Jan. 16, 2017 - “If you order it like this you save $9,” said Ron Rinell as he maneuvered his breakfast of eggs, ham, and a side of hollandaise sauce into position to create a delectable dish of eggs benedict. He was very happy with the meal, especially since his daughter was home from college to share the breakfast with him. But he’s also very keen about getting his money’s worth, and while the eggs benedict breakfast at the world-famous Madonna Inn is delicious, having that extra $9 in your pocket makes the “self-assembled” version taste even better. Ron could certainly afford the eggs benedict if he wanted it. He’s the owner of Bunyon Bros. Tree Service, headquartered in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and serving the entire San Luis Obispo County. Tucked neatly between Los Angeles and San Francisco on California’s picturesque Central Coast, San Luis Obispo (or SLO to the locals) has something of a reputation for being the happiest town in America. Back in 1990 this was the first city in the world to ban smoking in public buildings. The downtown area is structured to promote pedestrian and bicycle traffic; a nod to the numerous biking and hiking trails in the area. All drive-thru restaurants are banned in the city, and in 2010 the smoking ban was extended to all public outdoor areas as well. Outside the city limits, there’s the Pacific Ocean to the west, mountains to the east, and vineyards all around. The local population of 44,000 love it, and the floods of tourists who visit each year seem to love it as well. Watching Ron enjoy his breakfast while sharing stories of surfing and travel, it’s pretty easy to see he loves SLO as much as anyone. It’s certainly a great place to build an all-encompassing tree care business — Ron and his 30 employees handle everything from removals to land clearing, stump grinding, pruning, disease treatment, firewood, crane service and more. Among his fleet of machines are five Bandit hand-fed chippers and The Beast – a newly acquired Model 3680 Track that’s the first to combine Bandit’s 30-tooth cuttermill with a 1050-horsepower CAT diesel. With The Beast dialed in, he’s running chipper knives on knife cutterbodies to produce specifically sized chips for a major nationwide company specializing in playground material. Starting with whole trees, he makes the precise product his client needs in a single pass. And when other clients come calling for mulch, swapping the knives for cutting or grinding teeth is barely a 15-minute operation on the 30-tooth cuttermill. “They want us to make chips for them, for playground use,” explained Rinell. “We are their source to make chips with The Beast to distribute throughout California. They want to purchase 20,000 to 30,000 yards right now, and it’s a really good, specific chip they need. This project alone was good justification to get The Beast because it would finance the machine, never mind all the clearing projects I had to turn away. We have new screens and baffles going into The Beast to make the certified chip they need, and Bandit has really helped us with the configuration to make just the right product.” And that’s the “new” big project Bunyon Bros. is taking on. The company recently picked up a job for a local military base, clearing 1,000 trees in two weeks that he’ll also be tackling with The Beast. That’s in addition to daily removals and trimming projects, not to mention their work for both the city and the county — everything from parks to roadways. They are also contracted to the city which puts them on-call 24 hours a day in case of emergencies. As a result, Bunyon Bros. is the largest tree service operation in the area. And they’re always busy. “The drought is what’s driving the business right now,” said Rinell. “It’s killing trees all over the place. We didn’t get five inches of rain all last year, and now with El Nino, people are thinking they should get the big trees over their homes taken down before the storms do, but they want it done right now. We’re backed up a month; they’re almost angry because they have to wait. But the El Nino, it seems to be hitting up north and down to the south, but it’s missing us.” The drought is certainly bad, but business is good for Ron and his company. He’s continually added employees over the last few years, growing Bunyon Bros. into a multi-million dollar company. Part of that success is certainly due to his eye for efficiency and getting the most from his investments. He only employs the best of the best, and his philosophy for purchases is that he should be making ten times the investment of the machine. That alone says something about The Beast’s earning potential for companies like Bunyon Bros Tree Service. But the real key to Ron’s success is the same kind of determination that separates those who work to get by, versus those who work to get ahead. That’s easy to understand once you hear the two-part origin story of Bunyon Bros., because it’s really something. “I had a friend who had 7,000 acres, and his father wanted us to clear it so we started cutting trees,” said Rinell. “He was a professional bull rider, and his friend was also a bull rider, and I was a jock and I had a friend who basically drank beer and cut trees. We were all sitting around the barbeque one evening just bragging it up, comparing ourselves to ‘our brother’ Paul Bunyan and arguing about where he was originally from. We’d had a few drinks and were really getting steamed with each other when one of the guys said ‘you each say you’re Paul Bunyan’s brother? I guess that makes you the Bunyan brothers.’ And that’s when Bunyon (with an O) Brothers Tree Service was born.” As neat as that story is, the Bunyon Bros. of today stems from a very different set of circumstances. “I was young and dumb; the guys and I dissipated for a while and I got in some trouble,” said Rinell of his early days. “I turned it around, went to school, got a degree in international business, but when companies found out about my past, I couldn’t get a job. I’d sold all the tree equipment I’d had and I swore I wasn’t going back, but I bought the equipment back and opened my own business. I got a contractor license and went legit with the company in 2000. At that point I was basically homeless, but I had nothing else.” Working as the sole person behind the company, Ron gradually built Bunyon Bros. to the company it is today. For the longest time he ran chippers from a different manufacturer until one of his climbers talked up the benefits of Bandit. Ron bought his first Bandit chipper four years ago, and he’s bought one every year since. “I really like the support team from Bandit; the customer service is great,” he said. “The designs are great too. We had problems on the other chippers with the throat being too large; there was too much space between the feed wheels and the drum and the brush wouldn’t feed right. I also like the four knives on the Model 1590 as opposed to the two-knife setup on others. And I love my Model 1890 – it grabs material right away, and it has 225 horsepower on a single axle with dual wheels. For transporting around these parts, double-axle machines are just too long. That makes a big difference in towing.” With his breakfast cravings satisfied and a few phone calls answered, Ron headed off to work at a company he didn’t expect to build, in a field he didn’t want to be a part of. But in his words, it all turned out to be a blessing in disguise. “Here I am 15 years later, living in the happiest place in the nation with a wonder multi-million dollar business and an awesome daughter. Life is good!”
Jan. 16, 2017 - Pierce’s family of steep slope feller buncher booms are clearing the way to the extreme slopes of West Coast forests. Pierce boom configurations operate in conjunction with a tethering system that allows you to virtually eliminate dangerous and costly hand cutting. “This steep slope technology represents a major advance in worker safety on the job site,” says Pierce’s Greg Hildebrandt. “And whereas traditional logging equipment reaches only a portion of the job site, steep slope equipment can reach a significantly greater segment, representing a substantial increase in safety and productivity.” The Pierce family of steep slope feller buncher booms are currently available in live heel for steep slope directional felling, live heel for leveling shovel logging, and a two-piece configuration, also for directional felling. All three can shovel/hoe chuck logs directly to the landing, where the Pierce GP (Grapple Processor) processes and loads, completing the job with one efficient landing machine. For more information about Pierce’s steep slope products and the GP, contact us at 1-800-760-3270 or visit www.piercepacific.com.
