Friday Offcuts 2 November 2018
VicForests this week announced the successful recipients of their Community Support funding for 2018. More than AU$350,000 in funding to over 200 community groups and organisations across regional Victoria have now been supplied through the programme. In New Zealand, outstanding efforts in science research, collaboration and innovation were also recognised at Scion’s annual Employee Recognition Awards that ran on Monday. Details on each of the major award recipients from each of the various awards programmes run over the last week or so are contained in each of the stories below.
In wood products news, approval has been given this week to a Chinese wood panel manufacturer to lease land to build and operate a new NZ$100 million-plus particle board factory. The proposed development in the central North Island is expected to be completed by 2024. In Australia, a new research facility hosted at Monash’s University in Melbourne was launched late last week in what’s been described as a game-changer for Australian pulp and paper companies. The hubs focus is to transform wood and other organic waste into new, useable and renewable products. Aside from celebrating the new research initiative, the goal set down by the industry partners for the hub is certainly forward thinking, ”to generate, within four to 10 years, 25-50% of their profits from products that don't exist today”.
For those resource managers out there, you’ll see this week that NZ$19 million has been set aside by the New Zealand Government to help fund a national LiDAR project or whole-of-country geo-spatial database. For smaller forest managers, this has been at the top of their wish list for a number of years now. In line with this development, remember, last minute registrations to this year’s ForestTECH series being run for remote sensing, GIS, mapping and forest inventory specialists from throughout New Zealand starts in Rotorua, New Zealand on the 14 November, can still be made on www.foresttech.events. That’s it for this week. Enjoy this week’s read.
This week we have for you:
Green light for new particle board plantChina’s Guangxi Fenglin Wood Industry Group has been given a green light to lease land to build and operate a NZ$100 million-plus particle board factory in Kawerau. Fenglin last year announced plans to establish a plant in Kawerau by 2020 to produce 600,000 cubic metres of panel board a year and generate around 100 new jobs, at an expected cost of NZ$180 million.
According to the Overseas Investment Office, the new factory is likely to create approximately 110 full-time jobs in the Kawerau region and will "introduce new technology and increase export receipts." No price was disclosed for the leasehold, although the office noted the proposed development was expected to cost more than NZ$100 million and be completed by 2024.
Fenglin has approval to lease approximately 33 hectares of Maori freehold land owned by Putauaki Trust. When the proposal was first made, the Wood Processors & Manufacturers Association of New Zealand raised concerns that timber mills in the region didn’t produce enough wood fibre to supply the proposed plant as well as the existing Kinleith and Tasman pulp mills near Tokoroa and in Kawerau respectively.
However, an evaluation of wood fibre availability for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise by Finland forestry consultancy Indufor concluded there is more than enough wood available to support an additional 700,000 cubic metres of domestic fibre demand. Fenglin’s proposed plant is expected to initially produce particle board and later expand to medium-density fibre board.
Founded in 2000, Fenglin was one of the earliest engineering board manufacturers in China and the first in Guangxi Province, according to its website. Listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Fenglin has three MDF plants and one particle board plant in China with total capacity of 810,000 cubic metres a year. It also owns about 14,000 hectares of forests to secure wood supply.
With plants in China’s Guangxi and Guangdon provinces, the company said it began to explore more international opportunities from 2015.
New showcase building launched in MelbourneA showcase midrise timber building launched this week will benefit Australia’s construction and forestry industries by demonstrating the extraordinary capacity of timber as a sustainable, renewable and versatile building resource.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Richard Colbeck, said Forest and Wood Products Australia’s (FWPA) midrise demonstration represents an exciting step forward for Australia’s forestry sector.
“The change to the national construction code in 2016 has created new opportunities for the forestry sector to market timber products as a renewable rival for steel and concrete,” Minister Colbeck said. “We’re certainly seeing a trend towards increased use of structural timber in large-scale construction developments as a more versatile and environmentally friendly option for 21st century tradies.
“The midrise building has been developed to give builders and designers a better understanding of how timber can be used, including cutting-edge engineered wood products like cross laminated timber.”
Mr Ric Sinclair, Managing Director of FWPA, said the demonstration building was an important learning tool to help builders and designers better understand the practicalities of using timber in taller buildings.
