Friday Offcuts – 9 February 2024

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Welcome to this week's edition of Friday Offcuts, delivering the latest updates and insights from across the forestry and wood processing sectors.

This week we cover Scion's work exploring the potential for recycling CCA-treated timber to reduce landfill waste and mitigate end-of-life environmental concerns. FWPA has released new guides to help educate and improve the sector's response to climate change and decarbonisation. 

Meanwhile, in the UK, the arrival of the first electric log truck marks a significant step towards decarbonising the sector. Electric trucks have been on our radar for a while now, with trials well underway in Australia and NZ. This will be a major theme at the upcoming FIEA event, Wood Transport & Logistics 2024, being held in Rotorua on 22-23 May 2024. 

New technology and developments include Indufor's Dwell monitoring system for tree disease outbreaks, a Swedish company's plan to revolutionise construction and the launch of the Silvicultural Micro Innovation Challenge for new planting, pruning and thinning innovations.

We cover these and more in another packed edition of Friday Offcuts. Enjoy the read.

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Future for CCA timber

Scientists believe there could be a future for CCA timber at the end of its useful life.

Every year, thousands of tonnes of CCA-treated timber are sent to secure landfills. There are currently limited disposal options for the timber, which has been treated with a mix of copper, chromium and arsenic.

One of the most widely used wood preservatives worldwide, chromated copper arsenate (CCA) enhances the durability of wood, meaning timber products are more resilient to decay and insect attack. It is commonly used in construction, landscape gardening and horticulture with hundreds of CCA- treated posts per hectare in vineyards.

But at the end of its life the wood has limited reuse value and, due to environmental challenges with the treatment components like arsenic, limited disposal options.

Incineration or pyrolysis is technically challenging. Most of it goes to secure landfills. Exactly how much is sent to landfill is hard to quantify because CCA makes up a portion of demolition waste which is often unsorted. A 2021 Ministry for the Environment report showed almost three million tonnes of class 2 to 5 waste is sent to landfill each year. Construction and demolition waste could be in classes 2-4 and contain CCA timber.

Scientists at Scion have been researching removing CCA from treated timber at the end of its life and separating it into individual elements.

Senior technologist Sean Taylor discovered there could be a way to remove CCA from the timber in 2015 and began research to find an efficient removal process. The early successes led to a $163,000 Waste Minimisation Fund grant to continue investigating the feasibility of remediating treated timber.

Taylor has made good progress removing CCA and recovering the copper and arsenic, but more work needs to be done recovering individual elements – particularly isolating a high enough percentage of chromium. “The issue became how can we get the metal components out and how can we isolate them individually?” Taylor says.

While a future use for the remediated timber and recovered elements would need to be determined by users, once successfully isolated, the elements could then be reused in things like electronics or compound metals, keeping them in the circular bioeconomy.

“If you’re just taking it out of the timber and putting it into a bucket, you’re just moving the problem around.”

Taylor says a solution to CCA timber is vital because putting it in the landfill or worse, burning it without suitable technology and infrastructure, is “not the wise or right thing to do long term”.

Scion’s Circular Manufacturing programme aims to show wood materials can go into circularity beyond burning … We can use new technology to solve hard and old challenges.”

Gaugler says Scion has shown there are end-of-use options for CCA-treated timber, but it needs to happen on a large scale. The question is who pays for resource recovery and waste management addressing the issue and adding value by eliminating a problem.

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Source & image credit: Scion


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PF Olsen NZ log market report – Jan 2024

Market Summary

There were mixed signals from the China log market at the end of 2023, but January At Wharf Gate (AWG) prices for export logs in New Zealand increased slightly from December AWG prices. 

Domestic log prices were stable with some small price increases for structural logs.

The PF Olsen Log Price Index increased $2 to $125. The index is currently $5 above the two-year average, $3 above the three-year average, and $4 above the five-year average.

Domestic Log Market

Many sawmills in New Zealand took longer end-of-year breaks than usual. Sales of decking material this summer are higher than last summer, but still below the longer-term average sale figures. Domestic sales of structural and outdoor products have picked up from last year but sawmillers are still wary of sales figures in the winter months ahead. Many sawmillers expect sales similar to last year as interest rates remain high. 

Sales of sawn timber into Australia are okay, but sales of clear sawn timber into Europe remain low, and it is unlikely demand will increase during the European winter. 

