Friday Offcuts – 28 July 2023

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Coming off a week of technology insights into some of the very latest equipment and operating systems being used to extract wood residues off forest and harvest skid sites at Residues2Revenues 2023, we’ve got an issue this week that’s jam-packed full of relevant new innovations along with video clips of some of this new technology being put through its paces.

In keeping with the wood residues utilisation theme, we’ve included a recent video clip of what’s claimed to be the only machine in the world eliminating wood wastes on site to power battery operating equipment and machinery out in the field. And using the concept of vertical farming systems (growing crops in vertically stacked layers), Forestry and Land Scotland in conjunction the Edinburgh-based firm that’s designed the system, have recently undertaken commercial trials with both conifers and broad-leaved species using the vertical “growing machine”.

Results are looking good. Tree seedlings have been produced six times faster than open grown stock. For the first time in Australasia, this unique system for raising tree seedlings is going to be unveiled to the local forestry industry as part of the upcoming ForestTECH 2023 series in November. A similar system using a Vertical Farm Systems unit has also just been announced in NZ for growing vegetables - same principle. A similar unit operating in Australia is producing around 600kg of greens a week. And what’s more, it only needs three hours of human labour per week to make it run.

In a surprise move this week, following a successful legal challenge, the NZ Government has agreed to increase the auction reserve price of New Zealand’s key emissions-curbing tool, bringing settings closer to what the independent Climate Change Commission had advised. The decision to reset the ETS auction settings has been welcomed by the forestry industry and it's expected to go some way to bringing some sort of surety and stability back into the carbon market. Still hanging over the industry though is the suite of options that were put forward and are still being considered as part of the ETS reform.

Other technology this week includes a look at a number of forestry-related research underway across Australia aimed at increasing the industry’s capacity to minimise the impacts of bushfires. Fire detection tools such as FireHawk, which has been trialled by SFM in Tasmania, and ForestWatch trialled during a more recent fire season are covered in addition to a link to a recent WoodChat podcast series that looks at camera-based fire detection systems. And with mass timber construction, instead of announcements on single buildings, Sweden this time is looking at the world’s largest wooden city, Stockholm Wood City. It's expected to have 7,000 new offices and 2,000 new housing units with the first completed buildings planned for 2027. And that’s it for this week.

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300 million tonnes of soil from East Coast land slides

Cyclone Gabrielle was a severe tropical cyclone that occurred in February 2023. It caused severe landsliding in several zones along the east coast of the North Island, New Zealand. As part of the cyclone response, the Ministry for the Environment contracted Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research to do a rapid assessment of the damage in hill country (Land Use Capability classes 6 and 7) resulting from the landsliding.

The extent of severe damage was large, ranging from the Gisborne district, through Hawke’s Bay, and down to the Wairarapa. The total number of landslides, each typically comprising a thousand tonnes of soil, was over 300,000. This proliferation of landsliding has removed productive soil from farms and deposited sediment on floodplains. The total mass of landslides is estimated at 300 million tonnes, with an economic cost of approximately NZ$1.5 billion (conservatively estimated at NZ$5 per tonne of eroded soil).

The physical mechanism for landslide initiation is well understood. Intense rainfall increases the pore water pressure in the soil, which reduces the effective weight of soil at the failure plane between soil and regolith. On steep hill slopes this often results in shear stress exceeding shear strength, causing slope failure. If there is woody vegetation growing on the soil, then roots growing through the soil/regolith boundary will increase the shear strength and reduce the probability of failure.

These mechanisms are generally sufficient to explain the spatial distribution of landslides in Cyclone Gabrielle; that is, landslides mostly occur where intense rainfall has fallen on steep land without protective forest cover.

In the report, the reduction in landslide probability by woody vegetation is modelled at 90% by commonly used regional soil erosion models. In the southern Hawke’s Bay – northern Wairarapa hill country, this expected reduction was largely observed for both indigenous forest (90% reduction) and exotic forest (80%). However, in northern Hawke’s Bay, exotic forestry was less effective than expected (60%), while indigenous forest maintained normal reduction (90%). In the Gisborne coastal hill country, exotic forestry was ineffective at reducing landslide probability, with indigenous forest resulting in only a moderate reduction (50%).

