Friday Offcuts 3 December 2021
In log harvesting and wood transport, we cover the dramatic rise of European logs landing in China, increasing from less than 500,000 m3 of softwood logs in 2017 to an estimated 14 million m3 this year. Germany has surged ahead to be now the second-largest supplier of logs into China, following New Zealand. However, the log oversupply in Europe and the growing domestic demand is expected to see European log volumes diminish reports Wood Resources International. Also out of Europe, SCA and Scania are together developing the first electric log truck with a total weight of up to 80 tonnes. It demonstrates just how far the trucking industry has come in the last few years with vehicle design and construction and in new battery technologies.
And in timber construction, new research by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation backs up messaging we’re using that using engineered timber can significantly cut carbon emissions in the building and construction sector. Building with timber can reduce embodied carbon by up to 75 per cent and their modelling suggests that replacing 50 per cent of a building’s traditional steel and concrete materials with engineered timber can result in an 11 per cent reduction in the building’s embodied carbon. Links to the full CEFC report have been included in this week’s article. And celebrating timber design and construction, this week the winners of the 22nd Australian Timber Design Awards have been announced and a local building, the Scion Innovation hub in Rotorua has just been awarded the Best Use of Certified Timber Prize as part of the World Architecture Festival.
Last week we covered upcoming technology events being planned for forestry and wood products companies early next year, Residues to Revenues 2022, DigitalAg 2022 and WoodTECH 2022. This week is the first announcement of the first Environmental Forestry event that’s being run in this region, Environmental Forestry 2022. It’s planned for Rotorua, New Zealand on 10-11 May. Again, mark the dates into your diary. The programme has been just uploaded onto the website this week so check it out. Further information is included in this week’s issue.
And finally, as we move towards the end of what has been yet another tumultuous year for all of us, for advertisers and for those supplying material for upcoming issues of Friday Offcuts, our last issue for this year is Friday 17 December. And for planning into 2022, our first issue is scheduled to go out on Friday 21 January 2022. If you have any questions relating to advertising in the lead up to the end of this year and bookings for the start of next, please make contact directly with firstname.lastname@example.org. And, that’s it for this week.
This week we have for you:
Dramatic rise of European logs into ChinaChina imported 30% of its total volume of softwood logs from Europe in 2020 and 2021, thus surpassing supply from Russia and North America.
European softwood logs were practically non-existent at Chinese ports five years ago. However, a combination of a never-ending hunger for more wood in the country, reductions in shipments from previously significant trading partners, and an oversupply of timber in Europe have altered the log flow into China over the past four years.
New Zealand, Russia, and the US accounted for almost 75% of the total import volume to China in 2017. However, throughout 2020 and 2021, there were sharp declines in supply from Russia and the US, while shipments from Europe and Latin America rose. During the first nine months of 2021, almost 80% of all imported logs came from New Zealand, Europe, and Latin America.
The European entrance into the Chinese market has been dramatic, increasing from less than 500,000 m3 of softwood logs in 2017 to an estimated 14 million m3 for the entire year in 2021, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. Europe’s share of the total import volume is currently 30%, with Germany being the second-largest supplier to China, following New Zealand.
German shipments have surged from about 200,000 m3 of logs in 2018 to 3.8 million m3 in 2019, and estimates indicate import volumes may reach over 10 million m3 in 2021. Log imports from the Czech Republic grew rapidly in 2019 but have since levelled off, with the estimated volumes in 2021 likely to be substantially lower than in the two previous years.
Shipments from Germany and the Czech Republic have accounted for the vast majority of the European logs entering China. Several other countries have increased their presence in the past three years, including Poland, France, and Slovakia.
Europe's oversupply of logs is beginning to diminish, and domestic demand is increasing. Thus, while the rise of European exports to China has been dramatic, the trend is unlikely to continue, making the high of almost five million m3 exported in the 4Q/20 a likely peak.
Source: Wood Resources International
FIEA launches new environmental conferenceThe Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) is proud to announce it's latest new forestry conference – Environmental Forestry 2022, running in mid-May in Rotorua and available to international delegates as a virtual event.
Improving our environmental performance across the forest industry brings both challenges and rewards. For the first time, the Environmental Forestry 2022 Conference will bring together a wide range of foresters working on improving industry outcomes.
Speakers and delegates will be sharing successes and learning's among peers across a range of forest management companies for large and small forest estates. As a result, delegates will be able to make positive change and learn from each other to establish and improve best practices. Participation and contributions from national and regional regulatory agencies have also been invited.