Domestic log prices are stable with some small increases in structural logs in the Central North Island and Southland regions.

China

China softwood log inventory is stable but daily port off-take has started to reduce in preparation for the Chinese Lunar New Year. Daily offtake is now around 55k m3 per day. Many sawmills across China are taking a longer break than normal this year. The sale price for A-grade pine logs in China remained stable in January within the 127-130 USD range. Some log exporters have asked for price increases for February sales. 

By the end of December China wholesale log prices had reduced by approximately 60 RMB per m3 (6%) from the peak (when sawmillers had a minor panic that log supply would not keep up with demand). However, wholesale prices have risen 25% since mid-June and finished the year slightly above 2022 price levels.

The China Caixin Manufacturing PMI increased from 50.7 in November to 50.8 in December. (Any number above 50 signals manufacturing growth). Output grew the most in seven months and new orders rose at the fastest pace since February. 

A Hong Kong-based court has ordered the liquidation of property developer China Evergrande Group which initially defaulted on its debts in 2021. The court appointed Alvarez & Marsal as the liquidator. This default contributed to the property sector entering into a downward spiral at that time. The market expects this liquidation will have little immediate effect on construction and log demand. It will likely be a drawn-out process for an offshore liquidator to take control of Evergrande’s operations across mainland China.

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Scott Downs, Director Sales & Marketing, PF Olsen Ltd

Source: PF Olsen


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SnapSTAT - Forestry Export Revenue




Source: MPI Situation and Outlook Dec 2023
 
See more: Here

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First Volvo electric log truck in UK

New Volvo electric log truck, said to first of its kind in the UK, is now in trial operation in the Scottish Highlands to decarbonize the sector.

A new electric log truck, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, is now in operation in the Highlands as part of a trial to help decarbonise the sector. Scotlog Sales Ltd of Inverness has taken delivery of the new 44-tonne wagon, which will transport logs shipped in from the west coast to be hauled from the Port of Inverness to the West Fraser site at Dalcross.

The new "wagon and drag" truck – a rigid vehicle and trailer – is part of a three- year trial testing two state-of-the-art electric vehicles to move logs, cutting down on emissions. The Volvo truck is the first of their line to be produced in Europe.

The truck has been in operation for six weeks, firstly working at the Port of Inverness before taking to the roads and becoming a familiar sight on the A96. Scottish Forestry is investing £452,000 towards the trial which is partnering with Scotlog Sales , James Jones & Sons , the Volvo Group and Cleaner EV.

A second electric truck (artic unit) has been in operation in the south of Scotland with forestry business James Jones & Sons . Rural affairs secretary Mairi Gougeon said: "Around seven million tonnes of wood are harvested from Scotland’s forests each year and transported to sawmills, board manufacturers and other processors, mostly on 44-tonne diesel trucks.

"The forestry sector is keen to use modern technology to tackle timber transport issues as part of its overall efforts to decarbonise and reach net zero. I’m pleased that this second truck is now working in the Highlands and look forward to hearing more about this innovative trial and how it can help cut transport emissions."

A key element of the three-year trial is that all the partners involved are committed to sharing their experiences of running the electric trucks with others in the timber and rural haulage sectors. Creel Maritime consultants are working to monitor the use of the trucks and arrange knowledge exchange opportunities over the following three years.

"This is a very exciting project but there are big challenges in running HGV trucks on electric power, mainly on cost grounds and infrastructure," said Neil Stoddart, director of Creel Maritime Ltd. "This three-year trial will look into all these aspects and I’m keen to share as much detail on this with the industry. So far both trucks are matching expectations both in terms of commercial performance and driver operation."

Log transport is an integral part of the forestry sector chain and reducing its emissions through technology and different modes of transport is a positive move. The timber supply chain relies on many parts of the forestry sector and creating new woodlands is part and parcel of this effort, ensuring timber is available well into the future.

Leaders from the forestry, rural, environmental and community sectors are to meet in Perthshire next week at the Woodland Creation Summit, which will be chaired by Ms Gougeon. It will look at new opportunities at expanding Scotland’s woodland creation rates, whether it is by new planting or natural regeneration.

Source: Inverness Courier



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Megafires and the forestry industry in Chile

In just a few years, south-central Chile has become the centre of increasingly extensive and destructive megafires. With serious environmental consequences, research warns that their effects are more severe than those of a major earthquake. How has the forestry industry contributed to this new and flammable scenario?

