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issue 133 | 12.07.10 | Page 1

Business as usual at FPQ

This Issue • Biomass energy ‘the new wind’ • EU votes to ban illegal wood

Hancock chiefs talk with industry, assess resource after visiting forestry operations By JIM BOWDEN

IT will be “business and usual” for Forestry Plantations Queensland Pty Ltd, the new company that will manage the state’s 204,000 ha of timber lands that came under the control of US-based Hancock Timber Resource Group on July 1. Hancock client investors paid $603 million for FPQ, which was established on May 1, 2006, to manage state-owned softwood and hardwood forest plantations.

Garry Hannigan .. interim CEO of new company FPQ Pty Ltd.

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The main asset purchased was a 99-year licence agreement; the Queensland government retains ownership of the underlying land. “Trading as FPQ Pty Ltd will reinforce the business-as-usual approach,” managing director of Hancock Natural Resources Group Australasia Karl Kny told T&F enews. Speaking from the FPQ Brisbane office in Melbourne Street, Mr Kny said all FPQ Cont Page 3

shows off its green credentials • On the cusp of a wood revolution • Carbon price back on government agenda • Willmott trading suspended • Print it – don’t always email it

 Wood

issue 133 | 12.07.10 | Page 1


Resource sector Making needs support for an carbon challenge impact .. Greenhouse program dumped The Victorian Association of Forest Industries, representing the interests of the Victorian timber Industry

Victorian Association of Forest Industries Level 2, 2 Market Street Melbourne 3000 Tel: +61 3 9611 9000 Fax: +61 3 9611 9011 Email: Web:

Page 2 | issue 133 | 12.07.10

REPORTS of ‘green shoots’ in the economy are welcome news for sustainability policy making, as is an increase in business and consumer confidence – primarily because this reduces some of the barriers facing a proper ‘greening’ of the economy. However, Australia remains at risk of severely disadvantaging one of the most important sectors in the economy, from an ecological and future prosperity perspective, says Matthew Warnken, managing director of Crucible Carbon, who spoke at Timber Queensland’s bionergy seminar on July 1. “Ironically, the risk is embedded within the current configuration of one of the most important items of green market reform – the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. At its simplest, the CPRS is about internalising the costs of carbon within the economy and, by providing a clear price signal, causing change in business behaviour as carbon appears on the balance sheet,” Mr Warnken says. “Not surprisingly, the scheme has been under sustained attack from those industries currently externalising the costs of carbon onto broader society and facing increased costs under CPRS. “Of course there is an argument for transitional assistance to industry as carbon intensive assets are taken offline and replaced with new technology, some of which is still in the development phase. “But by assuaging the demands of emission intensive businesses, the government has overlooked providing

across Australia’s forest and forest products industry .. since 1940

How do you employ

apprentices? Matthew Warnken .. where is the ‘transitionary support’ for those providing solutions to the carbon challenge?

assistance to the one sector that has been delivering greenhouse abatement as a beneficial externality of their value offering – the resource recovery industry. Mr Warnken says the resource recovery sector is responsible for creating hundreds of millions of tonnes of greenhouse abatement over the past 20 years (arguably the timeframe where there has been scientific consensus around global warming and its cause). No other sector can claim to have been steadily decreasing its carbon footprint, let alone increasing the net abatement provision. The greenhouse abatement has been delivered through the diversion of organic carbon from landfill (wood, paper, food, and garden organics) and subsequent prevention of methane release, as well as the recycling of high embodied energy materials to provide lower emission commodity feedstocks, and innovating to improve the efficacy and Cont Page 13

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industry news

Making best decisions for SAVE both industry and investors


From Page 1

staff would be retained and guaranteed security of tenure for three years under an enterprise bargaining agreement reached with employees and unions. Deputy chief plantation forestry officer Garry Hannigan has been appointed interim CEO of FPQ Pty Ltd. “As we go through the standard of protocols and processes, we would hope that Garry will stay on beyond the interim role,” Mr Kny said. Chief plantations forestry officer Dr Warren Hoey, a former DPI regional veterinarian in western Queensland and former director-general of agriculture, has retired and FPQ general manager business services Dr Tony Costantini has returned to Treasury.

DATE! 9 September 2010 Sofitel Melbourne on Collins

Committed .. HTRG will keep up supply of logs to the local industry.

Hancock Natural Resource Group CEO and president of Hancock Timber Resource Group Dan Christsensen and global chief operating officer Bruce McNigh were in Brisbane

for the completion of the FPQ deal. Along with Mr Kny, they visited plantation operations at Beerburrum on the Sunshine Coast, Gympie and at Ingham in north Queensland. “We have been out there meeting with industry and talking to our customers,” Mr Kny said. “We are absolutely committed to supplying the local industry. Clearly, we want to support our clients and also understand what their aspirations are. “That is our key focus, and we have met with two customers so far and will continue discussions with others over the coming weeks.” Mr Kny said his role as managing director was to support the existing management in understanding and making sure the very best decisions were made for both the industry and investors. “We are visiting clients but at the same time focusing on the resource and what it can support – and determining the capability of the resource and then optimising the resource to the market.” Mr Kny suggested FPQ

“Australia’s Place in the Changing Global Forest Products Market” Presented by ForestWorks, the Industry Skills Council for Australia’s Forest, Wood, Paper & Timber Products Industry, supported by Industry. Industry relevant topics including: • Future opportunities for global forestry markets including renewable energy • Certification & regulation of global markets • Ownership & investment in Australia • Industry led solutions for a sustainable industry The 2010 Forest Industries Liaison Dinner: 9 September Regent Theatre on Collins Street, Melbourne For information contact:


Cont Page 4

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issue 133 | 12.07.10 | Page 3

industry news

Queensland plantation forests .. long-term investment for investment and superannuation funds.

