future generations, and doing their bit for the environment at the same time.” Phil Taylor says regional economies stand the most to benefit from New Zealand’s move away from fossil fuels to wood-based bioenergy.

Phil Taylor says in light of these factors, he is strongly urging councils who have received the two mayors’ letter to have a good think about the skewed terms of reference.

“It would be a good time for local government to do an objective analysis of land use choice and opportunities. Our industry would be delighted to have input into this, as I am sure would Federated Farmers and other farm organisations. What none of us need is a call to legislate against farmer choices based on what appears to be a set of prejudices to keep farms free of any trees.”

Photo: Storm damage Wairoa

Source: FOA, NZFFA

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Stora Enso precision forestry innovations

As part of the eagerly awaited annual forest technology event, two key presenters from the European forestry giant, Stora Enso Oy will be presenting as part of ForestTECH 2021 being run on 23-24 November along with a number of other key international presenters. The company is one of the largest private forest owners in the world with forestry assets valued at more than EUR 7 billion (land and forests). Globally, the company owns or manages land covering a total area of more than 2.0 million hectares.

From Finland, Sora Enso’s VP Plantation Forest Management, Marco Wichert and the company’s Digitalisation Manager, Mika Korvenranta will be presenting as part of the ForestTECH 2021 event on some of the innovations that this company has been working on in their forests in Finland and Sweden.

Marco Wichert is a Brazilian Forest Engineer with 24 years of experience in the forestry industry in different parts of the world. He’s worked for most of his career with forestry operations development, testing, and introducing new technologies in the silviculture, harvesting, and logistic operations of forestry companies in Brazil, China, and Indonesia. He has also worked for five years in Forest Management Consulting companies in New Zealand. As the VP Plantation Forest Management, he is based in in Helsinki, Finland, but works providing technical support for the forest plantations of the Group in China, Uruguay, and Brazil.

Marco’s presentation will address the topics of mechanized solutions for silviculture, Precision Forestry and Big Data Management, and will cover;

- Mechanized and automated solutions for seedling packaging and movement from the nursery to the field
- A new planting machine under development in Sweden
- Eco-RFID tags to automate the tracking process of products in the value chain
- Stora Enso’s approach to precision forestry and big data management


Mika Korvenranta, as the Digitalization Manager for Stora Enso’s Forest Division works with Precision Forestry projects and digitisation across the company’s holdings. Mika at ForestTECH 2021 will be detailing how drone and forest inventory innovations are being used in the forests of Finland & Sweden. Examples will include a method the company has developed for safer, accurate and faster measurements of mill yard wood and chip piles using drone-based image analyses (see below).



Other topics Mika will be covering include multisource remote sensing data to improve diameter distribution analysis for improving their harvesting operations. They are using the best features of different data sources to improve forest attributes and diameter distribution estimations with an AI model. In addition to accurate estimations of the forest resource it’s also enabling the company to keep estimations up to date with the multisource data.

Full details on the presenters and presentations this year or the comprehensive programme, if attending in person in Rotorua, New Zealand or registering to attend remotely, can be found on the ForestTECH 2021 website



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Wood-fed hydrogen plant to be built in NSW

Emerging renewables energy business, Sweetman Renewables Limited, has inked a lucrative, multi-million dollar joint venture agreement with CAC-H2 Private Limited of Singapore to establish a hydrogen production centre of excellence in Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia.

The AUS$15 million deal aims to establish Australia’s first wood fed hydrogen production plant, and the country’s largest green bio-hydrogen production eco-hub. CAC-H2 brings proven gasification technology that converts woodchip into 99.999% pure hydrogen via a proven proprietary process. CAC-H2 also brings off-take agreements for 100% of Sweetman Hydrogen and Biochar production. The deal is likely to create 40 full time jobs at the new facility to be named Hunter Valley One.

The joint venture deal involves investment from CAC-H2 in return for 80% ownership of the new enterprise to establish the first two production lines on a 30-acre site adjacent to the Sweetman’s Millfield timber mill. Sweetman will provide the biomass feedstock, EPC engineering services, and land access in return for 20% equity in the joint venture.

Sweetman will provide 30 000 tpy of wood biomass. The initial deal will produce an estimated AUS$170 million in revenues over 15 years, based on a conservative wholesale price estimate of AUS$6/kg. Construction is due to commence soon given planning applications have been approved.

Mr Arman Massoumi, Director of CAC-H2 Group said: “We are excited by the opportunity to partner with Sweetman to establish what we want to become the first wood to hydrogen, and Australia’s largest green bio-hydrogen production eco-hub.”