For decades, severe and extensive forest fires have affected the central-southern zone of Chile with force and destruction. The fires have left not only deaths and serious environmental impacts in their wake, but severe social and economic consequences.

Increasing in their intensity, magnitude, and destruction, forest fires not only reflect the effects of the climate crisis, but warn of other issues, such as urban expansion and land use changes. But now, in the past few years, we have gone from seeing fires of varying scale and magnitude to a much more terrifying category: megafires. These are powerful massive fires that are extreme in their size and impact. And they are no longer rare but have become dangerously recurrent.

For example, in 2017, the fires in Chile were the worst on record, affecting more than 500,000 hectares, with the cost to extinguish them at $US 350 million. To get an idea of the power of these fires, according to studies by the Center for Climate Science and Resilience (CR)2, the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from the fires was nearly 100 million tons, equivalent to 90 percent of the total national CO2 emissions during the entire, previous year. To graph it another way: it was as if 23 years of emissions from all light passenger vehicles in Chile’s capital, Santiago, which is home to about one-third of the country’s 20 million people, were put together.

Six years later, the megafires of the 2023 season overtook 400,000 hectares, at a cost of just over $300 million to the State and claimed 24 fatalities. What is happening that is causing these destructive fires to repeat with greater frequency?

Trees as fuel

Official statistics show that 89 per cent of the area affected by forest fires in Chile occur between the Valparaíso region in the central part of the country and the La Araucanía region in the south. Although most fires are small in size, fires larger than 200 hectares account for only 1 per cent of the total but represent 74 per cent of the total area burned per year.

Moreover, the new mega-fires, which used to happen almost exclusively during the summer, have extended their season and now happen from mid-October to the end of May. In other words, in just the span of one decade, the season for large fires has increased by almost two months in central-southern Chile.

According to land use type, half of the area affected by large fires between 1985 and 2018 was covered by exotic species tree plantations utilising pine and eucalyptus. Native forest accounted for 20 percent. As such, it’s clear that the expansion and occurrence of mega-fires in Chile have a direct link to these large swaths of forest plantations. Exotic species tree farms accumulate more fuel, low humidity, and higher volatile compounds. This, together with drought and lower humidity levels, provides a highly critical and favourable scenario for the occurrence of forest fires.

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Source: patagonjournal.com

Further reading: At least 112 dead as authorities struggle to contain forest fires in Chile (The Guardian)


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New board members for Forestry Australia

Forestry Australia has announced the appointment of two new board members, South Australia’s Monique Blason and Victoria’s Ruth Ryan.

Forestry Australia CEO Jacquie Martin said Ms Blason and Ms Ryan would bring exceptional experience in filling the casual vacancy positions.

“Monique and Ruth’s experience in softwood plantations, fire management, stakeholder engagement, policy and regulation will make a valuable addition to the board’s skillset,” Ms Martin said.

Monique has a 30-year career covering policy and regulation development, focused on public land, fire and biodiversity management, community and stakeholder engagement as well as developing and coordinating whole of government emergency management, crisis resilience, public safety regulation in South Australia.

Ruth is a Forestry Australia Fellow and has more than 40 years’ experience in forestry and fire in Australia, with a focus on commercial softwood plantation management in Victoria, and was appointed to the European Union funded FIRE-RES research project and The Commonwealth’s Wildfire Resilient Landscapes Network.”

Monique Blason said: “I am honoured to have been asked to join the Forestry Australia Board. I look forward to contributing to the collective knowledge and leadership of the Board to advocate for sustainable forest management and to support and develop our members.”

Ruth Ryan AFSM FFA said: “I have been a long-time member of Forestry Australia and proud to be amongst the early cohort of Registered Forestry Professionals. I have always believed in the sense and purpose of the organisation to promote professionalism and dialogue to ensure wise management of our forests. I am excited by the recent revitalisation of the organisation and look forward to growing Forestry Australia’s future.

Forestry Australia has also announced the appointment of Emily Post as an additional Board Observer.

Ms Martin said the Board Observer position provides a broader point of view and diversity at Board meetings, as well as facilitating pathways for younger members with an interest in gaining executive-level experience and developing their leadership and governance skills.

“We look forward to incorporating and capitalising on Monique, Ruth and Emily’s contribution as we work to increase recognition of the value of sustainable forestry in modern Australian society,” Ms Martin said.

