Friday Offcuts 9 December 2022
Click to Subscribe - It's FREE!Ask anyone. Attracting people to work in your business is one of the key issues facing our industry – in fact, any industry - anywhere - right now. It’s a major constraint to doing business as usual, let alone increasing production. With expectations of hefty wage increases and much more attractive offers being made to employees by competing companies or industries, it’s meant that in addition to attracting people with the right skills in the current environment, retention of your workers is another major headache.
We’ve built in a story this week where three entry-level workers in different industries have been asked what is it that they liked about their jobs. More importantly, why they’ve stayed. As anticipated, remuneration only comprises a part of the overall mix. Having a clear career path for advancement, on-job training, being given the opportunity to grow within a job, fair scheduling of shifts and maintaining a healthy work/life balance all feature in the mix as well. For employers looking to attract new employees, the advice is that you need to work on how to sell the “sizzle” behind your company or organisation to new candidates.
In last week’s issue we included a story, results and links to a new report, Usage & Uptake of Engineered Wood Products in New Zealand, detailing results from a survey of New Zealand’s design, construction and building professionals on perceptions and barriers to mass timber use in construction. The report says that barriers do exist to increasing the uptake of engineered wood products in the NZ construction industry and a number of key recommendations were made on supporting the greater uptake of EWPs.
Across the Tasman, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation has just announced that they’ve allocated AU$300 million to an Australian Timber Building Program, to help kick start mass timber construction. As a start, CEFC has committed up to AU$70 million in debt finance for Melbourne’s T3 Collingwood development, the first project that’s being financed through the specialist CEFC Timber Building Program. When built, the new 15-storey prime-grade office tower will be one of Melbourne’s tallest hybrid mass timber buildings. The aim of the Program is to accelerate the focus of embodied carbon for the commercial property sector and to encourage the use mass timber in projects as an alternative to conventional construction materials such as concrete and steel.
And finally, a couple of stories linked to technology events in this part of the world. As part of the just completed ForestTECH 2022 series, major forest companies from Australasia, Sweden, Chile and Brazil outlined both commercial trials and more established forest establishment operations using mechanised planting systems. This week we’ve built a link into one of the presentations from a large Brazilian forestry company outlining their approach in using a fleet of mechanised planters on steeper slopes. Also, the first call for Expressions of Interest to present at next year’s Residues2Revenues 2023 event running in July of next year have just gone out. If interested, get back to us in the next week or so. Details are contained in the story below. And that’s it for this week.
This week we have for you:
December 2022 NZ log market updateOpinion Piece: Christmas tidings might be a bit skinny for us tree huggers this year with subdued export pricing and a general feeling of unease going into 2023, probably a feeling very similar that Willie Jackson will get going into the next Jack Tame interview. We might, however, be a bit tempted to tip a bit more bourbon into the Eggnog as news has broken that China is relaxing covid restrictions and throwing some cash at developers which may see a bit more action in manufacturing and construction sectors.
December A grade export prices of around $123/M3 are reasonably flat from the November offerings and, although shipping has eased into the low $US30/M3 range, the strengthening of the $NZ has taken any chance of an increase in forest owner returns for the short term, a bit like potential first home buyers celebrating as house prices plumet, but the OCR puts you back in the same position. There are expectations that mid to late Q1 2023 will see some potential increases in returns as conditions improve.
The South China Morning Post recently reported that several major Chinese banks have adopted a government led 16-point rescue plan to extend billions to struggling private developers to assist liquidity in the residential construction sector. Covid lockdowns have failed to see this stimulus result in demand increases, however, stocks in major developers jumped following the announcement and, once lockdowns ease and people can return to work, it is expected that there will be a resulting demand increase. It is estimated that around 20% of the economy is under some form of lockdown and while you can operate a computer from your 30m2 apartment, it makes it pretty challenging to feed logs into a sawmill.
Chinese in-market log inventories have increased slightly over the past month and are currently sitting in the mid 3Mm3 range which, although not high, isn’t at the point that makes buyers pucker. It is expected that most of the large forests in the Central North Island will take a longer than usual Christmas break (around 3 weeks) which will see a decent reduction in NZ supply. Supply over the late December/early January period arrives in China in mid-February and therefore this drop in supply will coincide with the Chinese New Year holidays. Assuming that everything goes to plan with covid restrictions easing, stimulus injections working and subdued NZ supply, we would expect to see positive pressure on sales prices – but we all know how best laid plans work.