Possible causes for the low effectiveness of exotic forestry for reducing landslide probability in northern Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne include:

• forestry management such as non-thinning

• multiple rotations of forestry

• thin soils caused by a long erosion history.

The report recommends more detailed field investigations to determine specific causes. In the Esk River catchment approximately 5.7 million tonnes of soil was eroded by landslides. Half of that was delivered to waterways, of which approximately 1.5 million tonnes was deposited on the flood plain of the Esk River valley at an average depth of 80 cm. If soil conservation plans had been implemented on 50% of pastoral farms in the Esk catchment, the soil eroded by landslides would have been less, at 5.3 million tonnes.

If soil conservation plans had been implemented on 80% of pastoral farms in the Esk catchment, the soil eroded by landslides would have been even less, at 4.7 million tonnes, and the sediment deposited on the Esk valley floodplain would have been less at 60 cm average depth.

The full report can be read here

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Tree seedlings – but grown at speed

For the first time in Australasia, a unique system of raising tree seedlings is going to be unveiled to the local forestry industry. Using the concept of vertical farming systems (growing crops in vertically stacked layers), Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) who’re looking to plant tens of millions of new trees (conifers such as Norway and sitka spruce, douglas fir and Scots pine, and broadleaf varieties such as oak, alder and birch) in the coming years, have trialled a new nursery system that they’re hoping will enable them to meet their ambitious planting targets.

Trials with both conifers and broadleaved species using this vertical “growing machine” have shown that the system can produce seedlings six times faster than open grown stock. In the open, it would take about 18 months to bring a tree seedling up to 40-50mm in height; in these vertical farming units, that growing time is about 90 days.

“These experiments have a much greater success rate than normal methods, said Kenny Hay, Tree Nursery & Seed Resource Manager for Forestry and Land Scotland (the Scottish Government agency responsible for managing Scotland’s national forests and land). “Traditionally, seeds would be scattered by machine across a nursery bed, known as broadcast sowing. Up to 50% of those seeds may fail to produce seedlings. In these optimised towers, the survival rate is about 95%”.

Hay predicts that if FLS buys and runs its own growing tower, it could produce up to 60% of the 24m new trees the agency needs each year – chiefly commercially planted conifers to meet the UK’s timber needs, of which 80% is currently imported.

Both FLS and Intelligent Growth Solutions, the Edinburgh-based firm that has designed the system, will be presenting at Australasia’s forest technology series in November, ForestTECH 2023. Full programme details for both the Rotorua, New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia leg of this year’s series can be found on the event website.

And a similar system has just been announced in NZ to grow vegetable crops, every 28 days in a Vertical Farm Systems unit. Landlogic chief executive Alan Cottington said the company was setting up an indoor mechanised system in Ashburton, New Zealand. A similar unit operational in Australia produced around 600kg of greens a week and only needed three hours of human labour per week to run, he said.

The system was heavily automated with computer-controlled feeding, watering, lighting, and sensors monitoring temperature, pH, EC and humidity levels. Loading, harvesting, recovery and re-use of the growing medium and reloading the trays was also automated, he said. More >>

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Government does U-turn on ETS settings

The New Zealand Government has agreed to nudge up the Emissions Trading Scheme’s auction reserve price following a successful legal challenge, bringing settings of the key tool closer to what the independent Climate Change Commission advised.

It’s also decided to raise trigger prices for the cost containment reserve in the scheme, while lowering the cap on the number of the units that can be auctioned within the system over the next five years. That meant there’d be some 17.6 million fewer units to be auctioned, encouraging unit holders to use what they’d stockpiled over time.

The changes, kicking in at auction on December 6, will come with the introduction of a two-tier cost containment reserve (CCR) trigger price, with the Tier 1 price rising from $82 to $173.

“The CCR is a mechanism designed to keep the carbon price from rising too high,” Climate Change Minister James Shaw said. “We believe the new settings will prevent market participants from trying to hit the ceiling price, thus releasing more units, and will instead allow the market to operate in a more sophisticated manner.”