Emily Post said: “Forestry Australia and the broader forestry community have shown me unwavering support throughout the formative years of my career. I am humbled and delighted to have been offered an opportunity to contribute to the continued success of Forestry Australia and the professionals it represents.”

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Source & image credit: Forestry Australia


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New CEO for Forest Industry Contractors Association

The Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA) has announced the appointment of Rowan Struthers as its new CEO. An experienced professional who has worked across the forestry sector in various roles including senior leadership and forest management, Rowan will take over the job from departing CEO Prue Younger who finishes up in March.

Having graduated from Canterbury University Forestry School, Rowan Struthers has over 30 years of experience working in forestry. He has worked in most facets of the industry including silviculture, woodflow/supply chain management, harvesting, log trading, human resource management, sales and marketing of processed products, building supplies management, forest procurement and general management.

Rowan has held senior leadership roles in a diverse number of companies that include Fletcher Challenge Forests, Umbraco (a privately owned building suppliers company managing multiple sites), Hancock/Manulife and most recently Chief Operations Officer at China Forestry Group. He has also been a member of the NZFOA executive.

FICA Chair Nick Tombleson says the FICA Board is delighted to have Rowan on board, who will take the organisation forward into its next stage. “Rowan has a huge amount of knowledge across so many parts of our industry. That will be of huge benefit to our forestry contractor members and we’re looking forward to drawing on his experience as we take FICA into the next period,” he says.

Rowan says that he is ready to take on the new challenge and will be focused on building a professional, efficient and sustainable contractor workforce. “Over the thirty years I have spent in the industry, a key part of my success has been the collaborative relationships I have been able to develop with Contractors,” he says.

“A professional, efficient and sustainable contractor workforce is key to ensuring the long-term future of the NZ Forest Industry. This role is a great opportunity to work collaboratively with multiple stakeholders to further the good work that has already been done by many. I look forward to the challenge.”

Source: FICA

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Steam rises again from Pan Pac

Almost a year since Cyclone Gabrielle flooded Pan Pac’s mill site at Whirinaki, steam has begun rising from one of the stacks.

For nearly 50 years, Hawke’s Bay residents have been able to locate Pan Pac’s mill site by the billowing steam issuing from its boilers, pulpmill and kilns at Whirinaki. The boiler steam comes from bark and sawdust byproducts of the Pulp and Lumber operations and woody offcuts that have been salvaged from forest operations and converted into biofuel. This energy provides all of the energy required for the pulp and lumber drying and around 12% of the mill’s electricity needs.

However, almost a year ago, Cyclone Gabrielle flooded the site and put the whole site out of action. Pan Pac suffered NZ$300 million in damage to its business and forests from the cyclone, and the company and its staff have been working tirelessly to repair and rebuild ever since. Seeing the steam rising again from the Boiler 1 stack is a welcome sign that full operation is on the horizon, says Tony Clifford, Managing Director, Pan Pac Forest Products.

“Our Lumber operations began partial operations last week and our Pulp mill will be operational in March,“ says Tony. “We can’t wait to get back to business; it’s been a long road back to recovery, but we are grateful to all our staff, contractors, customers, suppliers and our shareholders for sticking with us throughout this process.”

Source: Hawke's Bay App

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TS Manufacturing acquire Automation & Electronics

Both Automation & Electronics (A&E) a leading controls, optimisation, and software provider for the sawmilling and wood products industry, headquartered in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand and TS Manufacturing a leading manufacturer of industrial handling and processing equipment for the sawmilling and wood products industry are excited to announce the acquisition of remaining shares in A&E by TS Manufacturing.

As TS Manufacturing Co. enters an exciting new phase with the acquisition of Automation & Electronics (A&E), we are eager to share key updates and reassure our valued customers and partners about the future of our collaboration. We are proud to announce the purchase of the remaining shares from Brian Smith, Managing Director at A&E. Brian is transitioning to a part-time mentoring role, offering his invaluable expertise and guidance to both organisations. This new chapter not only marks a shift in Brian's professional path but also the continuation of his impactful legacy in a new and meaningful way.

Brian and the dedicated teams at A&E, both in New Zealand and the USA, have forged deep connections with their customers, developing products that are integral to the industry. These relationships and innovations are the bedrock of A&E's success and will continue to be a focal point as we move forward. Under Brian's guidance and the continuity of the teams in New Zealand and USA, these bonds will only grow stronger, fostering further development and innovation in our products and services. We want to assure all customers that A&E continues to operate as an independent company and all teams and customer relationships remain independent and unchanged.