“Our partnership with Holmesglen TAFE is an excellent example of how industry and education providers can work together to ensure that new building design and construction techniques can go from the conceptual to the practical,” Mr Sinclair said. “It will be invaluable for builders and consultants to use in explaining the principles of engineered timber construction to students, staff and clients.
NZ$19M for National LiDAR initiativeCouncils in New Zealand that can't afford three-dimensional mapping of their territories stand to gain from a NZ$19 million grant from the Provincial Growth Fund.
Land Information and Economic Development ministers Eugenie Sage and Shane Jones announced the decision to increase funding for so-called LiDAR, or 3D, mapping because of the need for a national database to assist with land use planning, including for forest planting, agricultural productivity, infrastructure development and planning for the impacts of climate change and flooding.
"Councils facing cost pressures can take part in the government's programme to collect and make this valuable data available nationwide," said Jones in an announcement at Local Government New Zealand. He was speaking with Sage, who often finds herself in conflict as Minister of Conservation with Jones's enthusiasm for economic development proposals based on use of natural resources.
Councils will need to apply for co-funding from the PGF. The Provincial Development Unit will provide coordination and technical support to help ensure nationally consistent and open data access after years of discussion about the fact that New Zealand lacks a whole-of-country geo-spatial database.
LiDAR, standing for Light Detection and Ranging data, measures height using laser measurements of the earth's surface to create highly accurate 3D land maps. "Open data access will benefit small businesses that would otherwise not have access to this enhanced data previously reserved to their larger competitors," the ministers said.
VicForests investing in local communitiesVicForests this week announced 34 community groups and organisations across Central and East Victoria would receive funding under the VicForests Community Support Program 2018. The program supports local community groups and organisations with grants of up to AU$2000 to undertake projects which increase community connectedness or community development.
Under the program, VicForests is providing funding to 18 projects including community garden upgrades, new uniforms for sports clubs and first aid training for local groups. In addition, 16 Community Partnerships would receive funding under renewed three-year agreements. These partnerships provide longer-term support for organisations to plan and manage community events and programs.
VicForests General Manager of Corporate Affairs, Alex Messina, said the Community Support Program had provided more than AU$350,000 in funding to over 200 community groups and organisations across regional Victoria. “The Community Support Program is an important part of VicForests’ connection with local communities, particularly in rural and regional Victoria,” Mr Messina said
“Regional Victoria is a big part of who we are as an organisation with many of our staff, contractors and customers living and working in regional communities. “VicForests Community Support Program connects us back into the community and provides an opportunity for us to show our support for the many groups and organisations which do so much for their local area.
Mr Messina said this year, VicForests renewed 16 Community Partnerships providing longer-term funding for organisations up to 2021. “Our Community Partnerships are a great initiative which give organisations the assurance and stability they need to plan ahead and know that VicForests is committed to working with them to deliver their community event or service over the long-term.
For more information on the VicForests Community Support Program including a full list of recipients, visit the VicForests website at www.vicforests.com.au
Industry leaders recognised at Victorian awardsThe Victorian timber and forest industry celebrated the hard work of its members and the contribution they make to the Victorian community, its economy, and the sustainability of the state. The Victorian Association of Forest Industries (VAFI) Awards were presented at the Industry’s annual dinner held at RACV City Club on Friday, 19 October, and saw several businesses recognised for their innovation and sustainability credentials, as well as their community engagement.
VAFI CEO Tim Johnston said the 2018 VAFI Awards are recognition of the outstanding work by businesses in the Victorian timber and forest industry and are examples of how the industry is working to ensure it has a bright future.
“The work that goes on each year by those in the industry is second to none and I am always amazed by the high calibre of entries we get for the awards. It is fitting to see the hard work of VAFI Members recognised appropriately,” he said.
The 2018 VAFI Award recipients were:
- Stafford Logging, winner of the Sustainability Award
- Pyrenees Timber, winner of the Community Award
- Australian Bluegum Plantations, winner of the Economy Award
- Emma Gall, HVP Plantations, winner of the Special Recognition Award: Individual Excellence
As the key event for the timber and forest industry in Victoria, the VAFI Annual Industry Dinner brought together some 250 key industry stakeholders, members of Governments, friends, associates and colleagues in a night showcasing the best the industry has to offer.