Stimulus packages and an easing of restrictions doesn’t really change the underlying fundamentals of the Chinese economy and all they are really doing is kicking the can down the road – at some stage they will run out of road and the can will still be a problem. The desire for the Chinese Govt to continue constructing residential housing as a method of keeping GDP numbers up is about as flawed as the 3 waters legislation and it’s becoming obvious to our sector that this isn’t a long-term strategy for the current levels of NZ log supply.
Even though NZ is likely past ‘peak harvest’ levels, we still produce a bucket load more wood fibre that we can consume domestically and therefore rely on an export solution for the lower grade logs. No matter how much we wipe on it or write on it, we will never consume the approximately 6.2 tonnes of log per man, woman and child required annually to match our available harvest level. This is where investment in domestic processing, biofuels and other export markets is becoming very important.
The Forestry Hub at the Mystery Creek Fieldays was the platform for the launch of the Forestry and Wood Processing Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) by Minister Nash last week. This is an ambitious plan devised by Te Uru Rakau and industry to see significant investment in domestic processing, enable more resilience in the industry and assist toward achieving the countries climate change goals. The ITP has been very well received by industry as, up until now, we have been treated like the red-headed stepchild by successive governments compared to our Agriculture and Horticulture siblings.
We now have a platform to move forward with and it’s now up to us as an industry to pick up the ball and run with it. The Fieldays Forestry Hub was an industry first and the result of collaboration by Te Uru Rakau and Industry partners and was very well received by the public (unlike the gratitude shown to the PM by some punters). It was great to see so much innovation, technology and expertise showcased under one roof and I don’t remember a time where the whole industry was as aligned as we are now.
Fuel is tracking in the right direction, which is helping the cost structure somewhat, but you can be sure as god made little kittens, Michael Wood will have his finger firmly hovering over the excise tax reinstatement button ready for January. In the next few weeks we will be parking the trucks up and putting the saws away as we slide into a welcome Christmas break with a pessimistically optimistic market view to the start 2023. We can all do our bit to help keep demand up over the summer by being generous with the purex, printing out all emails in triplicate and kicking off those outdoor projects.
Although it seems a bit early for Christmas cheer, I wish you all a big hohoho, and hope the jolly rotund man brings you something nice for Christmas – Santa that is, not the finance minister.
Further details can be found here
Marcus Musson, Director, Forest 360
NZ Awards celebrate scientists & research excellenceScion’s leadership in forestry science, bioplastics research and biotechnology has been celebrated by Scion and its peers at the Science New Zealand Awards.
Scientists from all seven Crown Research Institutes and Callaghan Innovation were represented at the ceremony held in Parliament on Tuesday (6 December) night. The awards are in three categories - Early Career Researcher, Lifetime Achievement, and Team. Each Science New Zealand member names a recipient in each category and a panel of independent judges chooses a Supreme Award winner from the 24 awardees.
Scion’s awardee for Individual/Lifetime Achievement is Principal Researcher Dr Mike Watt (pictured) for his leadership in forest science, Scion’s awardee for Early Career Researcher is biopolymer scientist Dr Angelique Greene, and our awardee for the Team Award is the biotechnology team that collaborated with a company in 2021 to support work that explored an experimental Covid-19 vaccine.
Scion chief executive Dr Julian Elder says the awards showed the depth and breadth of talent across Crown scientists, including Scion, and lifted the profile of their impactful research for New Zealand. “Most scientists quietly work behind the scenes, but this is a chance to celebrate their achievements and recognise their extraordinary contributions to various industries and New Zealand’s economy.
Scion Principal Researcher Dr Mike Watt received one of eight Individual/Lifetime Achievement Awards for his distinguished scientific career spanning more than two decades. During this time, he has made significant contributions to several research areas with notable influence within the areas of forest science, weed management, forest growth modelling and, most recently, remote sensing.
He has produced 173 peer-reviewed publications across a range of topics connected to forestry, making him one of our country’s most prolific and trusted forest researchers. His scientific explorations have advanced knowledge of our nation’s forest estates, providing opportunities for industry to translate his research into practice – adding enormously to the health and economic value of plantation forests across Aotearoa.
A globally recognised expert in his field, Dr Watt’s expertise and research leadership will continue to be sought-after by forest managers needing a competitive edge.