Committed to returning forest areas for rehabilitation as a natural habitat From Page 3

would be looking at exporting plantation logs if at any time supply was above the needs of the domestic market. This was particularly the case in north Queensland where there was not a big market for the wood. All bids have been placed on an offering of 250,000 exotic pine logs on the Fraser Coast, the last sale by FPQ before it was officially taken over by Hancock. As yet, no buyer has been announced. Karl Kny, who joined Hancock Timber Resource Group (HTRG) in 1999, is responsible for business in Australia and New Zealand and has experience in the timber export market across the Tasman. HTRG is a global timberland investment management organisation based in Boston, Massachusetts, which

manages more than 2 million ha of timberland in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Brazil and the US, including 167,000 ha under the ownership of Hancock Victorian Plantations in Victoria. Before joining HTRG, Mr Kny worked as general manager, corporate development, for Amcor, a large international forestry, pulp, paper and packaging group. He also was a consulting expert for Macquarie Bank where he advised on acquisitions and valuations in the forestry, pulp and paper sector. ‘This investment reflects our long term commitment to Australia’ – Dan Christensen He has more than 20 years’ experience in operations, acquisitions, planning and finance and has worked for

Karl Kny .. committed to supplying the local industry.

several large forest products and paper companies in Australasia and has international experience in southeast Asia and Europe. Mr Kny graduated from Melbourne University with an MBA, a B.S. in geology/ geophysics and Bachelor of Electrical Engineering.

HTRG president Dan Christensen said the group had strong local relationships through its existing Australian operations and planned to make the ownership transition as seamless as possible. “We are impressed with FPQ’s operations and have no plans to initiate a major restructure,” he said. “This investment reflects our long term commitment to Australia, our confidence in the country’s economy and in the local forestry industry.” Mr Christensen said the group would seek third party certification for management of the plantations under Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards. The lands were already certified under the Australian Forestry Standard and that certification Cont Page 6

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Page 4 | issue 133 | 12.07.10

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WHAT’S ON? 14: Seminar – Fair Competition and the Illegal Logging Trade. Speaker: Juel Briggs, Briggs Veneer. Prosperos Restaurant, 310 Church Street, Parramatta, 6,30pm for 7pm. Hosted by Sydney HooHoo Club 215. Contact: Chris White on 0411 293 646 or Ian Ramsay on 0414 746992. Email: 14-18: Interforest 2010 Trade Fair for Forestry Technology Munich, Germany. 21-22: Wood Energy 2010 reducing energy costs and improving energy efficiencies. Rotorua, NZ. 21-22: ScanTECH 2010 Sawmill Scanning & Optimisation Technologies. Rotorua, NZ. www. 26-27: ScanTECH 2010 Sawmill Scanning & Optimisation Technologies. Melbourne. www. 26-27: Wood Energy 2010 (World Reducing Energy Costs & Improving Energy Efficiencies) Melbourne. 26-29: Combined workshop. ATTA / FIAPS / ForestWorks combined annual workshop Hobart. Details:

SEPTEMBER 2010 3-5: Canberra Timber & Working With Wood Expo, Exhibition Park in Canberra. Contact: (02) 9974 1393. Fax: (02)9974 3426 Email: 6-12: Landcare Week. 7: WoodSolutions 2010. Program for architects, engineers and specifiers. Dockside, Darling

Harbour, Sydney. Register interest at au 7-9: Wood Manufacturing 2010. Rotorua, NZ. Designed for wood processing operations in the dry mill and stand-alone wood manufacturing companies. View: www.woodmanufacturingevents. com 8-10: AFAC bushfire CRC annual conference. Darwin Convention Centre Australia. 9: Wood Solutions 2010 program. Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Register interest at 9: Australia’s Place in the Changing Global Forest Products Market. Future opportunities for global forestry markets including renewable energy; certification and regulation of global markets; ownership and investment in Australia; industry-led solutions for a sustainable industry. Presented by ForestWorks, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins. Note: Forest industries liaison dinner in the evening at the Regent Theatre on Collins Street. For information contact: cday@ 13-15: Manufacturing 2010. Melbourne. Designed for wood processing operations in the dry mill and stand-alone wood manufacturing companies. View: www.woodmanufacturingevents. com 15: WoodSolutions 2010 program. State Library of Queensland, Brisbane. Register interest at www. 15-16: Wood Manufacturing 2010 Profitable Wood Manufacturing - Tooling Technology & Design, Melbourne.

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20-21: Wood Manufacturing 2010 Profitable Wood Manufacturing - Tooling Technology & Design Rotorua, NZ.