The 2018 VAFI Industry Review ― an overview of the forest and wood products industry in Victoria ― was also launched at the Dinner. The VAFI Annual Industry Dinner is made possible by its sponsors, which included Gold Sponsor Australian Paper, Silver Sponsors VicForests and First Super, Award Sponsor Australian Bluegum Plantations, Bronze Sponsors Fenning Bairnsdale, and Ryan & McNulty Sawmillers, as well as several other event sponsors.
Photo:Emma Gall, HVP Plantations, winner of the Special Recognition Award, Capture Point Photography.
2018 Queensland Timber Industry AwardsOn the 13th of October, TABMA hosted the 2018 Queensland Timber Industry Awards in Brisbane. Held in the Podium Room of the Rydges Hotel, more than 260 people donned their finest cocktail attire to attend the event. The guests were welcomed by TABMA QLD’s Chairman Michael Gaske and General Manager Alicia Oelkers, followed by the awards presentation that recognised and showcased excellence in the industry. All in all, the evening was a great success.
It would not be possible to discuss the successes of the evening, without mentioning the industry’s many outstanding winners. To be recognised for an award is a great achievement and all finalists must be commended on their hard work and dedication.
The 2018 award winners are as follows:
Best Timber Merchant - Tradeware Building Supplies
Best Building Materials Centre – BMS Mitre 10
Best Timber Wholesale Operation - Dindas Australia
Best Frame and Truss Operation - Langs Building Supplies
Best Timber Manufacturing Operation - Parkside Group – Wondai Dry Mill
Best Sawmilling Operation - Hyne Timber
Most Innovative Operation - Langs Building Supplies
Best Host Employer - Williams Group Australia
Apprentice of the Year - Riley Cassels - Project Shopfit
Trainee of the Year - La-lani Clemett - Versace Timbers
Best Wholesale Representative - Michael Branton - I.T.I Australia
Recognising an individual’s contribution to the Forest and Timber Industry - Rod McInnes
TABMA CEO Colin Fitzpatrick had the honour of presenting the award to long-standing patron and industry leader Rod McInnes, for his individual contributions to the industry. Retiring from his role as CEO of Timber Queensland in 2016, his involvement and insights into the industry are not unrecognised.
Once the evening’s official proceedings had concluded, it was great to see all attendees up and enjoying the dance floor, making for a night filled with drinks, dance and laughter. Alicia Oelkers would like to once again thank all those who attended and congratulate all winners on their amazing contributions. “When you see how much everyone enjoys the evening, you know the hard work in preparing the night is all worth it!”.
A final thank you goes to the evenings event sponsors, who include ITI Australia, Dindas, Woodhouse, T-PAC, AKD Softwoods, Gunnersen, Ozline Timbers, Parkside Timber, VTW Australia, Wesbeam and Belle’s Monteville. Events such as these cannot take place without the kind generosity and support of the industry.
Australian research hub launchedAustralia's pulp and paper industries are set to be the beneficiaries of a new research hub that will look at transforming wood and other organic waste into everything from medicinal gels to food packaging.
Monash University on Friday 26 October launched the Australian Research Council (ARC) Hub for Processing Advance Lignocelluosics into Advance Materials - a game-changer for pulp and paper companies that will effectively become bio-refineries.
A total of AU$6.8 million over five years will be invested to convert materials, such as wood, plant-based matter and other biomass, into marketable chemicals and materials such as cellulose-based hydrogels for personal medicine (blood typing), nanocellulose films to replace plastic food packaging, and nanogels to help farmers maintain crops in the ever-changing climate.
An industry consortium of Amcor, Circa, Leaf, Orora, Norske Skog and Visy will join Monash, the University of Tasmania, the University of South Australia, the Government of Tasmania and AgroParis Tech as part of this ARC Hub.
Professor Gil Garnier, Director of the Bioresource Processing Research Institute of Australia (BioPRIA), said this groundbreaking research will greatly help the Australian pulp, paper and forest industry transform their production waste into high-grade goods for the global marketplace.