Auction price floor settings, meanwhile, would rise from the current level of $33.06 to $60 in December. Shaw said the new settings would help New Zealand meet its domestic and international climate targets, while putting policy in “lock step” with recent advice given by the commission.

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The Forest Owners Association says the government’s reset of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) auction settings will stabilise the carbon market and set New Zealand on a positive trajectory to achieve its net-zero target by 2050. The carbon market tanked after the government tightened ETS settings in December 2022. Carbon unit prices plummeted from a healthy $88 per unit to just $33.

FOA president, Grant Dodson, says the government’s adoption of the Climate Change Commission’s advice will incentivise forestry and wood processing investors and ensure the carbon market is operating as intended.

“Plantation forests absorb more than half the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere each year and continue to be New Zealand’s only cost-effective solution for reducing our net emissions.”

“The latest announcement goes some way in ameliorating the effects recent ETS decisions have had on the carbon market, and show the government is taking its greenhouse gas emission obligations, and forestry’s role within that, seriously,” Grant Dodson says. “Re-stabilisation of the carbon market will help restore foresters’ confidence in the ETS and ensure that meaningful investments in the fight against climate change continue.”

Grant Dodson says while the latest decision is a conducive one, New Zealand could still be at risk of failing to achieve its net zero emissions target if the latest suite of options in the ETS reform are approved.

“Trees are New Zealand’s solution to mitigating and overcoming climate change. Options three and four in the reform could see forestry generated NZUs given a differential or lower value to an emissions reduction NZU, which would achieve little more than complication.”

More >>

Source: Stuff, Forest Owners Association

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Accusations on plundering timber from Tasmania

The Andrews government is being accused of plundering timber from Tasmania after announcing the closure of the Victorian industry. The Heyfield Mill, part-owned by the Victorian Government and operated by a private shareholder, has been importing logs from across the Bass Strait for several months.

It comes after premier Daniel Andrews’ shock announcement in May that Victoria’s native logging industry would shut down by 2024, six years earlier than previously planned and has prompted calls for the Tasmanian Government to step in and cap the amount of timber being sent to the mainland.

The Herald Sun can reveal that in the lead up to the announcement the private partners of the Heyfield Mill, with the support of the Andrews government, purchased the Western Junction Sawmill in north Tasmania and quietly began buying up local timber and shipping it back to Victoria to be processed in the state’s east.

A move that has outraged Tasmanian industry figures who warn the Andrews’ government was commercially killing local family-owned mills in Tasmania by offering above market price for timber logs. There were also concerns the increased competition for resources would undoubtedly lead to unsustainable logging in Australia’s southernmost state.

Terry Edwards, a spokesman for a coalition of Tasmanian mills, said the Victorian government “had closed its own logging industry” and was now “pillaging” resources in other states. “Our mills are concerned that they are being expected to go into competition and an open tender process, where they are required to go up against the might of the Treasury of Victoria”.

“These are family-owned sawmills. Some with over 100 years operating in regional communities of Tasmania, and they are being expected to compete with the Victorian Government who closed down its own forest industry, and is now seeking to obtain wood for its own sawmill that it owns itself in Gippsland.”

Mr Edwards said up to 40 truckloads of wood per week was now crossing the Bass Strait headed for Victorian mills, and called for the Tasmanian Government to step in “and enter into meaningful discussions with Tasmania’s forest industry to ensure that its state owned company, Sustainable Timber Tasmania, does not provide an advantage to the Victorian government”.

“The Tasmanian Government has been very clear: we are not here to fix Dan Andrews’ disastrous decision to shut down Victoria’s native forestry sector and that Tasmanian timber will support Tasmanian jobs,” he said.

More >>

In another coverage of the story, the Andrews government has been called out for pillaging Tasmania’s timber stocks after it controversially banned native logging in Victoria earlier this year. “Basically, they need to leave our timber alone,” Tammy Bennett, business manager at TP Bennett and Sons in Tasmania, told Tom Elliott. Click here to listen to the interview.