Jan. 12, 2017 - John Deere is adding Foresight Intelligence to its stable of construction data solutions to increase dealer efficiencies and customer uptime. The collaboration utilizes Foresight’s Intelligent Alert Triage Center (IATC) and helps John Deere dealers and customers better manage daily machine alerts. IATC enables dealers to easily capture, consolidate and prioritize diagnostic trouble codes, oil sampling results, preventative maintenance alerts and more into one centralized and secure portal. “Teaming up with Foresight Intelligence allows our dealers to be even more proactive by managing machine health before a customer is aware of an issue,” said Jena Holtberg-Benge, director of John Deere WorkSight. “IATC further enhances the power of John Deere WorkSight and is another tool for our dealers to increase customer uptime and create a sustainable competitive advantage.” Many John Deere dealers across North America are already utilizing IATC with great results. Advanced analytics make it possible to thoroughly monitor and understand machine health, and uncover trends, such as when a specific type of machine typically fails or when common problems arise among machine populations or in certain applications. Dealers can track individual and branch performance from ticket statistics and easily identify successful activities and areas for improvement based on real-time data. They can also collaborate across dealerships to rapidly deliver solutions. "IATC has helped streamline our alert monitoring process and has made us more efficient,” said Steve Deller, product support manager at West Side Tractor. “IATC has given us one portal to monitor and distribute alerts as well as access a host of other diagnostic and machine information that’s helped us to respond quicker to our customer’s needs and create accountability at the branch level." "Dealers are realizing measurable results, such as maximized machine uptime, optimized service efficiency and, ultimately, customer loyalty,” said Christine Smith, vice-president of operations at Foresight Intelligence “We’re pleased to align with John Deere as an endorsed data solution.” To learn more, visit https://foresightintelligence.com/IATC/ or contact your local John Deere dealer.
Jan. 12, 2017 - A telescopic battery pole saw designed for professional use. This telescopic pole saw has a reach of 5m and a performance that surpasses its petrol equivalents. Its lightweight design, excellent ergonomics and quiet operation makes this professional pole saw ideal to use in any location at any time of day. See more at Husqvarna.ca.
Jan. 12, 2017 - William Angus and Thomas Logan chose Windsor, Que., as the site of Canada’s first wood-based pulp mill in 1864. Today, with more than 150 years of continuous operation, the site now known as Domtar’s Windsor mill is the city’s largest employer.Advances in technology and sustainable forestry over the past 152 years have dramatically changed the landscape of the industry and environment in Windsor. In fact, today’s high-tech tree-harvesting techniques would be nearly unrecognizable to those who brought papermaking to the area.Because few people outside of the industry actually get to witness sustainable forest management practices in action, the Windsor mill created its Harvesting with Precision video to demonstrate how tree harvesting techniques that mimic the forest’s natural cycle can actually benefit the land.“Here, we’re doing a partial cut in a young hardwood stand, where some of the trees will die in the next 20 years or are not in good shape,” Domtar forester Patrick Cartier says in the tree harvesting video. “So we’ll do a partial cut to bring in more sunlight and promote new growth.”Cartier explains how Domtar selects which trees to harvest using a specialized tree harvesting machine that can cut with extreme precision, removing a tree without damaging another one growing just inches away. The goal for such partial cuts, notes Cartier, is to promote growth for future harvests. “So next year and the year after, there will be new growth that will start the next group of trees that will eventually replace the ones that are here now after we harvest them in about 20 years,” he says.Since Domtar obtained Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification of its privately-owned forests in the Eastern Townships region of Quebec in 2005, a number of practices and partnerships have been developed to meet the FSC’s rigorous criteria while pursuing our forestry management operations in Windsor.The FSC requires forest-products companies to make special efforts to protect the environment. The organizations must, among other things, take the necessary measures to preserve the habitat of rare or threatened species. They must also identify and preserve forests with high conservation values.“There is much more to the forest than wood, and the certification aims at a balance between the environment, social responsibility and the economy,” said André Gravel, fiber manager at Windsor Mill. “Domtar is active in all stages, that is to say from the tree to the sheet of paper.”The mill realizes that responsible forest management and careful tree harvesting is essential for healthy and thriving ecosystems. Its conservation efforts have earned the facility multiple awards, including a recent award at the Fondation Estrienne en Environnement gala and a Gold Award at a trade show celebrating best business practices organized by the Quebec Quality Movement in Montréal.Over the past decade, Domtar and the Windsor Mill have helped preserve 12,000 acres of Quebec’s most prized forestlands in permanent conservation, ensuring these unique ecosystems remain well-preserved for future generations.
Jan. 10, 2017 - A non-profit sustainable forestry project is financing its work in New Brunswick by selling carbon credits.
Jan. 5, 2017 - Forestry and off-road equipment operators and maintenance technicians are used to dealing with obvious dangers from spinning saws and falling tree limbs, but may be less familiar with a critical danger that can cause crippling injuries or death – high-pressure injection injuries.
Jan. 4, 2017 - Logset's Board of Directors has started the search for a new managing director following the departure of Tapio Ingervo.
Jan. 3, 2017 - The cost of harvesting, transporting and processing residual forest biomass in rural communities is too high to make it a viable industry in the near future, according to researchers at Oregon State University.
Dec. 20, 2016 - Forwarders spend most of their operating time loading. This makes the power, movement, speed and controllability of the loader key factors for efficient loading. Ponsse loaders are strong both in slewing and lifting capacity, and precise. The advanced OptiControl system makes operating exact, easy and secure. Individual settings provide optimal loading for each operator. Ponsse Ecodrive assists operators to improve working methods. Ponsse loaders feature booms made of high-strength steel and high-quality cast components that guarantee performance even in the most extreme conditions. Loaders cover a whole range from medium-sized thinning forwarders to heavy-duty forwarders.
Dec. 20, 2016 - Global demand for forest products such as pulp for paper, saw timber and wood pellets for fuel is expected to increase in coming years. To meet this need, University of Massachusetts Amherst plant geneticist Sam Hazen, whose research has led to higher biomass yield in grasses, recently received a grant to demonstrate that his new technology can be translated to grow trees that produce more wood than conventional trees.The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Hazen a three-year, $713,000 grant to study gene regulation of cell wall growth in the model grass species Brachypodium. His experiments will advance understanding of the transcription networks that regulate secondary cell wall biosynthesis in grasses.Understanding the cell wall, which is a complex blend of polysaccharides, proteins and lignin, plus the processes and genes that regulate them, could have a big impact on commercial agriculture, he points out.Hazen, an associate professor of biology at UMass Amherst, has partnered with a local biotechnology startup in Amherst, Genoverde Biosciences, Inc. to test the commercial viability of technology developed in his lab. He is also chief scientific officer for Genoverde. The company recently received a one-year, $225,000 grant from NSF’s Small Business Innovation Research program to evaluate the use of its “gene trait approach” to bioengineering loblolly pine for high wood density by modifying secondary cell wall gene regulation.“Our goal is to demonstrate that we can provide more renewable biomass in loblolly pine by adapting the process at work in grasses,” Hazen says. Loblolly pine tree farms in the United States are expected to play a large role in meeting increased global demand for wood in coming years and this technology has the potential to help meet that need.If successful, this bioengineering project would provide more wood material per tree and per acre with no added cost to production processing. That is, no increased use of land, water or fertilizers, the researchers say. As an added benefit, bioengineered trees would help to protect the environment by sequestering more atmospheric carbon dioxide to mitigate global climate change.Hazen explains, “For years we have been doing the basic science to understand the gene regulation of plant growth, and we discovered something that can potentially be used as gene technology to increase cell wall growth. Since trees are made up mostly of cell wall, this biotechnology would lead to increasing biomass up to 20 percent. Yielding that much more wood density would definitely be economically worth the effort.”Genoverde’s CEO Michael Harrington says by redesigning and optimizing the technology developed for grasses specifically for loblolly pine, he expects to see similar yield increases leading to the company’s first entry into the forest products market with a bioengineered pine tree. At the same time, Genoverde is exploring the use of this and similar technologies that enhance yield in other commercially important agricultural crops, he notes.In collaboration with Genoverde, the Hazen lab will plant bioengineered pine seedlings in a greenhouse to test the new approach to greater strength and increased biomass leading to a commercially valuable improved tree crop.The NSF fundamental research project will also provide training in development, genetics, genomics and biochemistry for at least two UMass Amherst graduate students, plus an internship for several students from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), part of the Rochester Institute of Technology of Rochester, New York. Hazen’s laboratory has sponsored visiting NTID interns in the past in what he calls a “very rewarding” partnership that he is pleased to continue.“It means arranging the laboratory environment to make it work for students with special needs, and the effort serves to show them that they can absolutely participate and be scientists,” Hazen notes. “It has been very satisfying for us to welcome NTID students to the lab in the past and we look forward to continuing that as part of this grant.”