“We initially planned to start with just two production lines but due to large demand from both Japan and Korea, we envisage to quickly scale up the Sweetman operation to multiple lines producing hydrogen and biochar for export markets via a new facility at the Newcastle Port.”

The Hunter region of New South Wales is set to become the home of one of the state’s first green hydrogen hubs with the New South Wales Government committing at least AUS$70 million to their development.

Hydrogen hubs will provide groups of hydrogen users common infrastructure for the local production, use and distribution of hydrogen. They will reduce costs by delivering hydrogen in a co-ordinated fashion. Developing green hydrogen hubs aligns with the New South Wales Renewable Energy Zones under the Electricity Infrastructure roadmap, ensuring they become thriving precincts.

Mr Glenn Davies, CEO of CAC-H2 said: “Over the next two years our joint venture will establish new hydrogen hubs in every State in Australia. Sweetman has already obtained expressions of interest to establish another hydrogen hub at Newcastle Port and in additional hubs in Queensland and Victoria.”

In a recent report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA), it stated that global demand for hydrogen would need to more than double from its existing level of consumer to 212 million t by 2030 if the world is to attain climate change goals.

The market size for hydrogen in 2022 is projected to be US$154.74 billion. By 2050, driven by a burgeoning global demand for zero-carbon emissions, the hydrogen market is expected to be valued at US$12 trillion.

Sweetman Renewables, with its 100-year-old sawmill business, is currently conducting a pre-IPO capital raise ahead of its planned debut on the ASX. Boutique corporate advisor Barclay Pearce Capital is conducting the raise, given their expertise in the green energy sector. Sweetman aims to leverage its unique access to biomass to become an Australian renewable energy powerhouse of green hydrogen production.

Source: energyglobal.com


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Excellence recognised at Tasmanian Timber Awards

Thirty awards were dished out at last Friday’s Tasmanian Timber Awards, held at Launceston’s Albert Hall – a sure sign that the industry is full of ‘clever people doing great things’, according to the head of the Tasmanian Forests and Forest Products Network.

Convenor, Therese Taylor said the calibre of award entries was very high this year and that in many cases judges chose to award multiple winners, acknowledging the work of both individuals and organisations in some areas. Additionally, judges in some of the 14 categories opted to award a Highly Commended or Judges’ Commendation, such was the difficulty in choosing a winner.

“The Tasmanian Timber Awards recognises and celebrates excellence and best practice within our industry and acknowledges those who are leaders in their fields,” Ms Taylor said. “Last night’s event showcased our industry in the best possible way. It truly was a celebration of industry, by industry.” The biennial Tasmanian Timber Awards gala dinner was attended by 400 people from across industry.

For the full list of award winners, click here

Source: Tasmanian Forests and Forest Products Network

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Hybrid trailer-log trucks: the more to electrification

It is no secret that electrification is the future. Over just a few years, electrification moved from being a concept to being a reality. And we’re not talking about cars anymore, we’re talking heavy-duty trucks used in the energy, mining, and forestry sectors.

Since technology for full electrification of these heavy trucks isn’t yet ready to meet contemporary operational requirements — partly due to their weight and the long distances they need to travel — FPInnovations is taking a big step in that direction to make this happen.

Drive axle powered by an electric motor

FPInnovations is working on a cutting-edge project to develop a hybrid tractor-trailer for use in forestry operations. The objective is to replace one of the conventional axles on forestry trailers with a drive axle powered by an electric motor. The system would be combined with a conventional tractor to create a parallel hybrid configuration.

The approximately C$2.5-million hybrid tractor-trailer project falls under the umbrella of Natural Resources Canada $155-million Clean Growth Program (CGP) that invests in clean technology and R&D in the energy, mining, and forestry sectors.

The benefits are many

The hybrid system, with regenerative braking that recharges the batteries, will be compatible with log trailers and biomass trailers. There could also be major benefits for the mining sector as well as for non-Canadian markets.

Potential benefits include:

• Peak fuel savings of up to 15 % (lower on average), depending on application and drive cycle
• GHG reductions up to 40 tonnes per truck per year, depending on duty cycle and utilization rate
• Extra driven axle can provide almost 50% more traction on slippery terrain
• Regenerative braking power can reduce brake fade and increase safety in mountainous terrain
• Significant cost savings from reduced fuel consumption, reduced haul assists, as well as from time savings due to increased operational efficiency.

More >>

Source: fpinnovations



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Show of support for WA forestry

More than 300 people gathered in Manjimup on Monday to rally against the State Government’s decision to end native forestry. Last week’s announcement was made without industry consultation, leaving businesses, employees, and regional communities in a state of shock, conveyed by many who attended the rally.