What's Planned? - A range of case studies across the forest production cycle from harvest planning to post-harvest audits and impact assessments are planned. Best practices and recent developments will be discussed through shared learning's among industry professionals. A cross- section of forest operations will be included in a range of professional presentations.
The conference agenda will appeal to regional council staff and management from forest company professionals, from small to large forest companies as well as regulatory and policy staff from local councils, Ministry for Primary Industries, Te Uru rakau – New Zealand Forest Service and the Ministry for the Environment.
For more details click here.
The ultimate renewable carbon storage solutionNew Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) research shows expanding timber use in construction will significantly cut carbon emissions in the building and construction sector, CEO of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Ross Hampton said.
The CEFC’s Australian buildings and infrastructure: Opportunities for cutting embodied carbon report shows that the more engineered timber used in new office and mixed-use buildings, the better its embodied carbon reduction.
“This CEFC report reinforces that Australia can do more to reduce its carbon emissions in the built environment and should build more medium and high-rise buildings from engineered timber,” Mr Hampton said.
The report provides real case studies showing that building with timber reduces embodied carbon up to 75 per cent. Its modelling also shows that replacing 50 per cent of a building’s traditional steel and concrete materials with engineered timber would result in an 11 per cent reduction in the building’s embodied carbon.
“This CEFC report reinforces that Australia should build more medium and high- rise buildings from engineered timber. In some cases, it’s possible to replace up to 60 per cent of steel with engineered timber in new buildings. It’s exciting analysis that points to the need for greater supply,” Mr Hampton said.
Biomass storage and safety guidelinesBiomass storage is an essential part of the bioenergy supply chain. Without it, there would not be a way to maintain a continuous supply of feedstock for bioenergy systems. During storage, however, natural biological, chemical and physical processes occur, resulting in: dry-matter loss, off-gassing and self-heating.
The Canadian Wood Fibre Centre and collaborators have focused on finding solutions to mitigate these problems and optimize biomass storage. Based on four recent scientific publications, here are some important findings and considerations for pile management of forestry residues:
1. Biomass Storage Safety
2. Bark vs. Woodchip Storage
3. Fresh vs. Older Woodchip Storage Piles
4. Pre-Treatment Strategies of Control Self-Heating and Optimize Biomass Storage.
It is critical that the industry takes the time to know all of the storage risks and guidelines outlined by research findings. Monitoring and preparedness will go a long way to maintain safety, optimize biofuel quality and the overall benefits of using woody biomass as a renewable energy source. Information on the above four issues from research and trials along with links if further details are required can be found here.
Biofuel harvesting systems, the extraction and storage of biofuel and wood chips, drying and transport options are going to be an integral part of the wood residues event. Residues to Revenues 2022 that has been set up for local forest owners, wood harvesting and transport contractors and those supplying wood wastes from sawmilling and wood manufacturing operations on 9-10 March 2022.
Further information on the Rotorua, New Zealand event and planned programme of conference, workshops and trade exhibitions can be found here.
Major international award to Scion Innovation hubThe wait is finally over! On Tuesday this week, the World Architecture Festival and PEFC awarded the Best Use of Certified Timber Prize. During an online session, PEFC Deputy CEO Michael Berger revealed Scion Innovation Hub, Te Whare Nui o Tuteata by RTA Studio/Irving Smith Architects as the winner.
Located in New Zealand, Scion Innovation Hub was chosen as the most outstanding of the eight shortlisted projects from around the world. It is also the winner of the WAF award in the category Completed Buildings - Higher Education and Research.
Proudly showcasing PEFC-certified timber in a unique diagrid structure, the building requires less material than traditional mass engineered timber buildings. The judges highlighted the focus of the project, away from gravity mass timber buildings to geometrically stiffened forms to help in earthquake conditions.
It was also noted that the building achieved embodied carbon zero at the time of completion and showcased dovetail node joints which slot together, in an expression of craftsmanship and beauty.
“Scion Innovation Hub pays tribute to the local indigenous community and its history, as well as being a forestry research centre. Both are aligned with PEFC's principles around community respect and continuous innovation,” highlighted Michael Berger.
Software for forecasting bushfire damageRevolutionary Bushfire Management platform leverages multiple data sources and climate change-adjusted fire weather projections to predict rate of bushfire spread and intensity, fuel loads and preparedness levels.
The platform has already drawn interest from government agencies and asset owners in the Energy, Telecommunications, Mining & Resources spaces, with a number of trials already successfully completed and more underway.