We extend our deepest gratitude to Brian Smith for his dedication and look forward to furthering our collective success. Thank you to all our customers and partners for your continued trust and support as we continue forging the path of A&E globally.

Source: TS Manufacturing, Automation & Electronics



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Vale Ron Eddy

Ron Eddy, 73, was a far-sighted strategist in wood preservation. The death in Auckland on January 31 of Ron Eddy, aged 73, a respected and far-sighted strategist in the field of wood preservation, has sent waves of shock and sadness across the industry and his many friends and business associates around the globe.

Ron’s contribution to the timber industry over many decades is legendary, especially the high goals he set and achieved over a long career that included roles as managing director of Koppers Hickson Timber Protection and founder and managing director of TimTechChem International Ltd.

Ron’s legacy spanned 40-plus years with the timber treatment and protection industry, starting out in his home country South Africa where he worked for Hickson Timber from 1977. In 1986, he emigrated with his wife, Lyn, and family to New Zealand where he transferred to Hickson Timber NZ as marketing director in 1990. The joint venture company Koppers-Hickson Timber Protection (NZ) Ltd was set up with Ron as the managing director.

In 1997 he took a break from timber treatment working for the NZ Institute of Management for a few years before launching TimTech Chemicals Ltd in New Zealand in 2001 and in Australia a year later. Ron was appointed to the executive council of the International Research Group on Wood Protection at the 47th meeting of the IRGWP in Lisbon in May 2016. He was chosen from a list of international candidates to take part in leading the group’s future over the next three years.

Ron’s driving force behind TimTech from 2001 to 2020 opened new horizons in the marketing, research and application of wood treatment technologies on both sides of the Tasman against competition from two major global companies. He retired in 2020. A postscript from an Aussie mate: “Ron was a brilliant chemist and an outstanding market strategist. Wood is better for him.”

Ron is survived by his wife Lynn, two daughters Janine Stewart and Angela Burgess, four grandchildren, a brother Clive in South Africa and a sister Sheldene Crookes in New Zealand. His funeral service was held in Auckland on Monday.

Source: TimberandForestryeNews

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Construction system inspired by Legos and…

Sweden's Lundqvist Trävaru develops construction system inspired by Legos and computer games, allowing consumers to design and order construction kits online; system sources timber from SCA, reduces waste by 20%-40% compared to traditional manufacturing

Lundqvist Trävaru in Piteå, Sweden, is making it easier for ordinary people to build things made from wood by using a system that’s reminiscent of Lego and digital design solutions inspired by computer games. That may sound playful, but the owners’ objective is to revolutionise the construction industry – and they take it very seriously.

A modern production plant near the harbour in Piteå, a long way north on the east coast of Sweden, is home to a construction company that’s almost 90 years old. Lundqvist Trävaru AB was established in 1936, manufacturing furniture for the Swedish Armed Forces. Customers nowadays can directly design their own building in 3D on the Lundqvist website and get a price for the kit and assembly straight away. The system automatically creates shopping lists, transport bookings and drawings for applications for planning permission, too.

The company has a turnover of SEK 240 million, employs 60 people and is anything but traditional in its approach these days. Owners Jens Lundqvist, Deputy CEO, and Samuel Holmström, CEO, have been working since 2014 on realising their shared vision of smarter, more flexible, more fun ways of building using wood – by taking the world of computer games they grew up with and incorporating it into the business.

“As far as I’m concerned, it all began because the slowness of many of the processes in the industry and the fact I couldn’t spend as long as I wanted on the right things when I started working in construction really wound me up. I was cutting and pasting numbers from one program to another, and customers had to wait an age for a price. That was when I started to form an idea of how an ideal system could work,” says Samuel.

Construction kit similar to Lego

Lundqvist is now at the digital cutting edge of development thanks to the construction system developed by Jan Lundqvist, Jens’ father. He got his idea from Lego bricks, which can be combined in almost endless configurations. Following a devastating fire that destroyed all of the company’s assets in 2004, he made the crucial decision to invest fully in the kits on a profit-and-loss basis.