SUSTAINABLE. sustainable. responsible. . RESPONSIBLE

30-2 October: The Future of Forestry and Forest Science Conference. Celebrating the centenary of forestry education in Australia. Sydney Myer Asia Centre Carrillo Gantner Theatre, Melbourne University. Contact: Event Planners Australia forestry. Email:

The National The National Association of of Forest Association Industries (NAFI) Forest Industries (NAFI) represents is striving for an Australian companies, ecologically sustainable individualssociety and Australian organisations involved achieved through in thedynamic, forestry and forest products internationally industries. competitive forest industries. NAFI works with state and

OCTOBER 2010 10-13: Australian Forest Growers national conference, Mount Gambier, SA. Chief executive Warwick Ragg. Contact national office: (02) 6162 9000. 15-17: Melbourne Timber and Working with Wood Expo, Melbourne Showground, Melbourne. Contact: (02) 9974 1393. Fax: (02)9974 3426 Email: 19-20: MTC Global Woodmart: Gateway to International Wood Markets. The first ‘one-stop’ selling and buying platform for all suppliers and buyers of wood and wood products. Early bird discount 5%. Organised by the Malaysian Timber Council at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Malaysia. Contact: Malaysian Timber Council. Tel: +60 3 9281 1999. Fax: +60 3 9289 8999. Email: Web:


JULY 2010

29: TABMA annual dinner. Luna Park, Sydney. Incorporating the Australian Timber Design Awards presented by TDA NSW. Dinner supported by TDA, NSW Forest Products Association and FWPA. Contact: TABMA on (02) 9277 3172.

federal governments to support interestsis of to its NAFI’sthemission members while the same represent theatinterests time improving industry of members by standards and practices, promoting the promoting sustainable environmental forestry management and educating the broader sustainability and community on theof the prosperity economic, environment Australian forest and social benefits of industries. a strong sustainable forest industry. National Association of The National Association Forest Industries Ltd of Forest Industries (Est. 1987) Ltd (EST.1987) PO Box 239, PO Box 239, Deakin ACT 2600 Deakin, ACT 2600 Tel: (02) 6285 3833. Tel: (02) 6285 3833 Fax: (02) 6285 3855 Fax: (02) 6285 3855 Web: Web:

issue 133 | 12.07.10 | Page 5

industry news

Obligated to establish hardwood plantations From Page 4

would be maintained, he said. All Hancock Timber managed forests in Australasia are FSC certified. Mr Christensen said the timber business was an excellent investment. “We’ve acquired these plantations as long-term investments for our investors,” he said. “Our investors are pension funds and superannuation funds here in Australia and they look at this as a long-term investment. “They’re really interested in the total return from this investment, both the appreciation of the underlying plantations as well as the management of the cash yielded from these plantations.” HTRG has already committed to handing back to the government more than 3000 ha that, in consultation with conservation groups, has been identified as suitable once harvested for rehabilitation as natural habitat.

“We very much support such initiatives,” Mr Christensen said. To ensure the state’s hardwood commitments are met, the group will continue the initiative of establishing 20,000 ha of eucalypt hardwood plantations. These will be progressively established between now and 2025 so as to be prepared for the expected cessation of native forest logging at that time. Key to the agreement with the state is the protection of public access to the forests and the continuation of existing land use permits and their allocation and operation under the Forestry Act. HTRG is a division of Hancock Natural Resource Group, Inc., a registered investment adviser and wholly owned subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation. Hancock Forest Management, Inc., is a subsidiary of Hancock Natural Resource Group, Inc.

Industry talks ‘positive’ TIMBER Queensland has welcomed a commitment by the new owner of FPQ to continue a state government initiative to establish 20,000 ha of eucalypt plantations. The Hancock Timber Resource Group has agreed to progressively establish the plantations between now and 2025 so as to be prepared for the expected cessation of native forest logging at that time. TQ chief executive Rod McInnes said his first meeting

with HTRG executives and the FPQ management team last week was very positive. “We welcomed the opportunity to discuss, in a mutually agreeable way, the group’s philosophy on managing the resource and its consultation process with industry stakeholders,” he said. “There was a sense that they were keen to ‘settle into’ established industry operations in the state and understand the aspirations of their customers.”

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Page 6 | issue 133 | 12.07.10

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wood design

On the cusp of a wood revolution

Forums in three cities attract top architects WE are on the cusp of a wood revolution that will transform the way we design and build many residential and commercial structures, according to a leading Canadian architect. Michael Green, principal with McFarlane Green Biggar Architecture in Vancouver, says that innovations in engineered wood products and wood’s environmental advantages are driving new applications for the material. Mr Green is one of the major drawcards for the inaugural WoodSolutions 2010 one-day forums to be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in September. ‘The materials we build with are something we can easily address to make an enormous difference that will lead us to carbon neutral and, in time, carbon negative buildings’ – Michael Green An impressive line-up of international and Australian experts in engineering and architecture will address the forums to discuss the increasing use of structural wood in contemporary designs. “My talk in Australia will

Michael Green .. architects have a duty to address climate change.

tackle the significant negative environmental impact of concrete and steel in building and in turn the significant benefits of wood,” Mr Green said. “Architects have a duty to address the problems of our profession as it relates to climate change. I believe the materials we build with are something we can easily address to make an enormous difference that will lead us to carbon neutral and, in time, carbon negative buildings.” Other international speakers confirmed for the forums are Andrew Lawrence, associate, Arup Advanced Technology & Research Group, London; Andy Buchanan, Professor of Timber Design, University of