Expressions of Interest: Residues2Revenues 2023Early expressions of interest to present at next year’s Residues2Revenues 2023 event are now being called for. This year saw record numbers of forestry, wood harvesting, timber products companies and wood residues extraction and handling specialists turn up in Rotorua, New Zealand. The venue, with conference, pre and post conference workshops and exhibitions sold out.
With developments in biomass utilisation so rapidly unfolding right now, delegate and exhibitor feedback requested a follow up in 2023. The dates have been set, 25-26 July 2023, Rotorua, New Zealand. As we did last year, live streaming of the event is also being set up for those international companies unable to get into New Zealand to attend the event in person.
The Residues2Revenues (R2R) event that was run in late July 2022 saw an amazing turnout from across the forestry and wood residues industries. It was a decade since the last wood residues programme had been run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA). Over 350 delegates, both in person and remotely were involved. It was a true testament to the growing recognition by forest owners, wood processors and those involved in log harvesting and wood transport, that demand for alternatives to fossil fuels is right now, transforming the forestry sector.
The 2022 conference, pre and post conference workshops and exhibitions (inside and outside the venue) showcased new innovations and smart operating practices being used, locally and internationally, to harvest sort, dry, transport and sell forest residues, bin wood, offcuts left on landings, short length or malformed logs that weren’t meeting MDF, pulp-mill or chip export log specifications and sawmill residues.
Details on the expectations and requirements from a growing number of larger industrial scale heat and energy users who’d either made the switch to biofuels were outlined to those attending along with early discussions on a raft of options that could be set up to aggregate regional fuel supplies to ensure consistency of quality of the product and supply.
Discussions at the 2022 event also looked at how prevailing supply models to progressively drive scale and supply chain reliability could be changed. It was felt that growers, processors and in some cases consumers, all needed to be part of any future supply contract models.
The clear message from R2R 2022 was that demand for wood residues or biofuels is increasing exponentially, that much greater volumes of woody biomass were needed, that the economics for supply are really starting to stack up and that the forestry industry was committed to ensure that woody biomass would be available to meet current and the projected future demand.
What’s planned for 2023?
The 2022 R2R event barely scratched the surface. Feedback to the event provided significant guidance by all those attending and firm recommendations for a 2023 follow-up. Commercial announcements have already been made on major boiler conversions being planned for biofuels. More are in the pipeline.
Prevailing supply models are being discussed at a regional and corporate level to progressively drive the scale and supply chain reliability required, as discussed at R2R 2022. And since the 2022 event ran, the NZ Government launched its Forestry and Wood Processing Industry Transformation Plan. It’s the country’s first strategy dedicated to boosting the forestry and wood processing sector in over a decade. And, as anticipated, better utilisation of bioenergy is very much a cornerstone of the new ITP.
Again, the timing’s going to be spot on. Residues2Revenues 2023 will be able to expand on key points made by presenters in 2022, cover recent technology advancements and dig much deeper into new and recent developments for co-ordinating the harvesting and extraction of wood residues and aggregation of regional biofuel supplies.
Interested in presenting?
For 2022, the conference programme and space to present as part of the workshops filled very quickly. If interested in presenting at Residues2Revenues 2023, please get back to Brent Apthorp ( firstname.lastname@example.org) BEFORE we break for the summer break, by Friday 23 December.
Awards return with accolades to industry winnersGood things take time and two and a half years since the inaugural event in 2019, the Hawke’s Bay Forestry Group celebrated with the local sector community the second forestry awards on Friday 2 December at the Napier War Memorial Conference Centre. MC and comedian Jeremy Corbett entertained and managed a great night of celebration and accolades for the local heroes of the industry at the Awards Dinner sponsored by Pan Pac Forest Products.
A sell - out crowd was there alongside Minister Stuart Nash and Deputy Mayor Annette Brosnan to acknowledge all the category and trophy winners for the second Hawke’s Bay Forestry Awards 2022.
Minister Nash commented on the work by the Future Foresters in promoting forestry out to schools and attendance at expos with a lot of mentoring for those interested in forestry. He also made it very explicit the important role the workforce sector would play in being part of the latest Industry Transformational Plan (ITP) for Forestry and was looking forward to the goals set in the plan being implemented.
Minister Nash ended the night with the presentation of the overall Skilled Forestry Professional of the Year to Terence (Pnut) Ross (pictured) who also took out the Roading category sponsored by ATS Logging. It was a great salutation to a forest “go to” and respected person in the industry. Unfortunately, Pnut was not able to make the event, but the award was highly fitting as Pnut is looking to retire later in the year.