"This Hub will leverage world-leading Australian and international research capabilities in chemistry, materials science and engineering with the express aim of creating new materials, companies and jobs for our growing bioeconomy," Professor Garnier said.
"With ongoing support and vision from our government, industry and university partners, we will identify new applications and products derived from biowaste to transform the pharmaceutical, chemicals, plastics and food packaging industries in Australia and across the world."
This industry transformation will be achieved through three specific objectives:
- Derive ‘green’ chemicals from Australian wood and lignocellulosic streams: Following examples in Europe and North America where high-grade chemicals, including gels and thermoplastics, are developed from wood extractives;
- Engineer new nanocellulose applications: Using Australian agricultural and wood residue to create nanocellulose and better nanofibers; and
- Develop ultralight paper and novel packaging: Creating cellulosic-based packing products with significantly improved physical properties and new attributes, including radio-frequency identification technology to integrate with transport / retail information systems.
"In fact, one of the goals is for our industry partners to generate, within four to 10 years, 25-50% of their profits from products that don't exist today,” Professor Garnier said.
“This is an exciting time for Australia’s paper and pulp industry as we develop new products for existing markets and further grow our knowledge in bioresources. We’re pleased to be able to contribute to the nation-wide goal of reducing biowaste in our communities.”
Source: Monash University
Forestry success celebrated at inaugural awardsA multi-generational logging company was on Friday night toasted as the supreme winner of the inaugural Green Triangle Timber Industry Awards at The Barn in Mount Gambier, SA. More than 450 people were on hand to celebrate as Reid Logging picked up the top award, along with the prize for harvesting excellence, with employee Adam Sealey taking out the individual forest operations crown.
Reid Logging was founded in 1966 by the late John Reid and have been at the forefront of the mechanization of the industry. While initially a manual tree falling and haulage company, they moved exclusively to harvest operations in 1990.
They have constantly invested in new and innovative machinery and are known for their integrity and high-quality work output. They epitomise excellence at every level and come to these awards with endorsement from across the sector.
They have an impeccable safety record and have been recognised for that in the past. They regularly exceed best practice to ensure the safety of their crews. They are committed to ongoing training of their workers with staff involved in the development of industry standards on fatigue management.
Reid Logging’s audit scores are second-to-none with a low rejection rate, and workers who proactively manage quality. Those who work with them say they exemplify everything that is good about a family business with a constant eye to excellence and raising the bar wherever they can.
Leonie Stapleton from Timberlink was honoured with a lifetime contribution award, recognising her long-term commitment and involvement in an industry that has historically been male-dominated.
OneFortyOne Wood Products also received three awards, taking out the timber processing as well as the regional and community development excellence prizes and Des Schebella was applauded for his outstanding contribution to the timber industry.
The awards were established to celebrate and reward those involved with the timber industry and cover all facets of it – from nursery to silviculture, harvesting to haulage, logistics, processing and everything in between.
GTTIA chair Adrian Flowers said the committee was very happy with nominations. “We had excellent numbers, and all were of a very high calibre right across all categories. It was about recognizing everyone who contributes to the success of an industry that annually generates more than AU$778 million gross regional product. “
- Trainee Ben Bruhn – Tabeel Trading Pty, Dylan Edwards – L V Dohnt & Company, sponsored by Port of Portland
- Forest Operations, Adam Sealey – Reid Logging, sponsored by PF Olsen
- Work, Health, Safety & Environment, Bryan Haywood – Nature Glenelg Trust, sponsored by OneFortyOne Plantations
- Outstanding Contribution to Timber Industry (female), Linda Cotterill – OneFortyOne, sponsored by Pacific Forest Products (Australia)
- Outstanding Contribution to Timber Industry (male), Des Schebella – OneFortyOne, sponsored by QUBE Ports
- Innovation Award, James Williamson – Porthaul, sponsored by South West Fibre
- Timber Processing Excellence, OneFortyOne Wood Products, sponsored by Trident Tyre Centre & Scania
- Harvesting Excellence, Reid Logging, sponsored by Timberlands Pacific & Penola Plantations
- Silviculture Excellence, A & M Contracting, sponsored by Teagle Excavations
- Distribution & Logistics, Porthaul, sponsored by HVP Plantations.