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Canterbury New Zealand and research director, Structural Timber Innovation Co; and Owen Griffiths, marketing director, McIntosh Timber Laminates, Auckland, NZ. Australian speakers will include Allen Kearns, theme leader, Sustainable Cities and Coasts, CSIRO Climate Adaption Flagship, Australia, and Richard Leplastrier, renowned Sydney architect. WoodSolutions 2010 is sponsored by Wood. Naturally Better and supported by Forest and Wood Products Australia. FWPA managing director Ric Sinclair said he hoped attendees would be informed and inspired to use more wood in their designs. “For environmental, aesthetic

and economic reasons, contemporary designs are incorporating wood in structures ranging from public to multistorey residential buildings,” he said. “We’ve structured the program as an educational forum which will inspire delegates with ideas and an understanding of how they can make the most of wood as a building material. The environmental benefits of wood, including its low embodied energy and ability to store carbon for life, can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of a built structure.” The wide range of topics and case histories make this a ‘must-attend’ event for any professional interested in keeping up with the latest information about this naturally versatile, sustainable material. Most attendees will be able to claim CPD points for their respective professional association or industry group. WoodSolutions 2010 will be held in Sydney on September 7; Melbourne, September 9, and Brisbane, September 15. Registration and further information is available at

issue 133 | 12.07.10 | Page 7

industry news

Carbon price is back on agenda for Julia Gillard AS Julia Gillard puts climate change back on the agenda – pushing for a carbon price in her first speech as Australia’s new Prime Minister – New Zealand kicked off its emissions trading scheme on July 1, covering transport fuels, electricity and industry. Deposed PM Kevin Rudd shelved the ETS in April, but Ms Gillard says she will pursue a carbon price if she wins the next election, expected to be held early in August. Ms Gillard confirmed she led the push to delay an ETS. Labor sources now confirm the focus of her pitch for the environment vote will be on renewables – boosting the use of solar and wind power to help meet the government’s pledge to slash greenhouse gases. Arguing that community consensus is “not there yet” on an ETS, Ms Gillard backed the need to put a price on carbon to encourage businesses to change their practices, but has offered no timetable on delivering one. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has restated support for a carbon price, China has moved forward its permit trading scheme, Japan is running into trouble on its ETS plans and Europe has reignited its debate about a carbon tax. NZ climate change minister Nick Smith says the scheme is an “an important step in the nation doing its fair share on climate change”. “New Zealand’s emissions per person are among the highest in the world and are growing at one of the fastest rates among developed countries,” he says. However, in echoes of the Australian debate, he says New

Page 8 | issue 133 | 12.07.10

Julia Gillard .. push for carbon price.

Zealand does not want get out of step with the rest of the world; he says there will be a review of the ETS next year “and at regular intervals thereafter, so we can reassess our approach relative to international progress and the latest science”. China was set to adopt a national permit-based pollutant ETS at the start of this year as a key part of its drive to increase energy efficiency and reduce pollution. It will now be delayed until the end of 2010. Japan is another developed nation to see ETS plans delayed, but has vowed to see legislation passed in time for the UN climate conference in Mexico in December. EU climate action commissioner Connie Hedegaard has backed an EU carbon tax and spoken about Europe’s efforts to stay ahead of the game in international climate negotiations. “If you do it intelligently, you can have a lot of results coming from energy taxation,” Ms Hedegaard said following a debate with her fellow commissioners on the revision of the Energy Taxation Directive.”

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industry news

Investment essential for plantation expansion.

Low sales result halts trading by Willmott Forests

INTEGRATED timber group Willmott Forests Ltd cites uncertainty in the broader investment market beyond its control and lower sales results as the reasons why it requested suspension of trading on the Australian Securities Exchange. Result for the Willmott Forests Premium Forestry Blend-2010 Project at June 30 was $19.65 million (exclusive of gst). While the result again demonstrates continuing support for Willmott Forests’ product, this is significantly lower than the company’s expectations and materially lower than FY09. The implications of the lower sales results require proper consideration by the company in light of its current position and outlook for FY2011. Accordingly, the company has requested and been granted a trading halt by the Australian Securities Exchange pending a further announcement on the impact of the level of sales for FY2010 on the financial position of the company. Willmott says Australia is facing a major shortfall in future sawlog (long rotation) timber supply for existing domestic wood industries. While public investment in plantations is

declining rapidly, continuous private investment is essential to maintain the industry by securing plantation expansion and to maintain second rotation plantings. Willmott says it is committed to continuing its integrated strategy of investing in long rotation plantation sawlogs, sawmill development for regional value-adding, energy crops for renewable electricity, and carbon trading. The retail investment market for forestry-based agricultural products has severely contracted from the FY2009 levels. Nevertheless, it is encouraging that investment in long rotation timber plantations has received continued support through the Premium Forestry Blend-2010 Project which achieved a share of about 25% of this diminished market. Meanwhile, the board and management of Willmott Forests are undertaking immediate actions to address current challenges for the company. Willmott Forests, established in 1979, manages 53,000 ha of commercial plantations in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland on behalf of more than 6000 growers with forestry funds under management exceeding $400 million.