ATS Logging did extremely well on the night and their other employees, Tane Lee took out the Harvesting Excellence category while Hayden Mullins was awarded the Outstanding Health & Safety Management Trophy. To top that off, Director of ATS Logging, Amy Satherley was runner up in the Woman in Forestry which was awarded to Chrystal Edmonds co-owner of Stirling Logging having recently relocated to the Hawke’s Bay from Gisborne.
Other outstanding recipients included D G Glenn Logging, stalwarts of the industry who took out the top award for Training Company/Contractor of the Year and Torben Hunt (Turbo) also won the Tree Faller Excellence category. This role has been increasingly under pressure from continuity of work as the role is replaced across the country with technology and mechanised fallers.
Chair of the Hawke’s Bay Forestry Group Damon Wise commented that the “The Hawke’s Bay Forest industry is in excellent health proven tonight by the calibre of nominations and quality of the Awards recipients. It’s important we don’t underestimate the commitment every individual makes every day to get the trees established, tendered, harvested, transported, and processed here in our region.” He continued to confirm, “The critical path to our future success is training and development and it’s pleasing to see this year’s judges have recognised the significant investment several businesses are making in this space.
He aha te mea nui o te ao. What is the most important thing in the world? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. It is the people, it is the people, it is the people!”
Nominations had been received throughout the last 2 years and the Forestry Group were very proud of the region to hang out hope this event would finally take place. A special award at the discretion of the judges each year, awarded a standout recipient that had done mahi above the expectations of their day-to-day work. This award went to GPFS and Ground UP Forestry company owners Kevin and Belinda Humphreys.
For over 25 years they have supported an array of individual contractors and contracting businesses to provide forestry, fire and agricultural services through the Hawkes Bay region and an array of local Private Woodlots and landowners. Kevin and Belinda are both passionate about the growth of the forestry sector in the Hawkes Bay region and take great pride to provide safe practices, quality operational services and effectiveness by fostering this culture into developing trained forestry workers, already within and new to our industry.
The training extends to life coaching and mentoring, health monitoring, chiropractic care, successful rehabilitation services for their staff and First Aid qualifications to name a few. In joint ownership this couple carry out significant work around engaging youth that at times are at a loose end, until they find a new place, and new opportunities in this industry.
For full details about the Hawkes Bay Forestry Awards and winners, check out the website at: www.hbforestawards.co.nz.
Contractor's training school addressing skills shortagesA shortage of skilled machine operators across New Zealand motivated contractor Mike Hurring to open his own training school in Balclutha. The school runs 5-week machine operator courses that cover the book work, training on simulators and real machines, and visits to other crews to watch experienced operators in action. The school’s goal is to make sure that students graduate with the skills to make them better, safer and more productive operators.
Mechanised planting on steeper slopesAs part of the just completed ForestTECH 2022 series, advances being made operationally in mechanised planting along with recent commercial trials from across Australasia, Europe and in South America featured as part of the focus this year’s event had on innovations around forest establishment. Economics, health and safety, shortages of manual planters over the planting season and the ability to build in a number of operations around planting into just the one mechanised operation were discussed at length by the forestry industry, key technology suppliers and equipment manufacturers.
Cassio Gomes, Forestry Innovation & Operational Development with the Brazilan forestry company, Eldorado Brasil Celulose presented at both the New Zealand and Australian events on their experience using mechanised planters for Eucalyptus. As part of the presentation with Bracke, most of the development around mechanised planting has been a collaborative effort between another major Brazilian forest owner, Cenibra (part of Oji Holdings) that own 144,000ha eucalypts and Bracke Forest, a Swedish forestry equipment manufacturer.
Operational trials with mechanised planting started in 2017. The forest company separates their planting programme into two distinct slope classes. On the flatter terrain, slopes up to 17 degrees, planting is semi-mechanised with agricultural tractors being used along with manual planters involved in seedling irrigation and side fertilisation. It’s on the steeper slopes (18 to 35 degrees) that mechanised planting using excavators (now using 20 tonne machines) and Bracke planting heads have really developed.
With the very latest modifications to the planting heads the machines are able to position using GPS guidance for planting, are subsoiling or ripping, deep fertilising, planting, side fertilising and irrigating, all in the one operation. To reduce costs and operational efficiencies, they’re currently employing a model where a team of five mechanised planters are working in tandem, serviced by truck to transport tools and equipment, a support vehicle for a mechanic and parts and tanker unit carrying water for irrigation to top up the five planters.
