Feb. 17, 2017 - Oregon is setting the pace for the nation in mass timber manufacturing, design and construction. A new report by the Oregon Forest Resources Institute offers insights from the architecture, engineering and construction communities on this burgeoning trend.Forest to Frame showcases the public and private partnerships contributing to a growing movement that's redefining how apartments, hotels and offices are constructed. The 20-page report profiles Oregon developers, architects and contractors who are at the forefront of using advanced wood products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) to build multistory structures – even skyscrapers – almost entirely out of wood. It also highlights prominent projects in the state that are changing perceptions about wood construction, including a 12-story timber tower in Portland that will be one of the first CLT high-rises in the United States.Other topics covered in the report include groundbreaking research in Oregon demonstrating the safety of mass timber buildings, the many environmental benefits of building with wood, and how its use for construction supports economic development in Oregon's rural timber towns."Forest to Frame offers a fascinating overview of mass timber construction and why it holds great promise on a number of fronts," says OFRI Director of Forest Products Timm Locke. "The report demonstrates that it's both possible and practical to meet our growing construction demands with the most remarkable building material we've ever known: wood."Digital and print copies of Forest to Frame are available to download and order through OFRI's website, OregonForests.org.The Oregon Forest Resources Institute was created by the Oregon Legislature to advance public understanding of forests, forest management and forest products and to encourage sound forestry through landowner education. OFRI is governed by a 13-member board of directors and is funded by a portion of the forest products harvest tax.
Feb. 15, 2017 - John Deere is now offering Intelligent Boom Control (IBC) as an option on all 1910E Forwarders in North America. Now available on the biggest forwarder in the John Deere line-up, IBC technology significantly increases machine productivity and efficiency, while providing the best possible fuel economy and boom lifetime. With intuitive IBC technology, the powerful CF8 boom on the 1910E is accurate, fast, and easy to operate, as the operator now controls the boom tip directly instead of controlling each of the independent boom joint movements manually. Additionally, by eliminating unnecessary extra movements, the IBC system extends the boom component wear life and allows for faster cycle times.  “IBC is an option that operators have been quick to adopt in Northern European countries, with 80 per cent of machines being delivered with the technology,” said Niko Solopuro, product marketing manager WCTL Forwarders and Automation. “With the new configurable joysticks, we anticipate similar popularity for IBC in North America.” The 1910E machines also feature new configurable joystick controls. The integration of the new joystick controls allows the dealer to quickly reconfigure the machine to meet the preference of the operator. One of three configuration options can be applied, providing the operator with an intuitive control system. The configurable joystick controls, when combined with the IBC technology, boost operator productivity. John Deere’s 1910E Forwarder with the IBC option and configurable controls is now available in North America. IBC is also offered as an option on all of John Deere’s 1110E, 1201E and 1510E Forwarders.
Feb. 15, 2017 - After the launch of the 931 wheel harvester (6 wheels), Komatsu Forest is introducing for the spring of 2017, its new 931XC; the 8-wheel version of its 931. The 931 and the 931XC both have the powerful Stage 4 Final, 251 HP engine and are now equipped with a 3-pump hydraulic system with optimized flow to head and crane functions simultaneously for maximum hydraulic power. The engine can now run at lower speed for optimal low fuel consumption. The operator environment provides comfort and visibility. The AutoLev system ensures superior stability while travelling or operating; an important feature on uneven terrain. MaxiXplorer is a harvesting software that is simple and visual, allowing the operator to make countless adjustments to collect production and operation data. MaxiXplorer makes it possible to optimize the harvesting and the cut in given lengths and diameters, or even based on the commercial value of each log. The design of the Comfort bogies provides high ground clearance and better traction on uneven terrain, on steep slopes or in swampy ground.  The new 931XC has a double Comfort bogie for enhanced performance in the most demanding working conditions. With the CRH230 parallel boom for fast cycle times, the 931 can adapt to a wide range of Komatsu harvesting heads, from 360.2, 365, S132 all the way to the high-performance C144, which is a stronger head equipped with the Constant Cut system for continuous sawing speed, whether in harvesting or cutting in lengths. Whatever the species or the diameter, you can always count on quick cuts.