Dec. 20, 2016 - Tanguay electrical loaders have a proven record of reliability, low operating cost and long life. The PL350 and PL350-HD loaders are custom designed for each mill with loader location, boom geometry and attachment selection carefully planned to maximize production. A choice of 150 to 200 hp electric motors and electrical systems are available to suit worldwide electrical services. Stationary single or dual pedestal bases for over conveyors are available and an optional mobile rail trolley is also available to expand working range and increase mill flexibility. The extra-large ergonomic cab has plenty of room to install mill input and outputs screen and controls. www.tanguay.cc
Jan. 20, 2017 - Wood products company EACOM announced that it has successfully completed the installation of a new lumber grading system in its Elk Lake, Ont., planermill. The equipment was manufactured by Autolog, Inc, a Quebec company, and features the latest technology in lumber grading. With this recent project, the replacement of the two sawing lines and edger, as well as the reconfiguration of the co-products handling system, EACOM has invested over $13 million into the Elk Lake Sawmill since 2012.About EACOMEACOM Timber Corporation is a major eastern Canadian wood products company formed in 2008. Operations include the manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of lumber and wood-based value-added products, and the management of forest resources. EACOM currently owns seven sawmills (five in Ontario, two in Quebec), a remanufacturing facility (Quebec), and a partnership operation in an engineered I-joist plant (Ontario) for a total of 1,000 employees. The company is committed to investing in strong assets, including healthy forests, advanced technology, and talented people. For more information visit our website at www.eacom.ca and follow us on Twitter @EACOMCorp.
Jan. 19, 2017 - It is with great pleasure that Jean Berube, president of VAB Solutions announces the appointment of: Mr. Michel Gosselin as a wood grading expert and Mr. Danick Dupont eng. as an expert in wood processing. About Michel Gosselin Michel joined the VAB Solutions team in October 2016. As an expert in wood grading, he will add value to VAB Solutions' business partners. With more than 36 years of experience in the forestry industry, Michel has held a number of important positions at Domtar and Eacom, such as: regional quality coordinator and planer mill and kiln supervisor. Michel has been a member of the Drying Committee of the Quebec Forest Industry Council for 20 years. About Danick Dupont Prior to joining VAB Solutions in October 2016, Danick contributed more than 15 years as a technical expert to the development and integration of new technologies in the field of wood processing. As an engineer, he demonstrates a keen interest in well-designed, high-performance equipment that will enable mills to achieve a high level of productivity that is sustained over time.
Jan. 6, 2017 - British Columbians may be interested to discover forestry company Canfor is near the very top of the list of tech adopters in the province.
Jan. 4, 2016 - The Town of Botwood in Newfoundland is hoping a proposed sawmill and biofuel facility will help restart the local economy.
Jan. 2, 2017 - It's been less than two years since Resolute's newest sawmill in northwestern Ontario opened for business following an accelerated 13-month build.
Dec. 22, 2016 - Carbotech has announced the nomination of Claude Laprise as CarboCare service director. Laprise undertakes his new role beginning Jan. 1, 2017. As a graduate with various specialized degrees such as drawing, mechanical, pneumatic and hydraulic design, among others, he began his career with the multinational firm, Bose Inc. For the next 18 years, Laprise was directly involved in project management coordination for both prototypes and large-scale product distribution. With the Bose Corporation he played a direct role as liaison between engineering and client services on a technical level and in after-sales service for various projects and facilities. In the summer of 2003, Laprise decided to become co-owner of Cyme Tech, a company specializing in the design and manufacturing of wood components, primarily for the acoustic and furniture industries. For the past two years, Laprise has been a member of the Carbotech project management team. With his deeply developed sense of customer service over the past 30 years coupled with his knowledge of Carbotech’s equipment specs, and already having great relationships with most of Carbotech’s active clients, Carbotech believes he is the perfect candidate to oversee the new service department, CarboCare, which will include top-quality service before, during and after each sale. Carbotech offers Laprise its sincere congratulations for this nomination and wishes him great success in his new position. Carbotech is confident that his commitment, fine-tuned knowledge of service issues as well as his strong expertise will all be tremendous assets in fulfilling his mandate in the continual improvement of CarboCare service.
Dec. 22, 2016 - A pillar in mining and quarrying operations, the John Deere wheel loader family welcomes the addition of the 844K Series-III and 844K Series-III Aggregate Handler configuration. The workhorse machines offer customers increased uptime and the ability to sell more material more efficiently to improve their bottom lines. “The 844K-III is designed to take on the toughest aggregate and material-moving applications in the world. We worked closely with our customers to design these productive machines to be even more rugged and reliable,” said John Chesterman, product marketing manager of production class four-wheel drive loaders at John Deere Construction & Forestry. “The Aggregate Handler configuration of the 844K-III can load out 24 short tons of non-heaping, lower-density processed matter in just two passes into on-road dump trucks. Heavier heaping materials achieving 12-plus tons is not a problem.” The new wheel loaders offer a 13.5L John Deere PowerTech Final Tier 4 diesel engine that delivers exceptional power at 380 horsepower for the 844K-III and 401 horsepower for the Aggregate Handler configuration. The models are equipped with a standard five-speed transmission with torque-converter lockup in gears two through five. This feature increases acceleration, speeds and cycles, and optimizes power and fuel efficiency during transport, roading, and ramp climbing. Other Series-III updates include more robust plumbing with additional bulk heads, which improves service and uptime by minimizing hose rubs. Over three dozen steel tubes replace 81 feet of hoses. The Aggregate Handler configuration is purpose built for two-pass loading with increased power, larger tilt cylinders, higher hydraulic pressure and increased counterweighing to handle bigger material-handling buckets (9.3 cubic yard/9.8 cubic yard), reduce fill time in processed aggregates and ultimately conserve fuel in applications. New enhanced performance buckets boast a narrower integrated spill guard and curved side cutters to improve load visibility and load retention. The Aggregate Handler option cuts loading time by 30 per cent with reduced fuel consumption by eliminating that third pinch pass. The new models retain everything the industry values about the K-Series, including the Quad-Cool System with reversing fan, which provides wide-open access to both sides of the coolers for easy cleanout. The John Deere exclusive integrated tire monitoring reports pressures and temperatures clearly on the monitor and remotely through JDLink Ultimate to help reduce tire wear and replacement cost. In the operator station, standard productivity-enhancing features include joystick steering with integral forward/neutral/reverse, advanced LCD color monitor, sealed-switch module, ride control and hydraulic controls integrated into the deluxe heated seat.Outside the machine, John Deere has slip-resistant steps, platforms and handrails to provide uninterrupted three-point access. Fleet managers looking to get the most out of their 844K-III wheel loaders can rely on their John Deere dealers to provide Ultimate Uptime featuring John Deere WorkSight. With Ultimate Uptime, owners receive predelivery and follow-up inspections; five years of JDLink telematics, machine health prognostics and remote diagnostics, and programming capability; and the ability to add dealer-provided uptime solutions to customize the package to individual needs. To learn more, visit www.johndeere.com or contact your local John Deere dealer. The 844K-III Aggregate Handler will also be on display at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017, March 7 – 11, 2017, at booth N12525.