For more information on the developments, click here for a link to the recent presentation on mechanised planting on steep slopes given as part of ForestTECH 2022.
ForestTECH 2022 delegates have now been sent out all of the presentations including; results from mechanised planting trials this year from NSW, insights into the technology and costings around a large planting programme by CMPC in Chile, results from the application of hydrogels to extend the planting season and commercial trials using GPS planting spades from Queensland this planting season, given as part of the recent series.
Natural gas versus hydrogen as a transport fuelMany commercial fleet operators are thinking about transitioning their vehicles to hydrogen or natural gas engines.
These fuels can be great ways to reduce emissions. Both fuel options present similarities and differences across a variety of areas. For example, both hydrogen and natural gas are predominantly used in their gaseous form in vehicle applications. This leads to similarities in some components. On the other hand, there is a huge gap in their availability, resulting in different degrees of adoption.
Both natural gas and hydrogen engines are spark-ignited. Many of their components are thus similar, including the engine block, cylinder heads and ignition system. As is the case with all vehicles, safety is a paramount consideration. Both hydrogen and natural gas vehicles incorporate high-pressure fuel tanks to meet common safety requirements. However, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicles typically keep natural gas at pressures of around 3,600 psi.
Hydrogen vehicles store their fuel at pressures of up to 10,000 psi—that’s higher than the pressure at the bottom of the ocean. Such high pressures are needed because hydrogen molecules contain less energy than natural gas molecules. So, to carry the same amount of energy onboard a vehicle, more hydrogen molecules must be pushed into the same tank, resulting in a higher pressure. This means that designing and manufacturing safe and lightweight storage tanks for hydrogen vehicles is more difficult.
Natural gas and green hydrogen are alternative fuels that help reduce emissions in the transportation sector. Replacing a hundred older diesel transit buses with natural gas buses with Cummins’ L9N natural gas engine, would have the same impact as taking 280 gasoline cars off the road. This is substantial, but natural gas vehicles still release CO2 when burning CNG. Hydrogen vehicles, in contrast, have near-zero tank-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions, as long as they run on green hydrogen. They can reduce emissions by +99% compared to diesel. You can learn more about how green hydrogen emission reductions compare to different alternative fuels.
Switching to either type of vehicle can also result in lower emissions of air pollutants. Neither generates any soot and no-or very low-amounts of carbon monoxide and organic pollutants. Natural gas engines generate extremely low amounts of NOx. To account for the small traces of NOx tailpipe emissions from hydrogen engines, an aftertreatment system may be needed. Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles, on the other hand, produce no NOx or other air pollutants whatsoever. Hydrogen internal combustion engines and fuel cells have complementary use-cases. Both invest in the hydrogen economy and infrastructure.
In 2021, there were approximately 1,500 private and public fuelling stations offering Compressed Natural Gas, or CNG, in the United States. When comparing CNG to other fuels, it is not as universally available as gasoline and diesel. The CNG distribution network is still far denser than the green hydrogen distribution network though. There are only 67 public hydrogen fuelling stations in the United States, and almost all of them are in California. The absence of a dense fuelling network means that hydrogen is not yet an option for many use cases. In most places outside of California, Japan and some parts of Europe, drivers cannot consider purchasing a hydrogen vehicle as they would struggle finding places to refuel it.
For commercial vehicles, the absence of existing fuelling options can be easier to overcome. Businesses interested in switching to hydrogen may have the option to build private hydrogen fuelling stations in a central vehicle depot. These stations can be built similarly to CNG, a current practice, or they can place fuelling stations along fixed routes between, for example, distribution centres.
If commercial users adopt hydrogen vehicles, it’s possible that hydrogen fuelling stations will become more common. If this is case, then hydrogen vehicles could become a practical option for more users, including potentially private vehicles. This would drive the construction of additional hydrogen fuelling stations and attract more users towards hydrogen vehicles. Cummins continues to invest in hydrogen production and electrolyzer technologies.
Although battery electric vehicles tend to be more popular than hydrogen vehicles in the personal transportation segment, there has been an undeniable progress in green hydrogen technology, production capacity and distribution infrastructure. If green hydrogen continues on that course, availability constraints will be less and less of a factor for fleet operators who are looking to switch their vehicles to an alternative fuel.