Queensland-founded global digital technology company, RedEye Apps, has unveiled a revolutionary software which can forecast – from decades in advance to as little as a few hours out – where dangerous bushfires are most likely to occur, and how destructive they will be.
Leveraging a combination of satellite technology, data analytics, machine learning and climate change-adjusted fire weather projections, the Bushfire Management Platform promises to enhance bushfire prevention and preparedness for critical asset owners across the world.
RedEye has already seen pre-launch interest in the platform from critical asset owners in Federal and State governments, utility providers, mining companies and National Parks and Wildlife Services across Australia. The Brisbane-based developer has piloted the technology with a number of utilities which are looking at managing asset risk during bushfire season and beyond, and how to best site assets and how to prepare around potential bushfire outbreaks across the life cycle of their assets.
Andrew Sturgess, RedEye's Technical Director of Fire Technology and formerly a 30-year veteran of Queensland’s Fire and Emergency Services, said it is imperative that the private sector step up with innovative solutions to lighten the load on emergency services organisations (ESOs).
“Through no fault of their own these agencies are perpetually in response mode – whether it’s to a pandemic, an emergency itself, or to the ensuing inquiry – and they simply don’t have the time anymore to undertake any analysis of bushfire risks ahead of time,” he said. “The climate has already changed, and it’s getting worse. Disasters like the 2019/20 bushfires are going to become more common and we need to find ways to prepare for them, on a national, state and local level.”
RedEye’s Bushfire Management Platform enables ESOs and critical asset and infrastructure owners to predict the damage bushfires could cause, which helps them in preparing for the worst and to mitigate against it, according to RedEye CEO and Co-Founder, Wayne Gerard.
“A powerline operator could shut down parts of its network in the event of a fire but keep other parts running; a national park can identify the best time and places to apply prescribed fire,” Gerard said. “But they can’t do this blindly and they need as much information as possible to determine which is the safest path to take. The RedEye Bushfire Management Platform helps these organisations make decisions with the best data and visualisations available.
How it works:
Timberlink announces new CLT & GLT brandTimberlink Australia has unveiled the new brand for their forthcoming engineered wood products building solutions range - NeXTimber® by Timberlink
NeXTimber by Timberlink will manufacture Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Glue Laminated Timber (GLT) products. Backed by a AU$63 million capital investment, the NeXTimber range will be manufactured on Australia’s first combined world scale softwoods CLT and GLT manufacturing line, within a purpose-built manufacturing plant being constructed adjacent to Timberlink’s state-of-the-art timber manufacturing facility in Tarpeena, South Australia. Production will begin in 2023.
Timberlink Chief Executive Officer Ian Tyson said “NeXTimber by Timberlink places us at the forefront of integrated forestry and softwood processing in Australia. The NeXTimber range will be manufactured on Timberlink’s Tarpeena site from Timberlink timber, sourced from local certified pine plantations. The plantations, like Timberlink, are under the ownership of funds managed by New Forests. This connection from seed to structure will give NeXTimber customers a unique level of supply certainty.”
Ian Tyson continued, “Currently around half of all of Australia’s engineered timber is being imported and the demand for this is expected to rapidly grow in the next decade, so building the sovereign capacity of locally made CLT and GLT is great news for Australian manufacturing and local regional employment.”
A total of 27 full-time permanent jobs will be created when the facility opens in 2023 rising to 50 at full output. A significant number of additional jobs are also being created during the construction phase.
AFCA appoints new GMThe only thing ‘small business’ about some of Australia’s forest contracting businesses is their number of staff, but be assured big things are happening. It is common to see leaders of these businesses going from bush to board room in any given day.
“You could be onsite checking in on the safe operations of equipment worth millions and then later that day be negotiating contracts that will impact your business viability for the next five years,” explains Adan Taylor, Chair, Australian Forest Contractors Association (AFCA).
“In our search for a new General Manger it was key for us to find someone who understood the complexities and challenges faced by our members,” says Mr Taylor. “We are glad to announce that Carlie Porteous, with her deep understanding of the forestry value chain and passion for the people and communities that support this truly sustainable industry, has been appointed.”
Experience overseeing the largest chain of custody in Asia-Pacific for 10 years and developing relationships with everyone from forest managers and growers, the contracting businesses, the processors and the end customer certainly gives Ms Porteous an advantage in her new role.
As highlighted by Mr Taylor at the recent AFCA Annual General Meeting (AGM) AFCA represents its members on many national and regional industry boards and committees, while leading projects and innovations that will impact the future of businesses and the industry.