Forest Industries Federation WA (FIFWA) Executive Director Melissa Haslam spoke at the rally, which was held at the front of Manjimup’s Timber Museum. Other speakers included Shadow Forestry Minister Steve Martin, Shadow Minister for Local Government, Water and Regional Cities James Haywood and Manjimup Shire President Paul Omodei.

Mrs Haslam said the raw emotion conveyed today reflected the way people had been treated by the State Government in a purely political decision. “People are upset, and they have every right to be, a snap decision has turned their world upside and today we heard some of those emotional stories,” Mrs Haslam said.

“Since the politically motivated announcement last week, we have heard from many other sectors who are upset and will be massively impacted. The flow-on effects will be huge.” Mrs Haslam said the AU$50 million Just Transition Plan offered by the State Government was inadequate, and industry would be pushing for more.

“The lack of detail behind the announcement causes terrible uncertainty for our businesses,” she said. “This current State Government signed off on the sustainability of the current forest management plan through the mid-term audit in 2018.

“In the lead up to the last election both major parties supported the sustainable native timber sector, so this backflip by government has shocked everyone.” WA’s forestry industry contributes AU$1.4 billion to the WA economy annually and supports about 6000 jobs, with more than 90% of those jobs located in regional communities.

Source: Forest Industries Federation WA

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Wood wastes for green hydrogen

Mountains of wood waste could be broken down into hydrogen and carbon dioxide gas to reduce fossil fuel consumption, University of Canterbury researchers say. Chemical engineers Shusheng Pang and Alex Yip are developing a novel way to make climate-friendly hydrogen, which is being touted as a replacement for natural gas. Today, green hydrogen is made using electricity, though about 20 per cent of this power is generated by burning fossil fuels.

The process would also capture lots of carbon dioxide, which could be used in plant nurseries, fertiliser factories and chemical plants instead of fossil fuels. Some greenhouses burn fossil fuels such as natural gas to create additional carbon dioxide – which boosts plant growth – and heat their facilities. All plants breathe in carbon dioxide and store the carbon in their leaves and wood. Forests suck up carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere.

The New Zealand forestry sector produces approximately 3 million tonnes of wood leftovers, such as unwanted branches, each year. Often this is left behind in plantation forests – and during floods, the debris can wash downstream, causing damage, Pang said.

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30-40% rise in projected demand for wood pellets

Discussions are going on about the EU-Commission’s new forest strategy. In the discussions, sawn timber is pointed out as a winner and bioenergy from the forest as a looser.

Europe – the largest market for wood pellets

The European market accounts for 75 % of the World’s consumption of wood pellets. WRI predicts a strong growth of this market, at least until 2025. According to statistics from Bioenergy Europe, 27 million tons wood pellets are consumed annually in Europe of which 26,1 tons within the EU (2018 incl. UK).

The reason for this is, according to WRI, that EU have ambitious goals for the share of renewable energy and where biomass will play an important role to reach the goals. WRI also points out that wood pellets have many advantages compared to many other types of biomasses. Contrary to what one might think when following the debate about EU’s climate and forestry strategies there seems to be a continued large space for wood-based biofuels.

The need for wood pellets will increase by 30 – 40 percent

In their report, WRI writes that the need for wood pellets will increase by 30 – 40 % in Europe the coming five years. That corresponds to approx. 8 – 10 million tons pellets based on 2018’s consumption. Although this increase could partly be covered by import (mainly from southern US) a substantial increase in wood pellet production in Europe will be necessary. In terms of raw material, this means more than 20 million cubic meters of solid wood if we use that as a reference.

Mainly sawmill residue in wood pellets

Today, mainly by-products/residues from sawmills are used for wood pellet production. According to WRI, 85 % of all raw material for wood pellets comes from the wood industry’s by-products. The rest come from solid wood (13 %) and recycled wood (2 %).

As the sawmilling industry are at full production in most parts of the World the volume of by-products should be higher than ever. Nevertheless, WRI doesn´t believe that the sawmill’s by-products will cover Europe’s need for production of wood pellets. In some European countries, like Sweden, this seems strange as the sawmills are having problems to obtain sales for their sawdust. Also, there are vast volumes of second-class energy wood on the market due to the bark-beetle problems.

New raw materials are needed for wood pellets

In the future the competition for the sawmill’s by-products is expected to be hard, and according to WRI the need for raw material also for the pulp- and board industry is large. The market for wood-based board is growing and the raw material used for that production is more or less the same as for wood pellet production. To cope with the increasing production WRI think that complementary raw material of biomass will be needed. Mainly forest residues, recycled wood and biomass from energy crops.