Sources: Reddit, The Herald Sun, 3aw

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Holy smoke! New camera-based fire detection systems

In the face of a climate likely to become hotter and drier, and with bushfires continuing to pose a significant threat, a variety of forestry-related research initiatives are underway across Australia.

As an industry, forestry is particularly vulnerable to bushfire threat, with the associated risks having the potential to affect plantation companies, native forest managers, wood processors and manufacturers in a variety of ways. A recent episode of FWPA’s WoodChat podcast series focused on various research projects aimed at increasing the industry’s capacity to minimise the impacts of bushfires.

One of the four interviewees featured in the episode was David Bowman, Professor of Pyrogeography and Fire Science at the University of Tasmania. Professor Bowman shared details of a sophisticated fire detection tool known as FireHawk, which was trialled by SFM on Lenah Estate in Tasmania, as part of its own broad and ongoing efforts and commitment to working with fire.

SFM has a strong reputation for implementing technological advancements in Tasmania’s forestry sector, of which FireHawk is just one example. Another example trialled during a more recent fire season was ForestWatch. This ultimately superseded FireHawk due to its ability to offer increased client-facing information and content, demonstrating SFM’s ongoing commitment to embracing and testing the very latest technologies.

Both FireHawk and ForestWatch are camera-based fire detection systems that have the potential to enhance fire management practices, improve the protection of assets, and safeguard the broader community. Each camera incorporates a 360-degree rotation combining high-definition imaging systems with purpose-built image processing software.

ForestWatch uses mathematical and image processing algorithms to optically scan wide areas and detect the earliest signs of smoke. Every 100 seconds, the camera takes a new image and compares it with the previous image. Where a change is detected, such as visible smoke, the person monitoring the system will receive an alert and can initiate a speedy response.

“The ForestWatch technology is essentially the 21st century version of a fire tower,” Prof. Bowman said. “It was understood very early on that identifying fires in the landscape was critical step in fire management. Building lookouts, with people getting up early in the morning during the summer months and scanning the horizon into the evening, recording the distance and angle to any observed fire, was a primitive means of fire detection.


Source: FWPA
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Land owners – should I stay or should I grow?

Opinion piece: Dr Eric Crampton, Chief Economist at The New Zealand Initiative

One bit of the Climate Commission’s draft advice, released in March, seemed particularly strange. The Commission worried that a surge in forest planting in New Zealand over the coming years would bring about a collapse in ETS prices in the 2030s and put New Zealand’s net zero commitments beyond 2050 at risk.

It seemed particularly strange for those who remember Howard Hotelling’s work on pricing of non-renewable resources over time. It’s standard drill on how to think about these kinds of problems. Its absence from public discourse around carbon prices is hardly surprising: Howard Hotelling is possibly even less of a household name than Armen Alchian. But his work’s absence from the Commission’s thinking is a worry.

Howard Hotelling was a mathematician and statistician who turned to problems in economics. In 1931, he published work that helped shape how economists have thought about pricing. His paper, The Economics of Exhaustible Resources, set a simple-looking problem.

Suppose you own a mine. It contains only so much ore, though you could expend resources to be able to make use of more of it. There are other mines in the world. If you own one of those mines, you have to decide how much ore to extract from the ground today, how much to leave to extract in the future, and how much to sell of what you have processed.

How should you decide?

After a lot of application of the calculus of variations, which made his work inaccessible to a lot of economists for a few decades, he wound up demonstrating what’s now called “Hotelling’s Rule”. To put it simply, the path of prices for a non-renewable resource should wind up following the path of interest rates. And it’s fairly easy to see why.

Suppose that you could earn $100 by extracting, processing, and selling a tonne of ore today. And suppose that interest rates are 5%. If the futures markets say that a tonne of ore will be worth $102 next year, then you should want to extract ore today and sell it rather than wait. If you sell ore today, and put $100 in the bank, you’ll have $105 next year. And that’s more than $102.

If the futures markets instead said that a tonne will be worth $110 next year, then you should want to hold back production. The ore is literally worth more left in the ground to use next year, because $110 is more than $105.