The Internet achieved a major breakthrough soon after, and the timing of that meant the kits could soon be delivered all over Sweden. This new focus sparked his son’s interest in taking over the family business one day. At around the same time, Samuel Holmström – who’s about the same age as Jens – was looking for a new career path when his plans to study computer engineering at university were dashed when he failed to gain the grade he needed in maths.

“There was a misunderstanding that I’m sure we could have resolved, but that said I was keen on a job ad from this small, exciting company by the name of Lundqvist that said its construction system was similar to Lego,” says Samuel.

Game developers - the key to success

He then became the first person to be taken on by the company in 2010, and he soon realised how much fun could be had testing ideas and seeing their impact quickly – a major positive of smaller companies. He and Jens were quick to contact Luleå University of Technology when they took over as majority owners. As part of a degree project, they worked together with computer game designers, computer game developers and systems scientists to create a prototype of the system that’s now used on the website to design holiday homes, garages, machine shops, stables and other structures.

“One of the first people we took on together was a game developer who’d been involved in the project,” says Samuel. More digital developers have been recruited since then and, of the 60-strong workforce, only four currently have a background in traditional construction.

“One unexpected effect of our focus on digital development is that as our digital systems have improved, the threshold for working with us has lowered. You don’t have to be a construction engineer to do everything, which has given us the advantage of being able to focus more on people than on their actual skills when we’re recruiting,” says Samuel.

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Source: Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA)

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First Silvicultural Micro Innovation Challenge

Three NZ$15,000 awards to turn your idea(s) into reality. Let’s level up our Silviculture game!

Silviculture activities – planting, pruning, and thinning – are critical to successful forests, influencing not only the health and form of our trees, but the overall potential yield. We want to support the great work you are doing by helping you turn your ideas that make Silviculture tasks easier, faster, cheaper, safer, and better, into reality.

The Silviculture Micro Innovation Challenge is a chance to win one of three NZ $15,000 awards to help you build a working prototype of your concept. The Challenge finishes on Friday 8 March 2024 at 5pm.



Your idea will be a technical or engineering solution to difficulties Silviculture workers face performing day-to-day planting, pruning, and/or thinning work. It doesn’t need to be fully formed, but an indication of build costs and timeframe is beneficial. If you have built your prototype already – it still counts! There’s no limit to how many ideas you can submit.

Click the button on this page to register your innovation. There are no long proposals to write, just tell us what problem you are trying to fix, your idea in a few words, and upload some pictures, drawings, and/or supporting information.

Visit www.microinnovation.co.nz to register your idea and be in to win NZ$15,000 to build and test your prototype.

Source: microinnovation

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Smart technologies advance the monitoring of RNC

Using innovative satellite detection methods, Indufor’s Dwell monitoring system is now capable of detecting Red Needle Cast (RNC) outbreaks.

The science, developed in a collaborative effort between Indufor and Scion, studies sporadic outbreaks of RNC, caused by a fungal-like organism, Phytophthora pluvialis) over multiple years. In 2023, fuelled by a long-wet summer, the disease proliferated.

Using the capabilities of image time-series processing (at scale), algorithms were built under Dwell, to generate RNC alerts. This provided insights into the location and distribution of the disease across large areas. The results were then pushed to Dwell’s web application ( dashboard) platform, providing an intuitive way for forest growers to share observations and track the spread and severity of outbreaks.

“Dwell provides an important link to understanding the drivers of outbreaks, giving forest owners the ability to react quicker to outbreaks to limit RNC’s impact” says Andrew Holdaway from Indufor’s resource monitoring team.

Looking toward 2024 work has already begun to investigate the interaction between environmental indicators, surfaces and RNC expression with the goal of adding early warning capability to Dwell.

Click here to learn more about the development of Dwell’s RNC alerts, as presented by Andrew Holdaway at the Remote Sensing Cluster Group in November 2023 held in conjunction with ForestTECH 2023.



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Wood biomass boiler swings into action

Fonterra’s NZ Waitoa manufacturing site is now using around 50% less coal as its new wood biomass boiler swings into action. Waitoa is the third Fonterra manufacturing site to reduce coal in 2023, as part of the Co-op’s plan to reduce its Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 50% by 2030 (from a 2018 baseline).

The new wood biomass boiler will reduce the site’s annual emissions by at least 48,000 tonnes of CO2e, the equivalent of taking 20,000 cars off New Zealand’s roads and is another significant step in the Co-op’s transition to a low-carbon future.