- Safety Excellence, Tabeel Trading Pty Ltd, Sponsored by OneFortyOne Plantations
- Regional & Community Development,OneFortyOne Plantations, sponsored by Kalari
- Lifetime Contribution Award, Leonie Stapleton – Timberlink Australia, sponsored by Climate Friendly
- Green Triangle Timber Industry Supreme Timber Industry Award - Reid Logging.
Science excellence awarded at Scion awardsOutstanding efforts in science research, collaboration and innovation were celebrated at Scion’s annual Employee Recognition Awards on Monday. The awards recognise both emerging and established scientists and science teams, as well as support staff at the Crown research institute, which is headquartered in Rotorua, New Zealand.
Scion’s top award - the Roger Newman Award for Science or Engineering Excellence - was awarded to Dr Grant Pearse. Grant developed, tested, and implemented a new set of metrics for LIDAR analysis which resulted in significant gains in predictive precision for forest inventory. Grant has spearheaded two other major pieces of research that are likely to have an enduring impact on the forest industry, in the areas of inventory costs and managing red needle cast.
Grant also was the lead author on two papers and is a co-author on three further papers that have been submitted to some of the highest-calibre remote sensing journals. The award recognises the late Dr Roger Newman who was a principal scientist at Scion, particularly in the areas of nuclear magnetic radiation (NMR) and spectroscopy.
Acknowledged for his 40 years in science, Dr Ian Suckling was the recipient of the Individual/Lifetime Achievement Award. Ian began his career at the then Forest Research Institute as a scientist in the Wood Chemistry Group and progressed to leadership roles in areas covering fibre cement pulp, fibre optimisation and biofibre products. In 2010-2012 Ian represented New Zealand in the international bioenergy sector, specifically on commercialising liquid biofuels from biomass. During 2013-14 he led a NZ$13.5 million programme co-funded by the MPI Primary Growth Partnership, Norske Skög Tasman and Z Energy, with Scion providing research and technology support. Over the last two years, Ian has led the ‘New Zealand Biofuels Roadmap’ project.
Andrea Stocchero received the Emerging Scientist or Engineering Award, in recognition of his significant contribution to the timber, building and design industries. As Scion’s only sustainable architect, Andrea’s research focus is to achieve high sustainability targets through the use of wood and other biobased materials. Last year, Andrea was invited to speak at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation representing New Zealand and the international timber design and construction sector, and in February this year, he presented at a follow-up meeting in Rome.
Scion CEO Julian Elder says the awards are important in reinforcing the collaborative nature of the work that Scion staff do. “It’s really wonderful to celebrate the achievements of our staff with both the Rotorua and Christchurch offices. Oftentimes we can get caught up in the day-to-day doing of the work but it is important to stop and take stock of just what our people are achieving from year to year.”
Three of the award winners will also go forward to the Science NZ awards taking place at Parliament buildings on 8 November. Science NZ is the organisation representing the seven Crown research institutes.
Full list of winners:
- Roger Newman Award for Science or Engineering Excellence – Dr Grant Pearse
- Individual/Lifetime Achievement Award* - Dr Ian Suckling
- Emerging Scientist or Engineering Award* - Andrea Stocchero
- Science Impact Award* - Ligate team (Ross Anderson, Sylke Campion, Dr Nancy Garrity, Dr Warren Grigsby, Rob Lei, Dr Kelly Melia, Dr Karl Murton, Dr Bernadette Nanayakkara, Diahanna O'Callahan, Ian Simpson, Maxine Smith, Armin Thumm, Daniel van de Pas)
- Scion External Customer Engagement Award - Biofuels Roadmap Team (Dr Paul Bennett, Dr Ferran de Miguel Mercader, Peter Hall, Dr Juan Monge, Dr Ian Suckling, Sandra Velarde, Dr Steve Wakelin, and the Marketing and Communications Team). Highly commended: Dr Simeon Smaill
- Science Eminence Award - Dr Eckehard Brockerhoff
- Scion Support Excellence Award - Marketing and Communications team (Christl McMillan, Greg Scott, Lisa Tovey, Kylie Gunn, Dale Corbett, Dr Michelle Harnett and Rina Joy)
- Scion Values Award - Ross Anderson, Highly commended: Dr Wayne Schou
- You Make a Difference Award - Marc Gaugler
* - will attend the Science NZ award ceremony in Wellington on 8 November.