Dec. 22, 2016 - Customers looking for machines that are productive, versatile and ready for anything should look no further than the John Deere 244K-II and 324K compact wheel loaders. Both machines include new features and options to increase productivity, visibility, versatility and lower daily operating costs for the landscape, ag material handling and construction industries. “John Deere customers are used to compact wheel loaders that deliver big results, but they wanted even more,” said Doug Laufenberg, product marketing manager for compact wheel loaders at John Deere Construction & Forestry. “They wanted more power and productivity, so we answered with increased horsepower and higher lift options to not only meet, but exceed their demands.” The new John Deere 244K-II compact wheel loader has increased power to meet the demands of customers wanting an extra boost in their operation. It is equipped with a 70-horsepower, Final Tier 4 emission-certified engine that delivers more power over previous models without compromise. The machine combines maneuverability, travel speed (17 mph), breakout force, reach and stability. Unique stereo steering delivers a smooth turning radius that’s up to 20 per cent tighter than comparable loaders — for faster cycle times and better material retention over rough terrain. The 324K compact wheel loader is now available with a high-lift option, which is especially beneficial in ag and landscape applications. With increased reach and height to hinge pin, the 324K high-lift is especially adept at dumping into feed mixers and quickly stacking lighter loads, like hay or feed. This high-lift configuration enables sure rollback to carry loads without spilling and solid stability of lighter materials. For those operators looking for added versatility, the 244K-II and 324K are compatible with a variety of Worksite Pro attachments for optimal job site performance. Both machines feature optional higher flow hydraulics to run heavy-duty attachments, such as snow blowers and cold planers. An optional push-button-activated skid-steer style coupler allows operators to connect and release attachments quickly, without leaving the seat. Contractors looking to get the most out of their 244K-II and 324K wheel loaders can rely on Ultimate Uptime featuring John Deere WorkSight. With Ultimate Uptime, operators receive predelivery and follow-up inspections; three years of JDLink telematics; and the ability to add dealer-provided uptime solutions to customize the package to individual needs. To learn more, visit www.johndeere.com or contact your local John Deere dealer.
Dec. 20, 2016 - It was announced earlier in December that Lavern Heideman & Sons would be upgrading its facilities. The Eganville, Ont.-based company’s $16.9-million expansion project includes modernizing infrastructure, purchasing new equipment and consolidating operations. “Right now we have two sawmills on the site — a bandmill for larger diameter logs and a scragg mill for nine inches and under,” vice-president of Lavern Heideman & Sons Kris Heideman told Canadian Forest Industries. “And it’s the big log line, the 10 inch and up line that we’re rebuilding. And then we’re also adding in kilns and planing and remanufacturing capabilities.” Heideman said specific equipment has already been chosen for the upgrade. “There will be a 130-bin sorter and stacker by Piché, T-S Manufacturing for the sawmill [and] the rest is to be determined,” Heideman said. “The sorter and stacker will start up in December 2017 and the new sawmill will start up in spring of 2018.” Heideman says productivity and efficiency gains are the main goals of the expansion project, which will also create 18 new jobs. “There is the potential to add another shift on top of what we’re doing currently, but that being said there will be jobs added on the finishing, remanufacturing and packaging lines,” Heideman said. He also added that production will go up about 60 per cent as a direct result of the upgrades. “Just through our improvements and our processes for the big log line, and the newer equipment, and significant upgrades, and optimization and scanning capabilities will all improve our efficiency and our productivity,” Heideman told CFI. Heideman said he is most looking forward to the modernization of the plant and the security that will be provided for employees “that will be competitive well into the future.”The Lavern Heideman & Sons upgrade is poised to be a positive project for the entire Eganville area.“It’s significant to note it’s not just the hundred and some jobs at the mills,” Heideman said. “It’s the harvesting activities that support the wood flow not only in our mill, but other sawmills and pulp mills, biogas plants, MDF plants, all benefit from the increased harvesting activity on the landscape. And it’s good for the forest management and our forests going forward.” Kris Heideman, vice-president of Lavern Heideman & Sons Kris Heideman, vice-president of Lavern Heideman & Sons Kris Heideman, vice-president of Lavern Heideman & Sons Kris Heideman, vice-president of Lavern Heideman & Sons The Lavern Heideman & Sons sawmill in Eganville, Ont. The Lavern Heideman & Sons sawmill in Eganville, Ont. View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.woodbusiness.ca/index.php?option=com_k2&view=latest&layout=latest&Itemid=1#sigProGalleriadaee7539f8 RELATED: Lavern Heideman & Sons embarking on $16.9-million sawmill expansion Sawmill has limited options
Dec. 19, 2016 – Ever since the Tolko sawmill in Merritt, B.C. officially closed its doors on Dec. 16, one big question remains. Where will the fibre for Merritt’s biomass power plant come from? The $235-million power plant, which is being built by Spanish energy firm Iberdrola, had 95 per cent of its construction phase complete as of Dec. 9. Fengate Capital Management and Veolia are the developers and equity investors of the biomass plant. The Merritt plant is one of two green energy projects in B.C., as part of the Merritt Green Energy Limited Partnership (Merritt Green Energy). The other is in Fort St. James, B.C. Delays in the Merritt construction process so far were due to one of the subcontractors in the U.S. going through a bankruptcy. In a past press release announcing the financing closure on the plant, Merritt Green Energy stated, “Fuel will be provided by local partners, including Tolko Industries, under a long-term fuel supply agreement.” Canadian Forest Industries reached out to Fengate Capital for comment and received a statement from Merritt Green Energy. “The closure of Tolko’s Nicola Valley operation will not affect plans for the Merritt Green Energy Project,” Merritt Green Energy stated Monday. “The Merritt Green Energy Limited Partnership, a working partnership between Fengate Capital and Veolia, is confident that the fuel required to run the plant will be available through an existing agreement with Tolko,” it stated. Merritt Green Energy, which first announced the project in 2014, also said the facility requires more than 20 full-time staff to operate it and has supported more than 250 jobs at peak construction periods. It added that the plant will generate more than 285,000 MWh of renewable electricity when it begins operations. That number is enough to power more than 40,000 homes for a year, according to the statement. The plant is also planning on reducing its carbon footprint through the use of emissions reduction equipment. The biomass power plant is scheduled to begin commercial operations and deliver clean electricity to BC Hydro in mid-2017. View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.woodbusiness.ca/index.php?option=com_k2&view=latest&layout=latest&Itemid=1#sigProGalleriaca8c38b43a RELATED: Building bioenergy in B.C.