Fonterra Chief Operating Officer (Acting) Anna Palairet says “Fonterra has invested around NZ$90million in this new boiler, which will make a 3% reduction in our emissions. It is just one of the many decarbonisation projects underway across the Co-op.

“Earlier last year we moved off coal to wood biomass at our Stirling site and announced projects at Hautapu where we are converting the coal boilers to use wood pellets, and at the FBNZ Palmerston North site where we have installed a heat pump and solar thermal system. These projects follow earlier wood biomass projects at our Te Awamutu and Brightwater sites."

“When you add together the emissions reductions from all projects complete or underway across our manufacturing operations, they reduce our CO2e emissions by a forecast 16% from our FY18 baseline - 279,000 tonnes per annum - the equivalent of 116,200 cars off NZ roads.”

The installation of the new boiler at Waitoa will also give a boost to the local wood biomass industry, with Wood Energy NZ supplying wood chips to power the biomass boiler. Waitoa is also the home to the Co-op’s first electric milk tanker, Milk-E, which to date has collected over 5.5 million litres of milk and completed 1004 farm collections. Fonterra is trialling the electric milk tanker as part of its plan to reduce transport emissions.

Further details on the Co-op’s work to reduce emissions associated with manufacturing:
  • Fonterra expects to further reduce its emissions through a combination of energy efficiency initiatives and switching fuels at our six manufacturing sites that will still be using coal in 2024, and ultimately stop using coal by 2037.
  • Fonterra is in the process of converting the coal boilers at the Hautapu site to wood pellets. Once complete in early 2024, the Hautapu site will reduce its carbon emissions by a forecast 15,785 tonnes per annum.
  • The Stirling wood biomass boiler has been commissioned, moving the site to fully renewable thermal energy for its process heat.
  • In 2020, the Te Awamutu manufacturing site converted its coal boiler to wood pellets, reducing the Co-op’s national coal consumption by 9 per cent, saving more than 84,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.
  • The Brightwater site near Nelson switched to co-firing biomass, helping reduce CO2e emissions by 25 percent.
  • The Co-operative is developing plans to transition its manufacturing sites that use natural gas to other more sustainable energy sources such as biomass, biogas, and electricity from renewable sources.
For more information click here


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Jobs



Buy and Sell



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

One day a city stockbroker decides he has just had too much. Too much stress, too much of the big city, too much everything. So, he quits his job, gives up his apartment, and rents out a cabin in the middle of the wilderness. For six months he lived in tranquillity and isolation. Then, one day, there is a knock at the door."

"He opens the door to see this huge lumberjack with a giant beard shuffling from foot to foot nervously. Eventually, the big man speaks: "I’m yer neighbour from the cabin about a mile down the road. Anyhow, I’m having a party on Saturday, and I wondered if you’d like to come."

The guy pauses for a second and then replies: 'You know what, that would be great. It is about time I got out, and it would be nice to meet some new people. I’d love to come. "Right," says the lumberjack, looking a little relieved. "I’ll see you about eight o’clock on Saturday then." And then he turns to leave.

But he pauses for a second and then turns back: "I should probably warn you, there is gonna be some pretty heavy drinking." "Well, I’m sure that’s OK. I used to drink quite a bit myself back in the city, so I think I’ll be alright with a bit of hard liquor."

"Right then," says the big man. "Well, eight o’clock then." But as he turns to go, he pauses again and turns back. "Yeah, I should also mention: Most likely there will also be a bit of fighting before the evening finishes."

"Uh, well, OK," the guy replies. "I mean, I get on pretty well with most people so I don’t see that being a problem. But if it gets rough, then I am sure I can take care of myself." "Right then," says the big man. "See you at eight o’clock then."

But once again, he pauses and turns back, scratching his beard. "So I probably also need to tell you: There might be some pretty wild s**." The guy perks up a bit at that. "Well, you know, we are all consenting adults. And after all this time out here alone, I don’t think I’d have any problem with some intimate company if that’s what happens."

"OK then," says the man. "Well, see you Saturday." And with that, he turns and starts to stroll away. "Oh wait, just one question," says the guy. "What should I wear?" The lumberjack pauses to think, and scratches his beard again. "I don’t suppose it really matters much. It's just gonna be you and me."




And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

Ken Wilson
Editor, Friday Offcuts
Mob: +61 452 262 337 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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