As different owners make their decisions, the current and future prices of ore change. Whenever the price path expected in futures markets diverges from the path of interest rates, mine owners have reason to either extract more quickly, or more slowly, to push them back into alignment.

It’s a handy result. Pure profit-seeking by diverse owners leads them to follow an extraction path that mirrors overall preferences between current and future consumption – the interest rate.

That’s the simplest version of the model. More complicated versions bring in technological change, changes in demand, and changes in the cost of extracting ore. But the core intuition holds. If the mine owner thinks more money can be made by waiting to extract ore rather than digging it up today, balancing expectations about future technology, changes in costs, and interest rates, the owner will do that.

What you don’t see in these models is owners deciding just to dump all of their ore rather than holding it for later sale despite expecting higher prices tomorrow. Why would they? They would be throwing money away.

And that brings us back to the Climate Commission’s odd view of the 2030s and beyond. The Commission makes a few assumptions to get to its odd result.

First, it assumes that current forest planting rates will continue into the future. Second, it assumes that forest owners earning credits are likely to sell them soon after receiving them. For those familiar with Hotelling’s work, those assumptions combined with a price collapse in 2030 make little sense.

More >>

Source: nzinitiative

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Portable biocharger converts wood waste to electricity

Claimed to be the only machine in the world eliminating wood wastes on site to power battery operating equipment and machinery.

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SnapSTAT - Forestry ITP numbers

One challenge outlined in the recently released Forestry and Wood Processing Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) from Te Uru Rākau/NZ Forest Service is lifting the value of forestry exports. This week’s graphic shows the status quo. See the ITP report for ideas to change that.

Click here for full details



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Australian Pine Log Price Index report released

The latest Australian Pine Log Price Index for the July to December 2022 period has just been released. The Australian Pine Log Price Index is compiled by KPMG using data provided by Australian softwood growers. The Index documents changes in pine log prices achieved by large-scale commercial plantation owners selling common grades of plantation softwood logs to domestic processors.

KPMG updates the Index biannually, with the two reporting periods being January to June and July to December. The Index has a base period of January to June 1998. KPMG acts as the independent Index manager and collects confidential data on log volumes and stumpage values for all sales, including long and short-term contracts and spot transactions, at the end of each reporting period. Quantity information on export sawlogs and export pulpwood is also provided.

This report presents a summary of the results of the Index report released for the period 1 July to 31 December 2022. The findings in this report are based on data provided by Forestry Corporation of NSW, HVP Plantations, Forest Products Commission and OneFortyOne Plantations.

The report is attached here for your information.

Source: KPMG

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Whakatane Paper Mill commits to NZ$70m further investment

In early 2021, Whakatane Mill Ltd (WML) was on the brink of closure. However, the company is thrilled to announce a significant investment upgrade, and progress is already well underway.

WML has successfully secured a substantial private investment of over NZ$70m from its shareholders, signalling the company's robust health and promising future. This investment marks the most significant capital expenditure for WML since 2004 and is a testament to its commitment to growth. The infusion of funds will facilitate a major upgrade, elevating WML to industry-leading standards.

The upgrade will deliver an additional 50,000 tonnes of premium folding box boards, increasing WML’s production from 150,000 to 200,000 tonnes. The upgrade is paving the way for WML to potentially produce up to 300,000 tonnes of premium folding box board in the future.

Per tonne of board, the energy efficiency will be approximately 30% better, gas consumption will be reduced by more than 30% and WML’s water consumption from the local river will also see a significant decrease. Additionally, WML will eliminate plastic consumption by transitioning from plastic to paper wrap for packaging of its finished products. The heat recovery system will contribute significantly to WML’s ESG profile.

As the sole folding box board producer in Australasia, WML’s advancements offer main brand owners such as DB Breweries, McDonalds, and Griffins the chance to reduce their carbon footprint and avoid importing packaging from countries like Finland, Korea, China, and Chile. This move towards sustainability presents a positive environmental impact.

Construction commenced in the last week of June and will continue until mid-late August with full production expected to be achieved by November 2023. The equipment for the upgrade has been sourced from highly specialised manufacturers in Europe. The core equipment for the board machine, specifically the water removal/drying section, has been imported from Germany, while the fully automated paper wrap line originates from Finland, and the crucial heat recovery system has been acquired from Italy.