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Timber & Forestry e-news is the most authoritative and quickest deliverer of news and special features to the forest and forest products industries in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific region. Weekly distribution is over 6,400 copies, delivered every Monday. Advertising rates are the most competitive of any industry magazine in the region. Timber&Forestry e-news hits your target market – every week, every Monday! HEAD OFFICE Custom Publishing Group Unit 2- 3986 Pacific Highway Loganholme 4129 Qld, Australia PUBLISHER Dennis Macready CONSULTING EDITOR Jim Bowden Tel: +61 7 3256 1779 Mob: 0401 312 087 ADVERTISING Tel: +61 7 3256 1779 PRODUCTION MANAGER Leigh Macready Tel: +61 7 3841 8075

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issue 133 | 12.07.10 | Page 9


Biomass energy ‘the new wind’ Renewables take advantage of stimulus measures

THE Federal Government’s decision to push an emissions trading scheme back to 2013 and the current uncertainties surrounding climate change policy have slowed merger and acquisition investment in the renewable energy sector, according to a new KPMG global survey. The research shows the US, India and China are the most appealing markets to companies and investors because of government incentives. While the wind sector is still seeing enormous deal activity at the moment, the KPMG research has shown that large companies in particular are looking for the next global trend. KPMG’s national leader of renewables Mathew Herring says biomass has the potential to be the “new wind”. “Biomass does not yet appear to have realised its significant potential here in Australia when you compare it globally, despite the fact that biomass plants can be attractive because they are capable of yielding higher returns and operating more effectively as a base load power source than some other forms of renewable energy,” Mr

Biomass .. the most attractive energy for investment.

Herring said. Another key positive move, according to survey respondents, is Australia’s $1.5 billion Solar Flagships program, which is likely to be a key driver of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the next 18 months. However, the other side of the coin shows that where subsidy regimes are stepping down, the negative impact on companies directly affected is creating distressed acquisition targets, such as in the Spanish and German solar sectors where incentives are being cut. “When it comes to M&A in

Australia, we are seeing that pricing more often than not becomes problematic,” says Mr Herring. “This is consistent with global trends, particularly where bidders have many distressed sellers as alternative purchases.” Global renewable energy M&A activity has seen an increase of 145% in deal volume globally in the first quarter of 2010 compared with the same period in 2009, with 150 deals complete compared to 61 last year. This equates to a 63% increase in value to $US14.3 billion ($16.8 billion).

“Company vendors and acquirers are more amenable to cutting a deal than they were a year ago, but the numbers of buyers are limited because of access to capital,” Mr Herring adds. “More than 50% of the survey respondents have found accessing finance harder in the past year and those that can access it are paying three times more margin, compared with three years ago.” The survey also found a change in appetite from last year’s findings of the most attractive energy to invest in, with biomass most appealing, followed by solar and wind. “This is particularly relevant to Australia given our major source of installed renewable electricity, hydro, has limited potential for future large scale development and Australia’s geothermal industry is currently struggling with capital procurement,” explains Mr Herring. Similarly, solar opportunities have increased in Australia as mature players in the global solar industry seek to expand into the renewable energy sector and take advantage of stimulus measures.

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Page 10 | issue 133 | 12.07.10

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Carbon pyrolysis: reducing the cost of renewable green energy systems CARBON pyrolysis technology can deliver renewable energy and biochar at a fraction of the cost of competing technologies. “In terms of renewable energy, the technology can deliver power that is distributed, scalable from an industrial facility to a regional city, and can operate continuously to deliver base-load power,” says Matthew Warnken, managing director of Crucible Carbon in Sydney. Speaking at Timber Queensland’s bioenergy seminar in Brisbane earlier this month, Mr Warnken said the business case for using Crucible Carbon’s pyrolysis technology had been strengthened by the recent passing of the Renewable Energy Target in Australia. [Pyrolysis is the chemical decomposition of condensed substances that occurs spontaneously at high temperatures]. Biochar has three main market applications: in agriculture as a soil improver, as a thermal coal replacement, and in metallurgy, for example, as an alternative blast furnace injectant. The pyrolysis technology

Crucible Caron’s pilot plant has capacity of about 100 to 400 kilograms an hour.

produces a biogas that can be used for electricity generation, in addition to biochar. Crucible Carbon commissioned a pilot plant late in 2008 and has a capacity of about 100 to 400 kilograms an hour, depending on feedstock. A commercial module is being designed for construction and deployment in 2010 for the company’s first customer Rainbow Bee Eater Pty Ltd in Western Australia. This module

will have an annual capacity of about 8000 bone dry tonne equivalents (bdte). Breakthrough cost reduction and efficiencies compared with existing technologies include small commercial nodes compared to other biomass options, reducing transport distance of feedstock and corresponding energy usage and cost. “No pre-drying of biomass is required, unlike other pyrolysis technologies,” Mr Warnken said. “Biomass containing up to 50% moisture can be processed directly without the use of expensive drying equipment. “Processing capacity for a wide variety of type and size in feedstock enables wider and easier supply of feedstock with less cost to process and simple infrastructure and operating requirements.” Mr Warnken said multiple product streams of biogas and biochar increased market options – heat and power from the biogas and large scale agricultural, thermal coal and metallurgical markets for the biochar. Every bone dry tonne equivalent

of biomass processed would generate about 1 MWh of electricity (from biogas and genset) and 350 kg of biochar, he said. There was no complex gas handling with ready-to-use biogas in ‘off-the-shelf’ gensets [machines used to generate electricity] and infrastructure and operational requirements were simple.. Effective carbon abatement is estimated at above 1.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per tonne of biomass (dry weight basis). Feedstocks need to be sustainable and not compete with food production. Potential sources of lignocellulosic (eg. woody) biomass include sawmill residues; purpose grown woody crops (for example, interspersed mallee in wheat country), agricultural residues such as straw and bagasse; plantation forestry residues; urban wood residues (eg. demolition); pulp and paper residues; other organic and industrial residues.