Paper mill workers facing an uncertain futureHundreds of workers at a large paper mill in regional Victoria could soon be stood down because of a timber shortage, while the company considers its long-term future. The Opal Australian Paper mill at Maryvale in the Latrobe Valley is due to run out of materials to make white paper about December 23.
Its supplier, government-owned timber business VicForests, has been ordered to scale back harvesting in parts of East Gippsland and the Central Highlands, where two endangered possum species live. The mill anticipates some workers will be temporarily stood down, while others may have a reduced workload.
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union organiser Stephen Dodd expects about 250 people may initially be affected. A spokesperson for Opal Australian Paper said in the long term the company is considering scaling down white-paper operations or stopping them entirely, which could lead to potential redundancies.
"This is a complex and ever-changing situation and no longer-term decisions on operational changes have been made at this stage," the spokesperson said. The company is trying to find alternative wood supplies, but has so far been unsuccessful.
A VicForests spokesperson said it had paused all timber harvesting and engaged experts to create new practices in line with the court order. They said the organisation was exploring how to address supply issues and provide compensation to impacted sawmills and contractors.
For further coverage on this story, click here
Source: au.news.yahoo.com, ABC
SnapSTAT - NZ paper and paperboard exports
Year ended June 2004–2021, 2022–2026 forecast, thousand tonnes (gross)
New Chief Forest Practices Officer appointedMs Anne Chuter has been appointed as the next Chief Forest Practices Officer (CFPO) to replace Dr Peter Volker, who is retiring. The CFPO manages the Forest Practices Authority (FPA) and the 165 Forest Practices Officers working in the forest industry. As the independent regulator of forestry and land clearing, the FPA ensures compliance with the Forest Practices Act 1985 and the Forest Practices Code as well as other environmental and cultural heritage requirements.
Ms Chuter was the Biodiversity Program Manager at FPA, with nearly 20 years of experience providing practical advice on important conservation values that must be managed in forestry operations.
Dr Volker reflected on his time as CFPO, “As a professional forester, it’s been a privilege to lead the FPA. We are focused on assisting everyone in the sustainable management of Tasmania’s forests. Everyone involved in the forest sector is committed to the forest practices system has been in place for 35 years and is unique in Australia. The dedication and commitment of Forest Practices Officers and forest workers reflects their care for sustainable forest management,” he said.
Peter’s intention is to stay involved with forestry. “Forestry has been recognised at recent international COP meetings as a means to increase carbon sequestration and storage. I feel that I still have a lot to contribute. I’ve made professional friendships with people all over the world and I would like to build on that,” he said.
Incoming CFPO, Anne Chuter, acknowledged the contribution Dr Peter Volker has made to the Tasmanian forestry industry and the FPA over his career. “I would like to thank Peter for his dedication to the role of CFPO over the last six years, and the knowledge he has generously shared with the everyone at the FPA and throughout the forest industry”.
“I have been fortunate to work in Tasmania’s forests for most of my career, and over that time I have developed a deep appreciation for the skills and experience of people working within and contributing to the industry. Tasmania’s forests have many diverse values and I look forward to the opportunity to continue working in this dynamic field, and to lead the FPA to meet the challenges ahead”.
Source: Forest Practices Authority
T3 Collingwood kickstarts Timber Building ProgramAustralia’s latest environmentally-friendly timber high rise building is on track for construction, with new investment from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). The landmark Melbourne project, developed and led by specialist global real estate group Hines, has also attracted finance from the Madigan Active Debt Fund, backed by the Victorian Funds Management Corporation.
The CEFC commitment of up to AU$70 million in debt finance for the Melbourne T3 Collingwood development is the first project to be financed through the specialist CEFC Timber Building Program. The CEFC has nominally allocated AU$300 million to the Timber Building Program, to help kick start mass timber construction in Australia, which has the potential to substantially reduce embodied carbon.
The 15-storey prime-grade office tower, located at 36 Wellington St Collingwood, will be one of Melbourne’s tallest hybrid mass timber buildings. It will deliver a dual emissions reduction impact – cutting embodied carbon levels by as much as 40 per cent1 during the construction phase and, once operational, target market leading net zero emissions.
CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said: “We are very pleased to announce T3 Collingwood as our first investment under the innovative CEFC Timber Building Program, which aims to encourage the use of mass timber in the construction sector. Mass timber can play an important role in decarbonising the buildings that make up our cities and this investment showcases how timber can be used to change the way we approach commercial scale buildings.