Feb. 15, 2017 - Komatsu Forest launched recently a new version of its popular 895 giant forwarder. This new edition has a Stage 4 Final; high performance 282 HP diesel engine. In standard or ECO mode, fuel consumption will be reduced significantly.The newly designed operator environment in the 895 offers enhanced ergonomic features and increased visibility, while retaining all the main features that have made it so popular. With the powerful 165F loader and your choice of Komatsu grapple G36HD or G40, the 895 forwarder will be equipped with Comfort bogies and extra-large wheels (780 x 28.5) for unequalled ground clearance on sloping or swampy grounds.The 895 has the largest loading capacity of all Scandinavian forwarders distributed in North-America, which will prove to be a great advantage for the long skidding distances on many of our harvesting sites.
Feb. 14, 2017 - A logger killed in the Woods Lagoon area of B.C. on Feb. 4 was the first harvesting fatality of 2017, according to the BC Forest Safety Council.The faller was struck by a tree, uphill from where he was working."Our condolences go out to the family and co-workers of the deceased," BC Forest Safety said in a statement.The council released the following safety information as a precaution to others: Red and yellow cedars in rocky areas with shallow or wet soils are likely to be unstable. Cedars naturally have shallow roots and other characteristic hazards. A list of hazards for the common tree species is below or on page 2 of this alert.  Weather conditions can cause significant changes in ground conditions. Heavy rainfall can reduce soil strength which causes landslides and tree instability. Frequent freeze and thaw cycles can create ground instability and rockfall.  Overhead hazards are difficult to see and are often a cause of falling incidents. Take the time to assess the tree and look for hazards like limb tied trees and dead tops or branches.  Many falling incidents are the result of chain reactions. The tree being felled can cause unexpected movement in nearby trees, logs, rootwads or rocks. As part of the hazard assessment, anticipate what chain reactions may occur. The fatality is currently under investigation by WorkSafeBC and the Coroners Service.
Feb. 13, 2017 - A recent study aimed at identifying untapped biomass hotspots in Canadian forests has produced findings that could help Canada to mobilize its wood-based bioenergy supply chain.The study – a collaboration between researchers with the Canadian Forest Service’s (CFS) Laurentian Forestry Centre and Université Laval’s Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics – used remote sensing technologies to estimate the spatial distribution and theoretical availability of biomass sourced from harvest residues and fire-killed trees nationwide.“We were trying to quantify, estimate, and locate where the potential for bioenergy existed from harvest residue and fire-damaged stands,” explains Nicolas Mansuy, a forest landscape researcher and the principal author of the study. “We wanted to see if you could use these resources, and gain an idea of the variability and volume available each year.”Using maps detailing Canada’s forest attributes, as well as annual fire and harvest data between 2002 and 2011, Mansuy and his fellow researchers were able to calculate annual estimates of biomass availability for both harvest residues and fire-damaged trees – no small feat given the unpredictable nature of forest fires.“The harvest residue is pretty stable year over year,” he acknowledges, “but the fire is more volatile, because we don’t know where the fires will hit the forests each year.”What the researchers found was an abundance of untapped and potentially viable biomass material.“We have a lot of clearcuts in Canada, and a lot of fires, and based on those disturbances we have a lot of residues that are not being used by traditional forestry.”The study’s findings, which were first published in the scientific journal Biomass and Bioenergy, could have a significant impact on the provincial, national, and international outlook for the biomass supply chain in Canada. First, though, researchers will have to work with regional and provincial stakeholders to validate their findings on the ground and assess the viability of establishing cost-effective supply chains.For his part, Mansuy is hopeful that the study, which is the first of its kind to attempt a nationwide biomass inventory using a remote sensing approach, will ultimately facilitate comprehensive assessment of biomass location, costs and logistics, support decision making in the bioenergy sector, and help to establish consistent national biomass metrics in the years to come.“It’s really hard to knock on the door of each province and ask about their biomass inventory,” he explains. “The benefit of the remote sensing is that we can work nationally, and use the same method to collect new information and reach our calculations each year. Besides, the quality and the resolution of the product are going to improve in the near future.”While the study’s findings could prove a real boon for biomass stakeholders in Canada – where they could help spur BioFuelNet Canada’s vision of a sustainable and globally competitive Canadian bioeconomy – they will likely also be well-received in Europe, which depends on bioenergy to a much greater degree than Canada due to government policy and its relative dearth of oil and natural gas reserves.“The demand for renewable energy is very high in Europe,” says Mansuy. “The European market is already very robust, so they require a lot of imported biomass both from the U.S. and Canada.”Mansuy stresses, however, that the key in any future development – whether it’s the establishment of regional supply chains, or more significant export agreements – will lie in developing practices that are environmentally sustainable, an important facet of supply chain development that other nations have overlooked in the past.“In Canada, the sustainability of biomass harvesting is very important. It’s a great advantage for us to have so much biomass here in our country, but we want to ensure that we’re managing it properly to maintain healthy ecosystem resilience. It’s important to leave an appropriate amount of residue in the forest to maintain the ecosystem there, so we have sustainability constraints that we have to take into consideration.”