Dec. 12, 2016 - The Quebec government announced its plans to support Canadian softwood lumber producers in the event of imposed U.S. duties, regardless of what decision the federal government makes.The softwood lumber dispute has left many Canadian producers worried about what effect the U.S. government's possible decision to apply taxes to lumber being exported from Canada to the U.S., will have on their jobs and businesses.The Canadian Press reported on Thursday that Quebec Premier Phillipe Couillard confirmed his government's stance to provide Canadian lumber companies with loan guarantees should the need arise.The 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement expired on Oct. 12, 2015, leaving Canadian and American government officials meeting to come to a new agreement.If negotiation talks fail, new taxes may be imposed by the U.S. government starting in April 2017.RELATED: The Final Cut: Defending our softwood lumber industryTrump targets softwood lumberCanada's softwood lumber future tied to Trump's agendaCanada ready for softwood lumber fightSoftwood lumber prices trend upwardSoftwood lumber negotiations continue
Jan. 3, 2017 - German supplier Siempelkamp Maschinen- und Anlagenbau GmbH increases its stake in Pallmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG to 75 per cent.In the range of services offered by the Siempelkamp Group, Pallmann plays an important role as the specialist for size-reduction technology and preparation systems. For plant operators from the wood-based materials industry, size-reduction equipment and preparation systems belong to the in-demand scope of supply. The main benefit for the customers: precision technology for the production of higher quality strands, flakes, and fibrous materials and the expertise in the ever more important area of recycling.The Krefeld machine and plant engineering specialist therefore decided to continue the integration of the company from Zweibrücken. The 45-per cent increase in shareholding in Pallmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG and Ludwig Pallmann Verwaltungsgesellschaft mbH, last recorded in the beginning of 2016, was increased by Siempelkamp as of Dec. 15, 2016 to 75 per cent.The taking over of a majority holding by the Siempelkamp Group was followed by a reorganization of the management of Pallmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG.Dipl.-Kfm. Stefan Wissing, to date spokesman of the management of Siempelkamp Maschinen und Anlagenbau GmbH, was appointed spokesman of the management of Pallmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG with effect from Dec. 15, 2016.At the same time, as the spokesman of the worldwide operating Siempelkamp Logistics & Service GmbH, Mr. Wissing is responsible for the entire service business of the Siempelkamp Group.At the end of 2016, Dr.-Ing. Hans Fechner and Dr. Claus Maack are stepping down from the management of Pallmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG.For 2017 many challenges are on the Pallmann agenda. We will focus on the process of fiberizing raw materials to fibers used in MDF production, the milling of raw materials to strands and flakes for particleboard and OSB production as well as the agglomeration process used in the production of insulation material. Thus, wood-plastic-composites made of wood flour and plastics or fiber-plastic-composites containing natural fibers from hemp or cork are produced. Under the heading “end of life tire”, the company furthermore will focus on the recycling of old tires.Zweibrücken is home to 120 size reduction machines in the in-house research and development center. With this equipment the team focuses on process improvements, further development of our machines, and testing new developments. Customers from all over the world use the Pallman center to carry out tests with our process engineers to develop innovations for their industries.The Siempelkamp Group is a supplier of technological equipment, and its three business units, Machine and Plant Engineering, Foundry Technology, and Engineering and Service, are oriented towards international markets. Siempelkamp Machine and Plant Engineering is a system supplier of press lines and complete plants for the wood-based materials industry, the metal forming industry, and the composites and rubber industry. Siempelkamp Foundry, one of the largest hand-molding foundries in the world, manufactures large cast components from cast iron with nodular graphite, with unit weights of up to 320 metric tons. Siempelkamp Engineering and Service specializes in the dismantling of nuclear facilities, and supplies transport and storage cask for radioactive waste. www.siempelkamp.com
Dec.15, 2016 – The future of North America’s oriented strand board (OSB) market is forecast to look up in 2017. And the continuation of that success lies on how balanced the OSB market proves to be in the next few years. Wood Markets’ five-year outlook report has analyzed the data. As our forecasts have warned over the past few years, the timing of increased OSB supply — from the restarting of another seven curtailed OSB mills and two greenfield mills that will come on stream at some point in 2017-2021 — will determine the exact trend in prices over the forecast period. The forecast shows that OSB demand should increase by over 6 billion sf between 2016 and 2021 – that balances relatively well with the expected new capacity additions and normal annual incremental production gains. However, the exact timing of new capacity installations and their start-up date relative to rising demand will have the greatest impact on OSB prices – this “Goldilocks effect” of trying to get the temperature right, or the balance of OSB supply versus demand, will create some price volatility at various times in the next five years. For OSB, this is nothing new, where prices could easily move by US +/-$50/Msf or more in consecutive quarters. As a result, OSB prices are expected to improve in 2017, as demand remains strong and production tightens, before new mills start up. With five OSB mills scheduled to start up by the end of 2018, the pendulum is expected to swing later in 2018, to a temporarily over-supplied market at times. As a result, OSB prices could ease in 2018 and bottom out in 2019 until the incremental supply base is absorbed. After that, rising prices are again expected. Any potential delays in OSB mill capacity restarts will improve the whole market situation by minimizing any oversupply situations. The real question is: will any company’s strategy be to delay capacity restarts to allow for a better market situation, where their competitors who have restarted mills earlier will then benefit from this situation? History would suggest “no.” And the other question is: if the OSB market situation looks too good, will any new greenfield mills be announced to create more over-supply issues? Forecast Highlights: • U.S. South OSB production is forecast to almost meet the previous OSB peak production volume (of 2007) in 2017 – moving from 2016’s anticipated 11.2 billion sf to over 15 billion sf in 2021 (+7% annually from 2016). • A growing concern will be the raw material supply and costs for existing, restarted and new OSB mills, particularly in the U.S. South. The rapid expansion of wood pellet manufacturing plants continues to rise at a very fast rate where some of the new pellet capacity as well as sawmill expansions (that take advantage of soaring lumber prices after Canadian export duties kick in) will both compete directly with OSB mills for pulp logs and small SYP sawlogs • If new wood biomass competitors in the U.S. South drive raw material supply prices higher, Canadian OSB mills may develop a raw material cost advantage (over and above the lower Canadian dollar), relative to U.S. South mills, and could gain market share. • The strength of the U.S. dollar versus most global currencies, combined with increasing US demand, will drive imports from Canada and attract more offshore supply higher over the forecast period. • Canadian OSB exports are forecast to increase from 6 billion sf in 2016 to 7.6 billion sf by 2021 — 28% increase over this five year period, with 98% going to the strong U.S. market. • From an estimated 8 billion sf in 2016, Canadian OSB output is forecast to rise to over 10 billion sf in 2021 — an average annual increase of 5.6% from 2016 to 2021. Full details of the five-year outlook for the U.S. and Canada’s lumber and panels consumption, imports, exports, production and price trends are available in Wood Markets 2017 – The Solid Wood Products Outlook – 2017 to 2021.