Facts on wood pellets in Europe

- European countries consume 27 million tons wood pellets annually, of which 17,6 tons within the EU (the UK excluded).

- 20,1 million tons wood pellets are produced in Europe, of which 16,9 within the EU.

- 85 % of the raw material for wood pellets production comes from the wood industry (sawmills, planing mills etc.), 13 % from round wood and 2 % from recycled wood.

- The consumption of wood pellets in Europe is mainly used for heat production, but approx. 40 % for electricity production of which 13 % is combined heat and power (CHP).

- The largest consumers of wood pellets in Europe are United Kingdom (8,5 million tons), Italy (3,3 m tons), Denmark (3,1 m tons), Germany (2,2 m tons) and Sweden (1,8 m tons).

- The largest producers of wood pellets in Europe are Germany (2,4 million tons), Sweden (1,8 m tons), Latvia (1,6 m tons) Russia (1,6 m tons) and France (1,5 m tons).

Sources: Bioenergyeurope.com and Woodprices.com



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A perfect storm for container shipping

A giant ship wedged across the Suez canal, record-breaking shipping rates, armadas of vessels waiting outside ports, Covid-induced shutdowns: the business of container shipping has rarely been as dramatic as it has in 2021.

The average cost of shipping a standard large container, (a 40-foot-equivalent unit, or FEU) has surpassed US$10,000 (NZ$14,050), some four times higher than a year ago. The spot price for sending such a box from Shanghai to New York, which in 2019 would have been around US$2500, is now close to US$15,000. Securing a late booking on the busiest route, from China to the west coast of America, could cost US$20,000.

In response, some companies are resorting to desperate measures. Peloton, a maker of pricey exercise bikes, is switching to air freight. But costs are also sky-high, double those in January 2020, as capacity, half usually provided in the holds of passenger jets, is constrained by curbs on international flights.

Home Depot and Walmart, two American retailers, have chartered ships directly. Pressing inappropriate vessels into service has proved near-calamitous. An attempt in July to carry containers on a bulk carrier, which generally cart coal or iron ore, was hastily abandoned when the load shifted, forcing a return to port.

More containers are travelling across Asia by train. Some are even reportedly being trucked from China to Europe then shipped across the Atlantic to avoid clogged Chinese ports. Trains, planes and lorries can only do so much, especially when it comes to shifting goods half-way around the planet.

Container ships lug around a quarter of the world’s traded goods by volume and three-fifths by value. The choice is often between paying up and suffering delays at ports stretched to capacity, or not importing at all.

More >>

Source: Stuff, The Economist

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Australian forestry and carbon credits

With the interest and concerns over the amount of New Zealand pastoral land going into forestry it prompted me to look over the ‘ditch’ to see if comparable interest was being generated over there. Australia has not progressed their emissions reduction policy to the same degree as New Zealand to the point where many have criticised the Federal Government as being irresponsible for the lack of progress.

It has actually got to the point now where the recently negotiated Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the UK is being questioned due to Australia’s failure to make progress on what they agreed to do under the Paris climate agreement. The UK had removed any requirements to the Paris Agreement in the FTA whereas there was an expectation from the UK opposition parties that there would be inclusion of reduction policies in any such agreements.

Ed Miliband, Labour’s (UK opposition) business secretary, said the government should be doing more to put pressure on Australia to come forward with stronger commitments on greenhouse gas emissions before Cop26, rather than watering down a trade agreement. He said: “Australia is one of the world’s biggest polluters and key to the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C. But rather than piling pressure on them, the UK government has simply rolled over."

So, a tacit warning to New Zealand that when conjuring up FTA’s, words may not be enough and action supporting the words (policies) are required. In reality with the latest policies being rolled out in New Zealand and the wide inclusion into the ETS programme New Zealand should be on safer ground than most countries although the exclusion of Australia having to meet similar requirements does provide them with trade advantages, at least in the short term.

However, back to land going under trees in Australia compared to New Zealand, the lack of a well-developed ETS market in Australia seems to have resulted in less motivation to develop the carbon farming sector in Australia. Given that land is cheaper over there plus potentially easier access for harvesting, if that is considered to be part of the income stream, it is surprising there is not greater evidence of widespread plantings.

More >>

Source: interest.co.nz

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Ikea acquires Otago land for forestry

The parent company of Swedish retail giant Ikea has acquired 5,500 hectares of New Zealand farmland for forestry plantation. A statement from the firm said the project would be managed by Ingka Investments, the investment arm of Ingka Group and Ikea.