Feb. 13, 2017 - The new Keto 873 processor is designed for processing larger trees in the demanding conditions of North America and beyond. Keto 873 is the latest model of the Keto product family. This 3360kg/7400lb head can be installed on 30+ ton tracked base machines. Kone-Ketonen and Quadco Equipment Inc will introduce the Keto 873 in the 79th Annual Oregon Logging Conference in Eugene, between Feb. 23rd to 25th, 2017.  Keto 873 was created based on the vision of CEO Lauri Ketonen, designed and produced by the engineering team lead by designer Mika Myllyniemi, and utilizes the best proven components available today.  One new feature of the Keto 873 is the Rotobec rotator, which spins 360 degrees and beyond. This offers a totally new world of freedom and efficiency to operators. The Keto 873 design incorporates a well-proven Parker valve system. Functions are proportional and operate only on-demand, which are key factors in optimizing the fuel consumption of the base machine and running the system at the lowest possible temperature.  Track feed motors are made by Danfoss like in other Keto models. The 500cc motors produce a level of nearly 4kN of true net pulling power making sure that even the toughest trees can be pulled and delimbed quickly and efficiently.  Like in any Keto head the length measuring is done by the two feeding tracks. It is simple, extremely reliable and low cost to maintain. A larger front knife cylinder together with the bottom arm cylinder provides the needed holding power when pulling big trees from the deck. The geometries of the three moving and one fixed knives and arms have been optimized to handle the full range of diameters. Another very important feature in the Keto 873 is the shortest possible tilt frame with a very wide working angle. The short tilt minimizes the unwanted head sway caused by the boom movement, thus making the head easier to control. Kone-Ketonen Oy was founded 1984. For over 30 years it has been producing numerous models of harvesting heads for thinning and larger heads for clear-cutting and processing. About 5,000 heads have been produced so far. Kone-Ketonen exports about 80 per cent of its products to Europe, Japan, South and North-America. 
Feb. 13, 2017 - Here's a look at the latest log loader equipment spotlight. 
Feb. 13, 2017 - “It’s a different mentality to harvest trees in partial sections,” says Raymond Frappier, a forest contractor in Estrie, Que. “I find it beautiful and it allows us to return to the same area after 15 or 20 years.”
Feb. 13, 2017 - When Pat Curran decided to get into the wood pellet business in 2007, it was to help ensure that the fibre from Curran’s family logging business Seaway Timber and Curran Logging based in Massena, N.Y. always had a home. When the pulp mill across the border in Cornwall, Ont., shut down, the logging business lost a big market for its wood chips.
Feb. 10, 2017 - Nine-axle logging trucks, including tandem-drive and tridem-drive configurations, are now approved and in use on a key transportation route in the Vanderhoof area in north-central British Columbia. The approval was the culmination of a four-year collaborative effort between FPInnovations, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI), the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO), and the forest industry.
Feb. 10, 2017 - As the landscape of logging operations changes in British Columbia – with an increase in the availability of new harvesting equipment from overseas manufacturers – employers, suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and importers must understand the requirements in the Workers Compensation Act and the Occupation Health and Safety Regulation before using the equipment in B.C.