“The sophistication required to run a successful forest contracting business is not necessarily well understood by broader industry,” says Ms Porteous. “It is a very exciting time to be joining the AFCA team. Industry led projects like ForestFit Certification provide a great opportunity for businesses to demonstrate the standard of professionalism in which many already operate.”
Ms Porteous’ enthusiasm for her new position is evident — ahead of her official December start date she attended the AGM for the opportunity to meet the AFCA members. “Connecting with our members to understand their needs is a priority for me over the coming weeks,” says Ms Porteous. “It may be an old saying, but it’s never been truer in these challenging times, we’re stronger together.”
Australian Timber Design Awards winners announcedThe vision of the Australian Timber Design Awards is to highlight, advertise, advocate, and develop a timber design ethos through the encouragement and showcasing of superlative timber design in a variety of applications. The submissions for the 22nd Australian Timber Design Awards are exceptional, each submission highlights timber in its own way.
It is evident from this year’s submissions that architects, engineers, and builders are exploring the use, warmth, strength, and versatility that timber has to offer. We applaud the tenacity of each project team that has worked under the challenges of COVID restrictions to complete and submit their projects this year.
The Australian Timber Design Award winners for 2021 were announced this week at a virtual event. Excellence in Timber Design was awarded to dwp Australia & Northrop for Eric Tweedale Stadium.
The use of a mass timber structure in the Stadium is a first for glulam timber in Australia, representing an impressive achievement in timber engineering.
The roof structure design was very ambitious; the main cantilever spans 8.5 m over the spectator’s seating, 13.7 m beams span over the multipurpose area and a double cantilevered roof frame at each end of the roof structure. The entire roof slopes west and is supported by 26 - 240 x 380 mm timber glulam columns.
The warmth and the earthy glow of the timber creates a space welcoming to all communities while connecting to its current sporting application. The Stadium is named after Eric Tweedale, the oldest surviving Australian Rugby representative. The Stadium includes a 760-seat grandstand with change rooms, multipurpose rooms, first-floor function space, commercial kitchen, and outdoor viewing deck.
For a complete list of winners and finalists: visit www.timberawards.com.au
Extra 12,000 tonnes logs for WA processingWA Forestry Minister Dave Kelly has announced that an additional 12,000 tonnes of structural pine is to be made available over the next three months for the Western Australian timber manufacturing industry and the State's building and construction sector.
In the past, the WA softwood processing industry supplied approximately 65 per cent of pine products to the State's housing and construction market. The remaining demand has been met by timber imported from the Eastern States or overseas.
The McGowan Government, through the Forest Products Commission (FPC), has arranged for the supply of an additional 12,000 tonnes of WA grown softwood logs to be brought forward from future supply commitments to help meet the current increase in demand for timber in local construction.
In the coming weeks, the FPC will begin deliveries of additional timber to Wespine Industries, with Wespine commencing distribution to the marketplace after processing. Building and construction industry body Master Builders WA has recently highlighted a shortage of softwood needed to complete current building projects and has been working closely with the McGowan Government and Wespine to increase timber supply.
The FPC will be supplying the softwood logs from its south-western radiata pine plantations to Wespine over the next three months. To ensure fair distribution, the timber will be used to fulfil backorders for Wespine's WA customers and will be made available on their current price list.
The McGowan Government's recent announcement of a record AU$350 million investment in expanding WA's softwood plantations will provide at least an additional 33,000 hectares of softwood timber plantation and help to meet future supply in the decades to come.
TreeMapper App developed for farm forestersPrivate Forests Tasmania and the Forest Practices Authority have developed Treemapper, a farm and forestry property planning app.
The ‘Property Planning Mapper’ mobile application will deliver a handful of mapping and calculator tools to provide immediate farm-planning benefit for landowners, consultants, planners, contractors, and land agents. This will improve the easiness of planning, mapping, and managing properties to expand the plantation estate and allow greater integration of forestry into the agricultural landscape.
The app includes a range of modules to assist farm forestry planning at property scale including Paddock Mapper, Forest Description, Crop/Species Decision Support, Farm Woodlot, TOPEX Score and NPV tools. The app will be compatible with all web-enabled desktops, tablets and phones. Functionality will be made available for offline usage (i.e. outside phone or Wi-Fi range) for some of the tools.
Esk Mapping & GIS commenced work on the system in August 2021 with a view to commencing testing prior to December 2021. TreeMapper will be available for download from both the PFT and FPA website.
Anyone interested in future testing of the app or want to be included in updated information, please email: email@example.com to register.