Fifty contracting companies from across the Bay of Plenty are involved in the upgrade with over four hundred contractors on site to install approximately 45 kilometres of cable and 5.5 kilometres of piping.

Ian Halliday, Executive Chairman of Whakatane Mill Limited, expressed his pride in this achievement, not only for the WML’s workforce but also for their commercial partners, customers, and the local community.

For more information, please visit

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Corryong's sawmill to close after 58 years

After 58 years of business, Walker's timber mill in Corryong, in Victoria's north east, will soon be powering down for the last time. The closure follows the state government's decision to bring forward the end of native timber harvesting by January 1, 2024 in order to better protect the environment and the native wildlife that depends on it.

North-east Victorian resident Gary Williams has worked at the local timber sawmill for 42 years, following in the footsteps of his father. "I grew up here as a kid around the mill. My father started here in the 1970s so I guess I've been around here for a long time," Mr Williams said.

Like Mr Williams, co-worker David Crane also grew up around the timber industry. "Been around the timber industry, which was related to my father's work, since I was 10 and I'm 61 now," Mr Crane said. "I enjoy Corryong; raised my two girls up here. My wife and I have a good relationship with the community, and it's sad to see the mill is going."

The mill predominantly makes timber pallets and will continue to operate until it runs out of wood, which is expected to be before the end of the year. Its 21 workers will receive redundancies from the Victorian government, however Mr Crane said the community will lose more than jobs.

More >>

Source: ABC News

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GNSS for more accurate machine & log location

Digital developments unfold at a fast pace, and for forestry this means opportunities for new, smarter ways of working. Thanks to developments in the satellite positioning technology GNSS, MaxiFleet, Komatsu Forest fleet management system, can now show the machine’s position within just a few centimetres, providing the foundation for a new and exciting function, Precision.

GPS positioning has long been used in forestry and has helped in the development of work methods, facilitated collaboration, and increased productivity. However, an error margin of 0 to 10 m has meant fairly inaccurate positioning. Today’s new RTK GNSS technology enables positioning with an error margin of just a few centimetres, paving the way for countless possibilities and even heralding a paradigm shift to a smarter forestry.

One new feature is that the operator can use geofencing – a digital fence that is added when planning an area. This could be around a harvesting area or to mark protected areas such as ancient monuments or charcoal pile remains. This feature means greater peace of mind for forest owners and operators alike as it indicates more clearly where the operator should harvest and the areas they should avoid. Geofences can also be linked to alarms to warn the operator when the machine or the crane tip is approaching such a boundary.

Since the machine’s position can be determined with great precision, the user can also see the machine in the map program – including the direction of the crane and the location of the crane tip. This extreme precision enhances the practical usability of the map layer data for the operator. Another advantage of the new technology is that the machine’s route is plotted with significantly better accuracy, making the planning more effective.

In MaxiFleet the operators have always been able to see where a tree was felled, but with the greater precision now available, the exact position of each felled log can be shown. This lets the operator know exactly where the timber is located, even in the dark or when covered with snow. This will also make it easier to see the assortment found in each log pile or at the roadside.

Another new function is stem code visualization, which means that individual stems can be visualized using stem codes based on, for example, biodiversity considerations. Stem coding supports the operator in their work, enabling them to make better decisions more easily and making it easier to follow directives, such as for the distance between future trees. Based on previously coded trees, MaxiFleet can also suggest when it is time to cut a high stump or leave a tree standing, making the operators work easier. It can also keep track of the number of high stumps, meaning one less thing for you to worry about.

The GNSS system uses several satellite systems to determine positions. This refinement has been enabled by the arrival of several new satellites, including the commissioning of Galileo, the European GNSS system.

Accurate positioning using satellite data requires more known measurement points to help correct the satellite’s signals. Previous technology has been based on only the machine having a signal receiver, but thanks to networked RTK (real-time kinematic), the machine now has access to several fixed reference stations. These are used to correct any errors in the satellite signals, thereby improving positioning precision from several meters to a few centimetres.