If it’s your timber, make sure it’s in the competition. Ring the architect, builder or owner; pay the fee; organise the photos. The 2010 Australian Timber Design Awards is your chance to have your timber products showcased. If you’ve supplied timber or timber products to an eye-catching house, office block or resort development, make sure your contact knows about the Timber Design Awards. Let us know about the project by email at


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issue 133 | 12.07.10 | Page 11

industry news

EWPs that tick EU votes to ban ALL the boxes Illegally-logged Engineered wood products manufactured by EWPAA member companies top the list

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Page 12 | issue 133 | 12.07.10

timber imports

THE European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly for legislation to ban illegally logged timber and wood products from all EU territories. The new law was passed on July 7 by 644 votes to 25, with 16 abstentions. Timber importers who first place timber and wood products onto the European market are now prohibited from selling illegally harvested timber and timber products; they are also obliged to use a due diligence system to minimise the risk of doing so, a system requiring them to compile information concerning their timber, including where it was harvested. Traders must also conduct risk assessments to evaluate the possibility of placing illegally harvested timber or timber products onto the EU market and, finally, they will have to employ risk mitigation measures to minimise the chance of acquiring illegally harvested timber and wood products. Traders selling internally within the EU must provide information on their suppliers and ensure the traceability of timber and timber products up to the first point of sale within the EU. The new rules will be implemented in two years. The new EU law follows the success of the Environmental Investigation Agency’s work in the US which helped achieve a revision of the Lacey Act, adopted in May 2008, to ban all sales of, and trade in, illegally harvested timber. Green member of the European Parliament Satu Hassi, who negotiated a deal with the 27 EU states, called the legislation an ‘internationally important breakthrough”. The European legislation closes

Janex Potocnik .. global message.

a loophole in the industry because it is currently not against the law to sell timber in the EU that was cut down illegally in its country of origin. More than half of logging activities take place in vulnerable regions such as the Amazon Basin, central Africa, southeast Asia and Russia, according to the European Union. Illegally-harvested timber represents 20 to 40% of global production of industrial wood, or 350 million to 650 million cub m, according to the UN. The environmental group WWF estimated that in 2006 the EU imported around 30 million cub m of timber and wooden products made from illegal logging. European environment commissioner Janez Potocnik welcomed the passage of the legislation, arguing that the regulations marked a significant step towards tackling illegal logging. “Combating illegal logging will bring environmental and development benefits,” he said.” With this, we are sending a signal to the world that the EU will no longer serve as a market for illegally harvested timber.”

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Failure of CPRS funding assistance undermines resource recovery sector From Page 2

Resource recovery sector .. potential to deliver beneficial greenhouse abatement.

sector and encourage additional greenhouse abatement projects that go beyond business-asusual. This solution involves four easy steps: • Continue the operation of Greenhouse Friendly until the start of the CPRS (whenever that may be). • Make Greenhouse Friendly abatement exchangeable with CPRS permits on a 1:1 basis. • Issue permits over a transitionary period of five years under CPRS to all resource recovery companies on the basis of the net carbon

Print it – don’t always email it THE Paper – Part of Every Day promotional campaign has called on all paper and print industry stakeholders to cease implying that paper is not sustainable. An increasing number of industry companies, organisations and individuals are damaging their own business value chains by using email footers that suggest that paper based communications should be reduced. Commenting on the campaign, Tim Woods says slogans at the bottom of an email like ‘think before you print’ or worse, the totally incorrect ‘save trees and email this’ imply

there is something wrong with using paper, especially when compared to using email. “But the evidence is clear,” he says. “Only paper based communications are made from a renewable resource, are recyclable and reusable. We should print and share emails we receive and not just continually email them around. Every time you do that, you use more and more energy and little of that is renewable. “It is because of paper use and production that more trees are grown every year in Australia. More trees mean more carbon storage and more business for everyone in our value chain.”

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abatement delivered. • Introduce a three times multiplier for all abatement delivered over and above a 2008-2009 baseline. Mr Warnken said administration of the scheme would sit

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efficiency of service provision. “In spite of providing this common good, however, the resource recovery sector will receive no assistance under the CPRS to fund needed infrastructure upgrades and expansion, undermining the sector’s viability and ability to continue delivering greenhouse abatement,” Mr Warnken said. Worse still, the government’s own flagship program Greenhouse Friendly ended last month, even though the earliest start date for CPRS is July 2011. “This leaves a gaping black hole of at least one year where there will be no voluntary carbon abatement created and no regulatory release of permits,” Mr Warnken said. “This is to the direct disadvantage of those leading projects that have certified their abatement benefits through a robust independent process.” Mr Warnken said there was a simple solution that would support the resource recovery

comfortably under the Department of Climate Change. A set of default factors would simplify the program and could be calibrated for all resource recovery activities. “There is sufficient life cycle data to make this a straightforward task and any data gaps could be managed through an appropriate risk factor,” he said. “All that is lacking is the political will to make this happen. Unfortunately the government to date has been unresponsive to calls for resource recovery sector support – although it may be more responsive if the above changes form part of a package to assist the passage of the CPRS through the Senate in November.” issue 133 | 12.07.10 | Page 13