Photo of Individual/Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Dr Ian Suckling. Photo credit: Tracey Robinson
China's forest plantations expanding rapidlyChina’s forest resources have entered a rapid development phase as the country’s plantation estate continues to be expanded into the largest in the world. Total net forest area has grown by 12.2 million hectares; this is due mostly to plantations, while forest stocks show a net volume increase of 1.42 billion m3. In total, this amounts to an average increase of 284 million m3 per year (8th National Forest Inventory, 2009–2013).
The Chinese harvest is steadily moving away from natural forests and toward plantations (which now represent 46% of the total national forest harvest) in order to fulfil China’s goal of transferring domestic timber production from natural forests to almost 100% plantations over time.
Accordingly, the country is building a National Timber Strategic Reserve Base aimed at improving forest management practices and establishing a timber security system as a means to improve self-sufficiency and create a stable timber supply. Through the initiative, China will establish 7 million hectares of National Reserve Forestry by the end of 2020 and 20 million hectares by 2035, marked by an average annual incremental stock volume of 200 million m3.
Over time, as the plantation estate expands, log imports are expected to decline. However, with China’s plantations focused heavily on fast-growing, short-rotation eucalyptus and poplar, softwoods are likely to remain in tight supply, keeping softwood imports robust. It takes up to 20 years to grow coniferous trees, so any future supplies from incremental coniferous plantations will not be ready until 2035 at the earliest (excluding previously established coniferous plantations).
Excerpted and summarized from China’s Import Demand for Softwood Logs and Lumber to 2023 • The Changing Supply Chain in China (with a Focus on Russia’s Industry/Export Potential)..
Source: Russ Taylor, Managing Director, FEA Holdings – Canada Inc
Robot workers being designedRobots with ‘arms and hands’ could prune vineyards and orchards across New zealand in the near future. The Government has granted University of Auckland researchers NZ$16.8 million to develop a robotic automation system to upskill human workers, and do manual tasks.
Professor Bruce MacDonald said robots will not take people’s jobs, rather plug NZ’s endemic labour shortage and allow the industry to use humans for higher-value jobs. “The industry can’t get enough people to do this work and over the past couple of years it has got worse. It used to be difficult and now it’s impossible.”
In the first phase of the five-year project, sensors will monitor what experts do on orchards and vineyards. Augmented reality technology would then train new workers to do a better job, he said.
“They will wear glasses and it will show them, for instance, how to prune vines.” In the second phase, the robot will have arms and hands and automatically do things taught by human operators.
Mondi celebrates first European Paper Bag DayFor Mondi, 18 October 2018 was all about paper bags: On the first ever European Paper Bag Day (yes there is one), the global packaging and paper producer is celebrating paper bags as the sustainable and efficient packaging solution for today and the future by launching a comprehensive social media campaign across Europe.
The star of the campaign is an oversized paper bag, which surrounds a 6-metre high pine tree in front of a shopping centre in Vienna to illustrate how we can protect the world’s natural sources by choosing the right packaging. The main campaign message is illustrated on the paper bag – a striking “CO2” logo with the “C” crossed out.
With this giant artwork, Mondi aims to raise awareness, illustrate the sustainable advantages of paper bags, and encourage consumers to act responsibly in their packaging choices. With the hashtags #EuropeanPaperBagDay and #EPBG, the public can join in the campaign.
Mondi has also created a video, which was published on various social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube on 18 October. The video shows how passers-by react to the large-scale installation and is linked to the campaign page www.paperbagday.eu, which provides facts about why paper bags help to mitigate climate change.
The campaign will be continued in 2019 to establish European Paper Bag Day as an annual event. More details on the initiative can be found here.
Buy and Sell
... and one to end the week on ... the bottle of wine
For all of us who are married, were married, wish you were married, or wish you weren't married, this is something to smile about the next time you see a bottle of wine:
And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.
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