Nov. 28, 2016 - A new massive plywood building panel developed by an Oregon company and tested at Oregon State University may be the largest such product ever manufactured. Builders are familiar with standard plywood sheets that measure 4-feet wide, 8-feet long and between a quarter-inch and more than one-inch thick. The new panels made by the Freres Lumber Company of Lyons, Oregon, can be as much 12-feet wide, 48-feet long and 2-feet thick. The company announced its new panels in October, capping more than a year of development and performance testing at Oregon State’s Advanced Wood Products Laboratory. “The results look very promising,” said Ari Sinha, assistant professor in OSU’s College of Forestry, who oversaw the tests. “This is a unique product with the potential for creating jobs in rural Oregon.” Versatility is one of the benefits of the product known as a Mass Plywood Panel (MPP). “These panels can be customized for different applications. Because they have very good compression qualities, they could be used for columns as well as panels,” said Sinha. The veneer manufacturing process enables manufacturers to orient wood grain and to distribute the defects found in smaller trees, such as knots, in a way that maintains the strength of the final product, Sinha added. Tests in Sinha’s lab focused on the panels’ structural and physical properties such as density, adhesive bonding and resistance to the kinds of vertical and horizontal stresses experienced in an earthquake. Additional tests are planned after the first of the year. Mass Plywood Panels can achieve the performance characteristics of a similar product known as Cross Laminated Timber panels with 20 to 30 per cent less wood. “The market is wide enough that this product can compete in niche applications,” said Sinha. “MPP can be made to order.” Sinha’s lab conducts wood-product testing year-around for companies in Oregon, Washington and other states. He evaluates connections between building components as well as component stresses stemming from wind, earthquakes and other forces. With support from businesses, Oregon BEST and the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the new National Center for Advanced Wood Products Manufacturing and Design will continue to conduct tests on Mass Plywood Panels and on Cross Laminated Timber panels manufactured by companies in the Northwest and elsewhere. Housed at the OSU College of Forestry, the center is a collaboration between the college, the OSU College of Engineering and the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts.
Nov. 9, 2016 - USNR has acquired the business of Ventek, Inc., the industry leader in veneer scanning, grading, and handling systems for the plywood industry.
Oct. 28, 2016 - Two OSB mills in Quebec will swap ownership after a mill exchange agreement was reached today between Norbord Inc. and Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LP).
Sept. 27, 2016 - Mauro Calabrese, a planning forester for West Fraser in Williams Lake, contributed an article about Williams Lake Plywood for the Williams Lake Tribune's National Forest Week Celebrating Forestry 2016 supplement."Williams Lake Plywood has been operating at its Williams Lake location since 1953, but it didn’t start out as a West Fraser owned plant and it didn’t always make plywood. It was originally known as “All Fir”- finishing rough lumber from the surrounding bush mills."Read the full story.
Sept. 15, 2016 - You won’t read about it in the sports section any time soon, but a number of Canadian cities are competing in a high-stakes global race that will directly affect more than 200 of our communities.
Sept. 2, 2016 - Columbia Forest Products’ veneer plant, Rutherglen mill, east of North Bay, Ont., is ramping up towards full-production after restarting operations in April.
Aug. 12, 2016 - Higher demand and strong sales to construction accounts are reasons behind Hardwoods Distribution Inc.'s increase in sales in the second quarter. The company reports that total sales increased by 9.5% to $157.0 million from $143.4 million in Q2 2015. Hardwoods' U.S. operations increased sales by 3.7% to $95.5 million (USD).
July 26, 2016 - Norbord Inc. reported Adjusted EBITDA of $94 million for the second quarter of 2016 versus $19 million in the second quarter of 2015 and $61 million in the first quarter of 2016. The improvement versus both comparative periods is primarily due to higher North American oriented strand board (OSB) prices and shipment volumes. North American operations generated Adjusted EBITDA of $85 million in the quarter compared to $11 million in the same quarter last year and $53 million in the prior quarter. European operations delivered Adjusted EBITDA of $11 million compared to $10 million in both comparative quarters. "Our financial and operational performance continued to improve in the second quarter. Our Adjusted EBITDA has increased for six consecutive quarters and so far in 2016, we have generated $120 million more in Adjusted EBITDA than this time last year. Further, our Adjusted earnings were more than double the first quarter," said Peter Wijnbergen, Norbord's President and CEO. "Our North American mills produced at 96% of stated capacity during the quarter. The benchmark OSB spot price is currently up 44% since its February low, the highest level in over three years. We see further upside to our performance as recovering US housing starts, particularly single-family, continue to drive increasing OSB demand." "In Europe, our panel business delivered a 10% improvement in Adjusted EBITDA. The underlying fundamentals of our European business remain favourable in spite of the political uncertainty following the Brexit referendum. The UK is a net importer of panelboard and as a primarily UK-based producer, the recent pressure on the Pound Sterling makes Norbord's domestically-produced panels more competitive than imports. Our modernization project at Inverness will lower our manufacturing costs and is underpinned by growing European OSB demand, largely driven by increasing substitution of OSB for higher cost plywood." Market Conditions In North America, year-to-date US housing starts were up 7% versus the same period last year. Single-family starts, which use approximately three times more OSB than multi-family, increased by 13% and single-family permits were 10% higher. The seasonally-adjusted annualized rate was 1.19 million in June. The consensus forecast from US housing economists is for approximately 1.20 million starts in 2016, which suggests an 8% year-over-year improvement. Second quarter North American benchmark OSB prices increased significantly from both the same quarter last year and the previous quarter as new home construction activity and OSB demand continue to improve. OSB prices increased rapidly during the month of May before pulling back in June, and the North Central benchmark price finished the quarter at $275 per thousand square feet (Msf) (7/16-inch basis). The North Central benchmark price averaged $264 per Msf for the quarter, compared to $193 per Msf in the same quarter last year and $226 per Msf in the previous quarter. In the South East region, where approximately 35% of Norbord's North American OSB capacity is located, benchmark prices averaged $245 per Msf in the quarter, compared to $174 in the same quarter last year and $215 in the prior quarter. In the Western Canada region, where approximately 30% of Norbord's North American capacity is located, benchmark prices averaged $242 per Msf in the quarter, compared to $152 in the same quarter last year and $191 in the previous quarter. In Europe, Norbord's core panel markets in the UK and Germany continued to experience strong demand growth in the quarter. Second quarter average panel prices were in line with both the same quarter last year and the previous quarter. OSB prices were stable in the UK and continued to rise on the continent, resulting in average prices that were 4% higher year-over-year and 2% higher quarter-over-quarter. Medium density fibreboard (MDF) and particleboard prices were 5% lower year-over-year due to increased import competition when the Pound Sterling was stronger earlier this year, but were in line with the previous quarter. Performance Norbord's North American OSB shipments increased 8% year-over-year and 11% quarter-over-quarter due to fewer maintenance and market shuts and improved mill productivity. Norbord's operating North American OSB mills produced at 96% of stated capacity (excluding the two curtailed mills in Huguley, Alabama and Val-d'Or, Quebec), up from 89% in the same quarter last year and 92% in the prior quarter. Capacity utilization increased versus both comparative periods due to improved productivity, as well as fewer maintenance shuts and production curtailments, partially offset by approximately three weeks of lost production due to the fire at the High Level, Alberta mill. Three of Norbord's North American mills achieved quarterly production records. Norbord's North American OSB cash production costs per unit (before mill profit share) decreased 6% year-to-date due to improved productivity, lower resin prices, improved raw material usages, fewer maintenance shuts and production curtailments and the weaker Canadian dollar, which were partially offset by higher supplies and maintenance costs. In Europe, Norbord's shipments were 5% higher than the same quarter last year and 6% higher than the prior quarter. The European mills produced at 104% of stated capacity in the quarter compared to 101% in the same quarter last year and 100% in the prior quarter due to improved productivity. One of Norbord's European mills achieved a quarterly production record. Norbord's mills delivered Margin Improvement Program (MIP) gains of $14 million year-to-date from improved productivity and lower raw material use as well as merger synergies and returns on recent capital investments. MIP gains are measured relative to the prior year at constant prices and exchange rates. In the 15 months since the merger with