Source & Photo: Private Forests Tasmania
Consultation on Forestry Advisers and Log TradersKey players in New Zealand’s forestry industry are encouraged to have their say on the design of a new registration system for log traders and forestry advisors with consultation opening last Friday. Legislation introduced in 2020 aims to raise professional standards across the forestry supply chain by requiring forestry advisers and log traders to register.
Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forest Service’s Director Forestry and Land Management Oliver Hendrickson says the system will provide assurances for anyone dealing with registered forestry advisers that they are receiving expert and impartial advice from people with the right knowledge and experience.
“These changes will also support a more open marketplace for the large number of new forest owners bringing their timber to the market for the first time. They also increase investor confidence in commercial forestry, support long term investment, and meet the broader objectives for land management and climate change.
“We want to ensure the registration system is fit for purpose, practical, and effective which is why we are consulting on its design.
“Ensuring we have an effective registration system for log traders and forestry advisers will help provide ongoing confidence, openness and certainty across the sector.” Consultation is open from 26 November through until 17 January 2022.
Find out more about the consultation and have your say by clicking here
New appointment to Pentarch Technical ServicesPentarch Forest Products Ltd, the Australasian forest products company, has announced the appointment of Alex Bruce as the new manager of Pentarch Technical Services (PTS) laboratory based in Kawerau, New Zealand.
PTS provides a range of wood testing services for clients such as Oji Fibre Solutions as well as more than 30 sawmills and forestry companies in New Zealand. Testing is carried out on woodchips, biomass and solid wood. Analysis of dry matter content is also undertaken on agricultural feedstock for a range of clients. The PTS laboratory has operated for more than 25 years, providing services 365 days a year.
Mr Bruce brings to the role an extensive background in laboratory analysis with specialist knowledge of wood and industrial adhesives and their application, most recently with Hexion in Tauranga. He joins PTS as the laboratory further develops its capabilities in testing biomass for energy production. Independent testing of glue laminated products bond quality is a service that PTS is also considering offering.
Mr Bruce said, “I am excited to have joined PTS as it expands its testing capabilities. The conversion of biomass to energy is a growing sector and PTS is well placed to service this market. We are able to test for dry matter content, basic density, bulk density, ash, classification of particle size and calorific value. We are also looking at leveraging Pentarch Australia laboratory knowledge in further testing agricultural and horticultural products for local use and export”.
Source: Pentarch Technical Services
First 80 tonne e-timber truck being developedIn another step towards a fossil-free society, SCA and Scania are together developing the first electric timber truck with a technical capability of up to 80 tonnes total weight. The vehicle is a sustainable transport solution enabled through another close cooperation between Scania and a progressive customer.
It is possible to drive longer distances with heavy electric transports. Scania and SCA are proving that with a new battery electric vehicle capable of total weights of up to 64 tonnes on public roads and 80 tonnes on private roads.
The electric truck will transport timber in the Swedish region of Västerbotten, between SCA's terminal in Gimonäs and its papermill in Obbola outside Umeå, starting already in 2022. For SCA, which is Europe's largest private forest owner and maker of sawn wood products, packaging materials and pulp, electrifying road transport is an important part of work to reduce its environmental impact. Every year, SCA transports about 8.5 million cubic metres of wood to industries, utilising 265 timber trucks in collaboration with 87 haulage contractors.
"The cooperation with Scania is an important way for us to jointly find innovative solutions for sustainable transport. Electric timber trucks will be a strong contribution to SCA's work with sustainability, where we are part of the solution for a fossil-free world. By running just one electric truck between Gimonäs and Obbola, we can reduce our carbon emissions by about 55,000 kg per year," says Hans Djurberg, Head of Sustainability, SCA.
The vehicle solution that Scania is developing, in close collaboration with SCA and research institute Skogforsk, is a part of the shift towards sustainable transport, which Scania has long advocated for, not least together with progressive customers.
"The key to reaching zero emissions in transport is electrification and we will get there together with customers and other stakeholders that share our values. Partnerships like this one with SCA, where we are early out and demonstrating what is possible, is a clear sign of a change of pace that is needed for us to be fossil free and deliver on the targets of the Paris agreement," says Fredrik Allard, Head of E-mobility at Scania.
"An electric timber truck is a symbol for something pretty cool. Transport of timber specifically has been talked about as something that may never be possible to electrify. The developments of the past few years, together with what we are now presenting with SCA, show just how quickly things are progressing with regards to both vehicles and batteries," says Allard.
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... and one to end the week on ... marriage plans
And on that note, enjoy your weekend. Cheers.
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