“The commercial property sector has been making significant progress to reduce operational carbon, and we are pleased to now be accelerating the focus on embodied carbon. Timber has a vital role to play in addressing embodied carbon and represents the next frontier for the property industry. This project encourages owners, developers, architects, engineers and builders to use mass timber as an alternative to conventional construction materials such as concrete and steel for their projects.”
What it took to get us to stayThe top reasons for staying with a company include pay, training and schedules.
Pouring over data, analysing trends and evaluating the efficacy of policies are often how companies study their retention efforts. While those methods offer insights, the best resource for finding out why employees stay at their jobs is to ask them.
IW did that and spoke with three entry-level workers in different industries. Here are their responses as to what they like about their jobs and why they have stayed.
Chris – mechanical technician, steel manufacturer
The reason I have stuck around here is that when I was hired, I wasn't the highest-rated mechanic, and they were willing to train me by sending me to workshops and school so I can improve at my job. I especially like that I have a clear career path and know that I have a way to grow with the company and always keep moving forward.
The learning process is very much a personal choice here. The management doesn't sit you down and have those conversations with you, after the initial probation period. It's pretty much up to you to ask managers for the information that lets you acquire new skills. After completing certain courses, you go back to managers so they can evaluate your work and see if you're ready to go to the next level.
It’s not just me, I see this with my fellow workers. Mechanics work their way up through the ranks and then from there, they have the option of going to management if they desire or they can go somewhere else in the company and learn something new.
As far as other things I like about this job is that I can work as much as I want. There is no limit on overtime. The pay is good and there are obvious ways for me to increase it if I want more.
In terms of where I think the company goes the extra mile, to me, it’s the way they look at safety and how they treat the people. At our facility, a lot of dangerous things are involved in the processes and we constantly have safety training. Still, things happened and people do inevitably get hurt --I was recently burned pretty badly a few months ago.
The company reacted and has pretty much rebuilt the entire system which was the cause of my injury. They added dozens of extra fail-safes to the system to make sure what happened to me doesn't happen to somebody else. And while I was out of work and in the hospital, they made sure I was taken care of. I didn't have to worry about my livelihood or anything while I was healing.
Tesla truck completes 800km trip with full loadTesla has completed an 800-kilometre drive of its soon-to-be-delivered electric Semi with more than 36 tonnes in gross vehicle weight. That’s according to a tweet by chief executive Elon Musk on 27 November. This follows an earlier tweet by Musk in October which said first deliveries of the truck are set for food and beverage corporation PepsiCo on December 1.
The Semi is expected to reach zero to 100km/h in five seconds, have up to 800km in range and pull a maximum allowable load of over 36,000kgs. Prices for the truck, depending on range options, are expected to be US$150,000 and US$180,000.
PepsiCo says the trucks will be used at its Frito-Lay plant in Modesto, California, and its PepsiCo beverages factory in Sacramento. It was not confirmed how many Semi Trucks would be going into production, but in 2017 PepsiCo placed the world’s largest pre-order for 100 of the newly unveiled electric trucks.
The company says it’s part of PepsiCo’s effort to reduce fuel costs and fleet emissions during the distribution of sodas and snacks to retailers. At the time the order was announced, PepsiCo estimated it had around 10,000 diesel trucks in its US fleet. Walmart Canada is another firm that has placed a large reservation for the truck and last year more than tripled its order to 130 units.
Buy and Sell
... and some to end the week on ...
The old and the new ....
A lady failed the written driving test 4 times.
At the fifth attempt, she was determined to pass.
But the test had the same question, “You are driving at 100km/h. On you right is a wall, on you left is a cliff. On the road you see an old man and a young man. What do you hit?
The women walked up to the examiner and said, “I’ve answered this question all four ways, wall, cliff, old man, and young man, yet I have failed all four times, how is this possible.
What am I supposed to hit????”
The examiner replied, “The brakes!!!!.”
I decide to travel to the US.
At the Embassy for the visa interview… Officer: Where to in the US?
Me: San Jose
Officer: It’s pronounced as San Hosey. J is pronounced as H in the US.
Me: Oh, okay!
Officer: So how long do you plan to be in the US?
Me: From Hanuary to Hune or Huly.
On that note, enjoy your weekend - and good luck with the Xmas
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