Ainsworth, Norbord has captured $32 million in cumulative merger synergies ($39 million annualized), or 87% of the $45 million total commitment. The Company remains on track to deliver its full $45 million target by the end of 2016. In addition to these synergies, the merger has enabled the Company to avoid significant cash outlays it would otherwise have had to incur. Norbord estimates this capital and operating cost avoidance at $18 million, which includes transferring formerly idle assets, maintaining lower inventory levels and optimizing the timing of supplier payments. In January 2016, the Board of Directors approved a $135 million investment over the next two years to modernize and expand the Company's Inverness, Scotland OSB mill. During the quarter, on-site construction work commenced and work began to move the unused second press from the Grande Prairie, Alberta mill to Inverness. Capital investments year-to-date were $34 million (including $6 million related to the Inverness project) compared to $28 million in the first half of last year. Norbord's 2016 regular capital expenditure budget is $75 million. In addition, the Company expects to spend $45 million on the Inverness project in 2016. Operating working capital was $163 million at quarter-end compared to $151 million at the end of the same quarter last year and $172 million at the end of the prior quarter. Working capital increased year-over-year primarily due to the impact of higher North American OSB prices on accounts receivable and the insurance receivable related to the High Level fire. Working capital decreased quarter-over-quarter primarily due to the seasonal inventory drawdown at the northern mills and the loss of log inventory due to the High Level fire (which is covered by insurance). Due to improved Adjusted EBITDA, cash generated from operations for the first six months of 2016 was $86 million compared with $55 million of cash consumed in the same period of 2015. At quarter-end, Norbord's unutilized liquidity improved by $50 million to $374 million and consisted of $12 million in cash and $362 million in unused credit lines. During the quarter, the Company repaid $55 million that had previously been drawn under the accounts receivable securitization program. In June 2016, the Company amended its bank lines to reset the tangible net worth covenant to $500 million and extend the maturity date for $225 million of the total aggregate commitment to May 2019. The remaining $20 million commitment matures in May 2018. The Company's tangible net worth was $799 million and net debt to total capitalization on a book basis was 48%. Both ratios remain well within bank covenants. Norbord has $200 million senior secured notes that are due in February 2017, which the Company intends to permanently repay at maturity using cash on hand, cash generated from operations and if necessary, by drawing upon the accounts receivable securitization program. Quarterly highlights On the back of strong North American pricing, we delivered Adjusted EBITDA of $94 million during the quarter (Adjusted earnings per share of $0.49) – over 50% more than the previous quarter. Across our global operations, manufacturing costs declined 4% year-over-year and we had record quarterly production at four mills. Our improved mill productivity enabled a 7% increase in sales volume year-over-year, consistent with the demand increases we had been forecasting. While still a small part of our revenues, sales to Asia are also improving, with exports to both Japan and China up over last year. We continue to make progress on the synergies from our merger with Ainsworth. To-date we have captured $39 million (annualized) in cumulative synergies, or 87% of our overall $45 million target. In addition to these synergies, our now larger post-merger operations have enabled us to avoid significant cash outlays we would otherwise have had to incur. We estimate this capital and operating cost avoidance at $18 million, which includes transferring and putting formerly idle assets to productive use, maintaining lower inventory levels and optimizing the timing of supplier payments. While we continue to allocate capital toward optimizing and growing our operations, we are also reducing our debt. During the second quarter we completely paid down our $55 million in accounts receivable securitization drawings, improving our liquidity position by more than $50 million to $374 million. Deleveraging remains a priority and we are committed to using our free cash flow and this liquidity to pay down our $200 million 2017 bonds when they come due next February. Well positioned to navigate political uncertainty in the UK While Norbord, like all companies active in the UK, is affected by the prevailing political environment following the referendum result, the underlying fundamentals and market dynamics that relate to our specific industry continue to be favourable. For context, our European business represents 24% of our shipments volume (of which about two-thirds remains in the UK) and contributed 12% of our Adjusted EBITDA this quarter. We are are well positioned to navigate the current economic uncertainties and this perspective is founded on two principal facts. First, OSB represents only about 45% of structural panel consumption in Europe compared to over 65% in North America. Substitution of OSB for higher cost plywood has been driving double-digit demand growth for the past several years. Since the vast majority of competing plywood is imported from outside Europe and denominated in US dollars, it has become 10% more expensive in the UK market since the referendum. Further, the UK is a net importer of OSB, MDF and particleboard, and Norbord is the largest domestic panelboard producer. The Pound Sterling has also devalued almost 10% versus the Euro, making our domestically produced panels even more appealing for UK customers. Second, there is a chronic undersupply of new housing in the UK. The UK government acknowledges that the number of new homes built annually needs to double from its current level. Over the past few years, a number of measures have been legislated to debottleneck the cumbersome planning process. This new supply may not be built out as quickly now as before the referendum, but the fact remains there is a housing gap that needs to be filled. While new home construction drives only about one-quarter of UK OSB demand, this continues to represent a significant opportunity for Norbord. We are confident the underlying fundamentals are positive and that we have the right strategy and operational approach in place. Our Inverness project is a unique and low-risk way to further strengthen our European business. Our $135 million project budget translates to $190 per thousand square feet of capacity. This is half the cost of greenfield and represents the new low water mark for capacity cost in our industry. The referendum has not changed the project economics and the benefits will be driven by significantly lowering the mill's manufacturing cost through the installation of larger scale, modern press technology that has been sitting idle at our Grande Prairie, Alberta mill. The opportunity is further underpinned by the site's access to a growing and low-cost wood basket in Europe.
July 25, 2016 - Toronto-based Norbord Inc. is positioned to profit from the rise in the OSB benchmark price after years of carefully building its presence in the OSB space. According to a feature in the Globe & Mail, North American OSB prices in the first quarter of 2016 were 17 per cent higher than last year. That, and Norbord's acquisitions in the OSB sector position it for solid growth and profitability after years of challenges.Chris Damas, an analyst and editor of BCMI Report, says the benchmark OSB price is now in the range of $306 (U.S.) per thousand square feet, well above the $229 15-year average.Once a diversified forestry company, Norbord shed assets over the years to focus on OSB. Now boasting annual sales in the $1.5-billion range and a market capitalization of about $2.4-billion (Canadian), it bills itself as the world’s largest producer of OSB. Read the complete feature here.
June 28, 2016 – The U.S. Court of International Trade released its public decision upholding the International Trade Commission’s (ITC) core findings that Chinese and domestic plywood differ so significantly the ITC was correct to conclude imports from China had no impact on the domestic industry’s competitive and financial position.
Jan. 16, 2017 - Stella-Jones Inc. has provided preliminary unaudited results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2016. These preliminary results are based on information available to the company as of Jan. 13, 2017 and are subject to revision upon finalizing the audit of Stella-Jones' annual consolidated financial statements. Financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2016 will be reported on March 17, 2017.Stella-Jones is providing this update to inform of lower year-over-year financial results in the fourth quarter. For this period, the company is currently anticipating sales in the range of $340.0-$342.0 million, compared with $357.5 million last year, while operating income is expected to be between $27.0 and $29.0 million, versus $48.3 million a year ago.2016 will mark the sixteenth consecutive year of sales and net income growth for Stella-Jones. For the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2016, consolidated sales are expected to show a year-over-year increase of nearly 18.0 per cent, reaching close to $1.84 billion, while operating income should be between $232.0 and $234.0 million, up from $220.1 million last year.The year-over-year decrease in sales and profitability in the fourth quarter of 2016 was primarily driven by lower railway tie demand at the end of the year, as anticipated in management's discussion and analysis for the third quarter of 2016. For the current fiscal year, total sales and operating margins are expected to remain comparable to 2016, assuming stable currencies.