Feb. 15, 2017 - Morbark, a manufacturer of equipment used in forestry, recycling, tree care, landscaping, sawmill and biomass markets, has strengthened its senior management team with the appointment of Walt Niziolek as the new vice-president of operations and supply chain. Niziolek joins Morbark at a time of continued business growth to take charge of supply chain and site operational requirements. This includes managing local, U.S. and overseas vendors and suppliers, all warehouse and distribution activities, quality initiatives and liaising with business unit engineering support. Niziolek’s extensive expertise includes holding many previous senior leadership roles in manufacturing with companies such as CPG Building Products and Pride Mobility Products, where he specialized in deploying standardized work and other lean initiatives to improve safety, quality, delivery, supply chain management and cost. “I’m excited to bring Walt to the Morbark team,” said Dave Herr, Morbark CEO. “Walt has a proven track record of driving change through lean manufacturing and continuous improvement techniques. This, along with his experience in complex manufacturing environments producing customized, engineered products, makes him a great fit for Morbark.” Prior to his 20-plus years in manufacturing operations, Niziolek served as a captain in the U.S. Army, where he held multiple leadership and staff positions, both in peacetime and periods of conflict. “Working with Morbark is an exciting opportunity to take a solid company to new heights,” said Niziolek. “I look forward to developing many productive working relationships with both internal personnel and external suppliers and stakeholders.” Niziolek earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Southern Illinois University, as well as an MBA from the University of Michigan. Morbark, LLC, based in Winn, Mich., is celebrating 60 years of innovating and manufacturing durable, high-performance equipment for forestry, recycling, tree care, sawmill and biomass markets. Morbark equipment helps customers harvest, process and convert wood and other organic waste materials into valuable, useful and profitable products. The Company produces a full line of whole tree and waste wood chippers, flails, brush chippers, horizontal and tub grinders, sawmill equipment, material handling systems and more. “Like” on Facebook, follow on Twitter or subscribe to our YouTube channel. For more information, please visit www.morbark.com.
Feb. 13, 2017 - Lumber company Hefler Forest Products is being sold to merchant bank Hawthorne Capital and wind farm company Katalyst Wind Inc. for an undisclosed amount.The N.S.-based company had been under creditor protection since July 2016.Among the assets, Hefler's biomass plant is what remains running, but Hawthorne Capital president Trevor Hannigar told the Chronicle Herald there are plans to revive the sawmill.“Although the energy side is important and we are excited to be contributing to renewable energy in the region, our team is considering all options to get the sawmill running again, including the possibility of having a third party operate it,” Hannigar told The Chronicle Herald.The business deal is set to close on Feb. 24.Read the full story.RELATED: Hefler asks creditors for more time
Feb. 13, 2017 - Warp can be the result of both the inherent characteristics of wood as well as a number of introduced (process-related) variables. Through proper handling and management of the drying operations we can have an influence on the severity and amount of warp occurring from either cause. This article will highlight a number of specific ways in which those losses can be minimized to have a positive monetary impact on your operation.
Feb. 13, 2017 - Maibec has optimized its Saint-Pamphile, Que., mill by using data available at all stages of the sawmilling process to make real-time decisions. Welcome the 4.0 sawmill.
Feb. 13, 2017 - For as long as mill workers have been running wood through saws we have understood the importance of having every part of the machine positioned at exactly the right pre-determined location and angle to facilitate the smooth passage of the log and the straightest cut possible. A very small change in the inclination of a roll can mean the difference between a good day and a disaster. A slightly off angled saw will heat up and destroy itself in short order.
Feb. 13, 2017 - Several years ago, Foothills Forest Products had a difficult time finding a home for the shavings being produced by its planer mill operations at its sawmill in Grand Cache, Alta.
Feb. 6, 2017 - OptiSaw West is calling for presentation proposals. Are you a manufacturer or researcher in the sawmill industry offering an innovative optimization or automation option that can help sawmill operations succeed? Send us your presentation proposal now! OptiSaw is a one-day workshop focused on the future of optimization and automation in sawmilling, including challenges and opportunities on the cutting edge of this side of the industry. Taking place in Richmond, B.C., on April 25, OptiSaw offers a time-effective and affordable learning and networking opportunity for those driving the future of sawmilling operations.  We welcome sawmill management and owners, process engineers, continual improvement managers, optimization staff, researchers and design consultants. Registration for this exclusive event is limited to a select 50 seats. Previous presentations have covered data-driving sawmilling, fibre supply, planer grading optimization, primary breakdown efficiencies, scanner scaling, avoiding equipment obsolescence, and more. Send your presentation proposal to Maria Church ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) by Feb. 22. For more information or to register, visit www.optisaw.com.Read about last year’s OptiSaw East.