Helicopters spread 300 million seeds in state’s huge regeneration program VicForests: sustaining forests for future generations THE largest ever aerial seeding program aimed at regrowing forests across Victoria has been completed by VicForests. More than $6 million has been invested into regrowing trees in areas which have previously been harvested, including work in the forests affected by the Black Saturday bushfires. VicForests senior forester, silviculture, Central Highlands, Tim Sanders said the 2010 Regeneration Program planned to regenerate around 4500 ha of forest throughout Victoria. “People generally don’t associate timber harvesting with planting trees but VicForests’ regeneration program is crucial to sustaining our forests for future generations,” Mr Sanders said. “More than 300 million eucalyptus seeds have been spread by helicopter in the Central Highlands and East Gippsland regions as part of this program. “As well as taking in areas affected by bushfire, regeneration work is also being done in other places where harvesting has occurred. This includes plans to hand plant almost 500 000 seedlings across Gippsland. “VicForests is committed to sustainable timber harvesting in Victoria and a key component of this commitment is the regeneration of areas which have been harvested.” Mr Sanders said VicForests’ trained silviculture staff worked with local contractors to prepare a suitable seed bed on the ground prior to seeding taking place. “The spreading of seed by helicopter is a specialised operation which utilises modern equipment and satellite guidance systems to ensure

Page 14 | issue 133 | 12.07.10

Seeding from the air .. helicopters swoop in largest forest regeneration program by VicForests.

the seeds are evenly dispersed across each hectare,” he said. “VicForests works with seed collectors from regional communities to source large amounts of seed from local areas. This ensures trees native to each area re-establish and a similar mix of species to that which previously existed on the

site grows back. “The regeneration of our forests is a detailed process which can take more than three years to complete successfully. “Following seeding, VicForests actively manages the areas to ensure regeneration is occurring. These areas then audited by the Department of

Sustainability to confirm this process has been successful. “This year’s regeneration program is targeting forest that has been harvested in the last 12 months, but also includes work in an area at Connors Plain in Central Gippsland which did not grow back following bushfires in 2006, due to a lack of natural seed fall.” VicForests is a state-owned enterprise responsible for the sustainable harvest and commercial sale of timber from native forests. Of the 7.8 million ha of native forest in Victoria, VicForests harvests about 5500 ha each year, less than 0.1% of the total native forest area. VicForests is certified to the Australian Forestry Standard which is aligned to the global Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, the world’s largest forest certification scheme.

Design award entry extended to July 30 THE processing speed of the worldwide web has allowed close off of the Australian Timber Design Awards entries to be extended to Friday, July 30. The committee has agreed there is no reason to stop taking entries on July 16, as previously announced. A sponsor-only awards logo has just been released. “This timber industry badge of honour allows sponsors to display to building industries professionals their involvement in this influential, perceptionchanging competition,” said Andrew Dunn, chief executive of the Timber Development Association, which is organising the awards. “Over the 11 years of the

Vince Sorrenti .. hosting timber industry dinner.

design awards, many timber producers, resellers and industry associations have contributed to the ongoing success of the awards program. The organising committee is keen to ensure that those

companies or organisations whose commitment makes the competition such a success will be recognised for their involvement. “ The current list of producers and resellers licensed to use the 2010 sponsor logo includes Boral Timber, Hyne, ITI, Carter Holt Harvey, Wespine, Kennedy’s Classic Aged Timber and Radial Timber Sales. All of the primary awards, including the overall Australian Timber Design Award winner and the People’s Choice Award, will be presented at a gala TABMA Australia timber industry dinner to be hosted by popular comedian Vince Sorrenti on October 29 at Sydney’s Luna Park.

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wood design

Wood shows off its green credentials Proof is in the pudding in sustainable buildings THERE can be no doubt today that the sustainability movement and green building in particular are here to stay. Green building criteria are, in fact, now codified in numerous building codes and national standards, and increasing numbers of local jurisdictions are adopting green building requirements. Nor can there remain much doubt – given both the objective data and a growing body of real world case studies – that wood, and engineered wood in particular, can and does make an important contribution to the worthy goals of sustainability and green building. The common sense and scientific support for the green credentials of wood is substantial, long-standing, and well documented. • Wood’s strongest suit is perhaps its most obvious – wood is the only naturally renewable building material. That fact is made all the more compelling by the corollary truth, contrary to common misperception, that forest growth in North America has exceeded forest harvest for decades. • Advancements in wood product manufacturing technology continue to improve wood’s sustainability quotient. The industrial output per unit of wood input has increased 40% over the past half century. That trend has accelerated with the advent, acceptance and wide use in recent years of modern engineered wood products, which use more of the available resource with less waste and which in many cases can be produced from fastgrowing, underutilized and less expensive wood species. • Wood products are made from forest resources harvested under a number of internationally recognised sustainable forest management

Wood – ecologically responsible .. the Environmental Nature Centre in Newport Beach, California.