Jan. 3, 2017 - Growing interest from Asia in resort-style living that is market by specialty wood products is opening doors for B.C.'s remanufacturers.
Nov. 17, 2016 - A fire at the Tolko Industries remanufacturing plant in Lake Country, B.C. prompted an evacuation Tuesday night. Castanet reports the fire was small and got put out quickly. “The workers ... managed to put a fire hose on it and got it knocked down before our engine arrived on scene,” Lake Country Fire Chief Steve Windsor told Castanet. Read more here.
Nov. 8, 2016 - Stella-Jones is profiting from acquisitions and a greater reach in the residential lumber product category, reporting a sales jump of 18.4 per cent from one year ago.
Oct. 5, 2016 - Damage from a fire that burned through DAG-Wood Products in Osler, Sask., on the weekend is estimated at $1 million.
Sept. 14, 2016 - The federal government is investing close to $4.5 million in an East Coast startup working to commercialize a technology that uses rejected wood fibers to make high-strength, lightweight composite building materials, packaging and furniture.Corruven Canada Inc. plans to use the investments, as well as about $2 million in private funds, to install its first industrial-scale corrugating line and build a market for its products in the U.S. and Canada. The company’s technology allows it to process and press veneer rejects into usable products such as packaging and bed platforms. The company says its materials are approximately 75 per cent lighter and six-time strong than traditional building materials.Supporting the Canadian forestry industry, the Canadian government’s Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program provided Corruven $2.5 million in funding for the project, while the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency contributed the remaining $2 million in government funding.The startup expects the corrugating line and associated research will create 10 new jobs at its base in Saint-Basile, N.B., as well as an additional 14 if the project proves successful.
Aug. 26, 2016 - Brink Forest Products Ltd. has entered into an agreement with the BID Group of Companies to purchase Vanderhoof Specialty Wood Products Ltd.
Aug. 11, 2016 - With the recent closing of manufacturing plants in the North Bay, Ont., area, one can assume that most people living in the region were relieved to witness the reopening of Columbia Forest Product’s hardwood veneer plant in Rutherglen, Ont. The plant was reopened this past April with USD$1.5 million invested into the facility.
Aug. 10, 2016 - Acquisitions and high demand for residential lumber and railway ties accounts for Stella-Jones' strong second quarter sales results, up 31.5 per cent from one year ago. The company's sales reached $563.1 million, up from $428.1 million in the second quarter last year.
June 9, 2016 – Stella-Jones Inc. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, McFarland Cascade Holdings, Inc., has completed the acquisition of the equity interests of 440 Investments, LLC, the parent company of Kisatchie Treating, LLC, Kisatchie Pole & Piling, LLC, Kisatchie Trucking, LLC and Kisatchie Midnight Express, LLC (collectively, “Kisatchie”). Kisatchie produces treated poles, pilings and timbers, with two wood treating facilities in Noble and Pineville, La. Kisatchie’s consolidated sales for the year ended December 31, 2015 reached approximately US$51.8 million. The purchase price was US$42.5 million, including US$10.0 million of working capital, and is subject to post-closing adjustments. Stella-Jones has financed the transaction through a combination of debt financing and a vendor note. “The acquisition of Kisatchie allows Stella-Jones to further enhance its offerings in the North American wood treating industry. It is also consistent with our objective of steadily increasing shareholder value through selective acquisitions. We expect this transaction to yield synergies and to be immediately accretive to earnings, as we continue to optimize the overall efficiency of our continental network,” said Brian McManus, president and CEO of StellaJones. About Stella-Jones Stella-Jones Inc. (TSX: SJ) is a leading producer and marketer of pressure treated wood products. The company supplies North America’s railroad operators with railway ties and timbers, and the continent’s electrical utilities and telecommunication companies with utility poles. Stella-Jones also manufactures and distributes residential lumber and accessories to retailers for outdoor applications, as well as industrial products for construction and marine applications. The company’s common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Except for historical information provided herein, this press release may contain information and statements of a forward-looking nature concerning the future performance of the company. These statements are based on suppositions and uncertainties as well as on management’s best possible evaluation of future events. Such factors may include, without excluding other considerations, fluctuations in quarterly results, evolution in customer demand for the company’s products and services, the impact of price pressures exerted by competitors, the ability of the Company to raise the capital required for acquisitions, and general market trends or economic changes. As a result, readers are advised that actual results may differ from expected results.
May 13, 2016 - Stella-Jones Inc. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, McFarland Cascade Holdings, Inc., has signed a definitive agreement to purchase the shares of Lufkin Creosoting Co., Inc. The signature of a non-binding letter of intent in respect of the proposed acquisition was announced by Stella-Jones on Feb. 3, 2016. Lufkin Creosoting produces treated poles and timbers at its wood treating facility in Lufkin, Texas. Its consolidated sales for the year ended December 31, 2015 reached approximately US$34.2 million. The definitive share purchase agreement provides for a purchase price of US$37.5 million which includes US$5.0 million of working capital and is subject to adjustments. The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2016 and is subject to customary closing conditions. Stella-Jones plans to finance the transaction through a combination of debt financing and a vendor note. About Stella-Jones Stella-Jones Inc. is a leading producer and marketer of pressure treated wood products. The Company supplies North America's railroad operators with railway ties and timbers, and the continent's electrical utilities and telecommunication companies with utility poles. Stella-Jones also manufactures and distributes residential lumber and accessories to retailers for outdoor applications, as well as industrial products for construction and marine applications. The Company's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Except for historical information provided herein, this press release contains information and statements of a forward-looking nature concerning the proposed acquisition described herein. These statements are based on suppositions, risks and uncertainties as well as on management's best possible evaluation of future events. Such risks and uncertainties include, without excluding other considerations, the failure to satisfy closing conditions and the failure to complete or delay in completing th e proposed acquisition for any other reason. As a result, readers are advised that actual results may differ from expected results and should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information.
May 9, 2016 - Monterra Lumber Mills Ltd., a remanufacturer of softwood lumber, pleaded guilty and has been fined $80,000 in the death of a delivery driver who was killed while lumber was being unloaded from the truck he had been driving. On November 12, 2013, a driver working for a shipping company was delivering a tractor trailer of bundles of lumber to Monterra's facility at 12833 Highway 50 South in Bolton. Upon arrival the driver was instructed to drive to the back of the yard; a lumber company worker would then unload the lumber. The driver drove to the back of the yard, then stood on the passenger side of the trailer, rolling up the straps that were securing the bundles of lumber. Each bundle consisted of 189 pieces of board measuring 16 feet long and weighing about 6,000 pounds. The lumber company worker drove a forklift to the tractor trailer and started to unload the bundles from the driver's side of the trailer. While removing the first bundle, an adjacent bundle on the passenger's side fell off the trailer and landed on the driver, causing fatal injuries. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency workers called to the scene. At the time of the incident, there were no measures in place such as barriers, warning signs or other safeguards for the protection of all workers in the yard where vehicle or pedestrian traffic may endanger the safety of any worker. The lumber company failed as an employer to ensure compliance with Section 20 of Ontario's Industrial Establishments Regulation, which states that "barrier, warning signs or other safeguard for the protection of all workers in an area shall be used where vehicle or pedestrian traffic may endanger the safety of any worker." Monterra Lumber Mills was fined $80,000 for the death by Justice of the Peace Samantha Burton in Caledon court on May 9, 2016. In addition to the fine, the court imposed a 25-per-cent victim fine surcharge as required by the Provincial Offences Act. The surcharge is credited to a special provincial government fund to assist victims of crime.
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