Feb. 2, 2017 - Lug loaders to date have traditionally either been hydraulic or pneumatic systems, but wood processing equipment supplier USNR has introduced a different take on the machine. Its ElectraTong lug loader is all-electric. USNR’s engineering manager of its Salmon Arm, B.C. division, Thomas Congdon gave Canadian Forest Industries the details of this new system. “One of the biggest things is, by being all-electric, you get away from the nuisances that come from hydraulics or pneumatics. You’re not worrying about leaks and it’s easier to maintain,” Congdon says. “The other thing with the all-electric is that we can set up parameters and a recipe. So at a push of a button, you can change from a recipe that’s aimed at a certain species of lumber or a certain wood diet.” “If it’s a planer mill application, then it can be set up per batch of the product you’re producing,” he says. Congdon explains that the set up refers to timing points or when lumber is picked up and released, as well as how quickly lumber can be moved into the lug loader.Congdon says those aspects make the ElectraTong more appealing to sawmillers because pneumatic and hydraulic systems don’t allow changing such specifications through a computer interface. “You have to go over and physically adjust things, so this way it can all be done through the control system,” he says. “You can switch from a certain set up from one species of wood to another, or frozen wood and non-frozen wood; that type of thing. So there are a lot of advantages to the electric.” Glen Sorenson is the maintenance manager at B.C.-based Gorman Bros. Lumber. He says the company is happy with their new ElectraTong lug loader. “We’ve been able to move our operators from the lug loader [and] we’ve also increased our lug-per-minute rate through the line,” Sorenson says. Congdon says the ElectraTong lug loader can run over 250 LPM in certain applications. Gorman Bros.’ old lug loader ran off a hydraulic system. Sorenson says installation of the ElectraTong went very well. “We did several pieces of equipment at the same time. We took out our hydraulic fence and installed the USNR fence. We also took out the scanner and put in [USNR’S] new scanner.”Congdon says the electric system also allows for sensing how hard the board is being clamped. “We can do that through electrical feedback and load sensing. And therefore we can, on the fly, adjust how hard we are clamping the wood,” he says. “You don’t want to over-clamp it and mark it and you don’t want to under-clamp it and not grab the board well. So that’s something that can be set up as part of the electric recipe based on what you’re trying to do.” Sorenson mentions two other differences Gorman Bros. noticed since the new installation. “We’re able to run the line at a higher speed and we’ve increased our piece count through the line as well,” Sorenson says. He says the increased piece count and getting the operators away from the lug loader are the main changes with the new equipment, adding that the latter also makes operations safer. Congdon says USNR has not experienced any issues with retrofitting the lug loader to certain space requirements. “It fits in a similar footprint to other lug loaders. It does require a slight offset elevation, but we have a way to make that up and fit it into an existing level trim line space,” Congdon says. “It’s gone very nicely in. All of our installations to date have been retrofit installations except for one. It was a stud mill in British Columbia, that was a new line,” he says.As pleased as Gorman Bros. is with their new machine, Sorenson says there is one limitation. “What we do is we cut three-inch to 12-inch, so it is a challenge to deal back-to-back 12-inch pieces with three-inch mixed in,” he says. “And I don’t think we can get much higher at this point in piece count than where we are.” “That said we haven’t been able to do what we’re doing now with our old lug loader,” Sorenson adds. To date, four lug loaders have been installed in Canada and three in the U.S., but Congdon says six have now been sold in the U.S. Congdon says the lug loader is for both sawmills and planer mills. “In the planer mill application we can use a different gripping tong to not damage the wood. It’s for all types of products. It can do one-inch to over four-inch, stud mills, full dimension mills,” he says. “Being a tong style lug loader, it’s very good at random widths and random thicknesses,” Congdon says. “The way we do backlog control is unique and we’re using our product called Mill Track, which is a camera-based system that looks down over top of the lug loader and lug load infeed, and then we control those backlog tables with the camera systems.” Sorenson’s favourite aspect of the ElectraTong? “It’s tunable, the clamping pressure is adjustable; everything is just much more controlled with servos controlling the infeeds and the clamping… We’re happy with it.”CREDITS:Video: Maria Church, Canadian Forest Industries editorTop photo: Thomas Congdon, engineering manager of USNR's Salmon Arm, B.C., division. Courtesy//USNRBottom photo: The ElectraTong lug loader. Courtesy//USNRWATCH Thomas Congdon talk about the ElectraTong with CFI editor Maria Church in Portland, Ore.