The property, Wisp Hill Station, is located in the north Catlins in Otago. An area of 330ha will be planted with radiata pine seedlings and the long-term plan is to have a total of 3,000 hectares, more than 3 million seedlings, planted in the next five years. The remaining 2200 hectares would be left to naturally regenerate into native bush. The first planned harvest will take place 29 years after planting at the end of the first rotation.

A lease back requirement would allow previous owners, the Ward family, to properly phase out their operations over a minimum three-year period. The purchase agreement became unconditional with the approval of the land acquisition by the Overseas Investment Office on August 27.

“We are delighted to expand our forestry portfolio into a new country and this investment demonstrates our long-term commitment to New Zealand. Responsible forest management, reforestation and afforestation all form part of the solution for climate change, and we are committed to enhancing carbon removal through our forests.

“Our commitment to responsible forest management means taking proper care of the environment, respecting the needs of the local communities and setting high standards for the business partners we work with,” Ingka Investments Managing Director Krister Mattsson said.

Source: Stuff



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15.9% reduction in road costs for forestry company

There are massive pay offs when you think outside of the box!

By adding PolyCom Stabilising Aid, TPMS cut the metal requirements by a massive 54.2% over their standard pavement design, decreasing the build costs of this 3.2km by 15.9% and saving three days of standard construction time.

Last year (May 2020), TAML Forestry of Hawera, South Taranaki approached Total Pavement Maintenance Systems Ltd (TPMS) to upgrade some forestry roads in a remote part of Taranaki, New Zealand. The task was to work with the onsite roading contractor to improve the dry strength of the clay sub-grade and save metal costs by adding PolyCom Stabilising Aid to a recently completed road lining project. The cost of getting metal to this remote site was crippling and a more cost-effective way was needed moving forward. The road was to be stabilised to a depth of 200mm.

The savings to the forestry company have been significant; 105 less truck and trailer movements, 90% less maintenance over two wet Taranaki winters and significant savings in construction.

For full details on the roading project specs and results, click here. More information can also be found here.

Source: TPMS

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AU$10 m for Tasmanian Wood Processing Programme

The Tasmanian Liberal Government opened last Friday a new on Island Processing Programme, which provides up to AU$10 million over the next five years for projects based in Tasmania.

The Programme aims to increase the end-value of the wood grown by expanding the range and capacity of value-added production done in Tasmania. Local processing projects have the potential to add value to Tasmanian wood, utilise wood residues and waste, and insulate the forest industry from external market shocks through diversification and deliver regional jobs.

Grants of up to AU$2.5 million each will be available to support the development of more on-island processing projects which increase the return on our wood and timber. Applications for the On Island Processing Programme opened on 10 September and close on Friday, 22 October 2021. More details on the Programme can be found here

The Tasmanian Forest Products Association applauded the Tasmanian governments $10 million investment in on island processing. According to CEO Nick Steel. “The Tasmanian forestry industry prides itself on the growth of on island value adding, on our investment in the plantation sector and our innovation in developing new products and technologies”.

“This grant opportunity, which will be matched by the industry, will encourage significant industry investment and result in more highly skilled forestry jobs” said Mr Steel.

Source: Guy Barnett, Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Tasmanian Forest Products Association



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... and one to end the week on ... more lockdown funnies

During lockdown I saw my neighbour talking to her cat. It was obvious the poor lady thought the cat understood her. I came inside and told my dog. We both laughed.


My husband purchased a world map and then gave me a dart and said, “Throw this and wherever it lands—that’s where I’m taking you when this pandemic ends.” Turns out, we’re spending two weeks behind the fridge.


The World Health Organization announced that dogs cannot contract COVID-19. Dogs previously held in quarantine can now be released. To be clear, WHO let the dogs out.


How did the health experts lie? They said a mask and gloves was enough to go to the grocery store. When I got there, everyone else had clothes on.


Did you hear about the guy speculating on hand sanitizer? He was rubbing his hands together.


I ran out of toilet paper and had to start using old newspapers. Times are rough.


What did the astronauts say to NASA when they notified them that their mission was complete and they could return to earth? Thanks, but no thanks.


And one more out of Australia.





And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

Brent Apthorp
Editor, Friday Offcuts
Distinction Dunedin Hotel
6 Liverpool Street, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
PO Box 904, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand
Tel: +64 (03) 470 1902, Mob: +64 21 227 5177, Fax: +64 (03) 470 1906
Web page: www.fridayoffcuts.com


This week's extended issue, along with back issues, can be viewed at www.fridayoffcuts.com

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