Source: Komatsuforest

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Timber industry stalwart Kenneth Epp retires

After 25 years with Visy Pulp and Paper, Kenneth Epp, who was with the Tumut mill from its establishment in 2001, has retired.

Chair of the Softwoods Working Group and Murray Region Forestry Hub, Peter Crowe OAM, said Mr Epp played a major role in the development of the Australian plantation-based forestry industries and in particular the establishment of the Visy enterprise near Tumut.

“The Visy mill at Tumut is a global-sized pulp and packaging plant and is the largest softwood plantation-based investment ever constructed in Australia. Even more remarkable is its establishment near a relatively small regional town, which meant Kenneth had numerous logistical and operational challenges to meet to make this mill a reality,” he said.

“The project brought Kenneth’s great talents of communication, negotiation, and technical expertise to the fore and he is widely respected across the industry. Because of his valuable participation in guiding the project to a highly successful enterprise – his contribution to the wider community is almost immeasurable.

“Kenneth’s ability to assemble a huge portfolio of pulpwood and chips supplies was no mean feat and his legacy in this regard will endure. The assembly of a large array of mechanical harvesting and transport vehicles and having them operating 24/7 was a mighty challenge – successfully met.

“The pulpwood thinnings from young plantations have set up the plantation estate in NSW for maximum production of a high-quality product – much of this would not have been possible without Kenneth’s efforts on behalf of Visy.”

Prior to Visy, Mr Epp spent 16 years with Laminex Group, and seven years with British Columbia (Canada) Forest Service. Reflecting on his career he said it had been varied, interesting, and very demanding at times but highly rewarding, mostly due to the fine people he had worked with over the years.

“Looking back, what strikes me most are the people that supported and trusted me. My mentor and friend, the late Ron Hardwick, especially needs to be mentioned,” he said.

Photo: Ron Hardwick and Kenneth Epp at Sugar Pine Walk, Bago State Forest, Laurel Hill

More >>

Source: Murray Region Forestry Hub

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World’s largest wooden city planned

Recently announced by Atrium Ljungberg, construction is expected to begin in 2025

June 20, 2023 The world’s largest wooden city is coming to Stockholm. Announced on June 20 through Atrium Ljungberg, the firm responsible for the project, Stockholm Wood City is expected to break ground in 2025, with the first completed buildings in 2027.

“We are proud to introduce Stockholm Wood City. This is not only an important step for us as a company, but a historic milestone for Swedish innovation capability,” Annica Ånäs, CEO of Atrium Ljungberg, said in a statement.

Planned in Sickla, which is in the southern parts of Stockholm, the city is planned to extend over 2,690,977 square feet. The project includes a variety of construction types and is expected to bring 7,000 new offices and 2,000 new housing units to the area, along with real estate options for stores and restaurants.

The development will span 25 blocks and is estimated to be largest community built using mass timber upon its completion. “Stockholm Wood City manifests our future. From tenants, there is a strong demand for innovative, sustainable solutions—a demand that we meet with this initiative,” Ånäs added.

In an effort to revolutionize the future, designers and architects are increasingly looking to the past, and wood construction remains a prime example of this occurrence.

More >>

Photo: photos: Atrium Ljungberg/Henning Larsen

Source: Architecture & Design

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Buy and Sell

... and one to end the week on ...

An artist asked the gallery owner if there had been any interest in her paintings that were on display.

"Well, I have good news and bad news," the owner responded. "The good news is that a gentleman noticed your work and wondered if it would appreciate in value after your death. I told him it would and he bought all 10 of your paintings."

"That's wonderful," the artist exclaimed. "What's the bad news?"

"The gentleman was your doctor."

And one more. An elderly couple are attending church services. About halfway through the service, the man writes a note and hands it to his wife.

It says, " I just let out a silent f**t, what do you think I should do?" She scribbles back, " Put a new battery in your hearing aid."

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

John Stulen
Editor, WoodWorks News
PO Box 1230, Rotorua, 3040
Tel: +64 7 921 1381
Mob: +64 27 275 8011

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