By JACK MERRY APA-Engineered Wood Association Based in Tacoma, Washington, US, APA is a non-profit trade association representing about 150 US and Canadian manufacturers of structural engineered wood products. Its primary functions are quality auditing and testing, applied research, and market support and development.

certification programs that provide assurance that wood fibre resources are sustainably grown and harvested. • Life cycle assessment (LCA) research shows that by a number of ‘cradle to grave’ sustainability measures, wood is substantially more environmentally friendly than alternative construction materials. Wood products, for example, make up 47% of all industrial raw materials manufactured in the US, yet consume only 4% of the total energy needed to manufacture all industrial raw materials. • Wood products are recyclable, a fact of increasing importance and relevance to carbon sequestering efforts. • Wood can be and today is easily and commonly

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incorporated into residential and non-residential building designs recognised under a number of green building rating systems. Despite all these arguments, uninformed bias against the green merits of wood still exists in some quarters. But for sceptics looking for proof in the pudding, they need not look far. The Environmental Nature Centre in Newport Beach, California, completed in 2008 serves at its community’s foremost authority on ecological responsibility, sustainable practices and environmental education. The 790 sq m mixed-use complex contains administrative offices, classrooms, a museum, and a gift shop – all protected and aesthetically enhanced by an exposed wood roof system and wood-frame shear walls. The complex – a main building housing public areas separated from an administrative building by a breezeway – uses Structural I APA-rated exposed plywood roof sheathing, dimensional lumber sub-purlins, glulam purlins, and wood I-joist roof framing. Wood shear walls employ dimensional lumber studs and plywood sheathing. Budget considerations were a factor in many of the building’s design features. The exposed

wood roof framing system, for example, reduced the need for traditional ceiling materials and finishes. In some areas, partialheight wood wall studs also were purposely left exposed to showcase the structure’s dedication to design efficiency and low environmental impact. This not only helped lower initial construction costs, but also minimises ongoing interior maintenance expenses. The many sustainable features of the centre, including the structural wood envelope, are themselves now a highlight of the ENC’s educational program and are identified in signage placed throughout the structure. The project received 55 out of 69 possible LEED certification points, and met or exceeded standards in six LEED categories, including materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and energy and atmosphere. Across the country in Annapolis, Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has successfully used wood in pursuit of sustainability goals for its Philip Merrill Environmental Centre. The foundation, a nonprofit organisation devoted to protecting Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, wanted a building design that supported its sustainability message by minimising the impact on surrounding habitats. “Our philosophy is that the greenest building is the least amount of building we truly need, built with the fewest number of materials,” says foundation chief executive William Baker. To that end, a variety of structurally efficient engineered wood products was used-plywood subfloors, parallel strand lumber, wood I-joist framing, and structural insulated panels faced on both Cont Page 16

issue 133 | 12.07.10 | Page 15

wood design

School structure broadens understanding of the sustainability of wood building materials From Page 15

sides with oriented strand board. Much of the wood is left exposed to both capitalise on the aesthetic qualities of the material and reinforce the ‘less-is-more’ sustainability message. I N F O R M AT I O N S E M I N A R The 26,480 sq m, two-storey Brisbane • Thursday, August 20, 2009 environmental 433 centre was On Logan Conference Centre the first to receive the LEED 433 Logan Road, Stone’s Corner LIMITED TO 60 SEATS ‘platinum’ rating and continues today to be and recognised asorganised by TABMA Queensland, This important timely seminar, will of helpthe reduce some of greenest the confusion relating to chain of custody. It one world’s will ensure the Queensland timber industry has the information required buildings. for compliance with legislation,Key speakers will present information It also was the second highest and there will be a question and answer forum. rated building a Speakers include: among • Colin MacKenzie, manager, timber application and use, Timber Queensland survey of 20,000 occupants Simon buildings Dorries, General Engineered Wood Products Association of of • 150 forManager, overall Australasia building satisfaction, including • Kayt Watts, chief executive, Australian Forestry Standard Ltd (AFS) aesthetics, acoustics, light and • Michael Spencer, chief executive, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) air quality. The survey was Registration fee: $65 pp (TABMA member) $80 pp (non-member) • Includes hot breakfast conducted by the Centre for and morning tea. Note: Arrival 7:30am. Breakfast 7:45 am. Presentations begin at 8 am. by Friday, August 14, to: theRSVPBuilt Environment at the Structurally efficient engineered wood products .. the Philip Merrill Tabma Queensland, PO Box 532, University of California. 500 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley 4006 Environmental Centre. (07) 3254 3166. Fax:and (07) 3254 4599. A Tel: dramatic case effective Mob: 0438 295 136 teaching tools for broadening sustainability attributes of wood at the Gunter Primary School in understanding of the building materials can be found Gunter, Texas.

Chain of Custody

The 5575 sq m facility uses wood in both exposed and hidden structural applications. APA-rated wood structural panel sheathing was used to enclose the building’s walls, wood I-joists were used for rafters in combination with glulam timber support beams, and a laminated lumber decking with tongue-andgroove edges combined with APA-rated plywood sheathing for diaphragm strengthening in the roof system. “I’ve been in business for 35 years, and I enjoy doing projects with wood,” project superintendent Donald Hampton said. “I’ve put up large buildings before, but with the overall building height and length of spans, this was different. One of the glulam beams is 304.8 mm wide by 2.1 m deep and 25 m long.”


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