Feb. 1, 2017 - J.D. Irving, Limited has been charged with two counts of violating the Occupational Health and Safety Act.William Gregg, 52, died in February 2016 after suffering a head injury while on the job at J.D. Irving’s Sussex, N.B., sawmill. The charges were laid on Tuesday and cite that the company failed to provide adequate supervision on site and failed to prevent the use of a machine that was to be cleaned.The incident was investigated by WorkSafeNB.The charges come at a time when workplace safety is at the forefront in other parts of the country as well. Flags fly at half mast at J.D. Irving sawmill in Sussex following the death of mill worker William Gregg @Global_NB pic.twitter.com/MWKqMeHg7Q — Andrew Cromwell (@Andrew_GlobalSJ) March 3, 2016 Related article: J.D. Irving sawmill death under investigation 
Feb. 1, 2017 - Grim news of workplace deaths are serving as yet another reminder to practice safety on the job. Ivor Lundin, 57, was a Tolko employee. He went out on the water on Okanagan Lake in a boom boat on Monday night while working near the company’s Kelowna, B.C. plant. According to reports, Tolko lost contact with Lundin at 9:21 p.m. and what started off as a rescue mission became a recovery one. RCMP officers recovered Lundin’s body on Tuesday. The investigation is ongoing. No details have been released on what may have caused the incident. Another man also died while working at a log yard operation in Lumby, B.C., on Friday. No details have been released on the name of the victim or the company. Both the RCMP and WorkSafeBC are investigating. The B.C. Federation of Labour (BCFED) released a statement calling for the B.C. government to put increased workplace safety measures into place. “All workers must enjoy the basic right to be safe on the job and to come home safely to their families at the end of their shift. But these two deaths — along with a third involving a Victoria construction workers two weeks ago — are a sign that more needs to be done to protect workers,” says Irene Lanzinger, president of the BCFED. “Our view is that government and employers aren’t doing enough to keep workers safe on the job,” Lanzinger says. “Health and safety protections are weak and not always rigorously enforced. Worker safety is being compromised. Injured workers aren’t fairly compensated, and employers whose negligence kills or seriously injures workers are let off with a slap on the wrist.”The BCFED says it will continue to push government to improve safety on the job. Online tributes are pouring in for Ivor Lundin who lost his life in a workplace accident #tolko #kelowna @WorkSafeBC https://t.co/s1WQMYZoTh pic.twitter.com/U9DM5SOnnE — Carmen Weld (@carmenweld) January 31, 2017
Jan. 31, 2017 - Forestry and sawmilling company Conifex Timber Inc., announced Tuesday it is modernizing and will re-start a state-of-the art sawmill complex in El Dorado, Arkansas. The site was formerly owned by Georgia Pacific. Conifex will create approximately 120 new, full-time jobs as a result of its approximate $80 million commitment to the facility. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson joined the company's leadership and local officials at the announcement today in El Dorado. "This project provides Conifex with access to lumber and timber markets in the U.S. South. Our commitment of $80 million to this facility will ensure the long term sustainability of this site and contribute to our overall company growth," said Conifex CEO Ken Shields. "We are pleased by the warm welcome and professionalism of the government and private sector partners we have worked with here in El Dorado and throughout the state." Conifex is primarily engaged in the manufacture of structural grade Spruce Pine Fir dimension lumber. The company plans to create a state-of-the-art mill in El Dorado producing 180 million board feet initially.  Sawtimber purchases are expected to amount to 700,000 tons per year, or $30 million, from suppliers within an approximate 60-mile radius. "Timber plays a vital role in our state's economic vitality," said Governor Asa Hutchinson. "The industry directly employs more than 37,200 workers in Arkansas, and I'm thrilled to welcome Conifex to the state. This will have a significant economic impact on many families throughout South Arkansas." Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, Conifex Timber Inc. was established in 2008 when it acquired its first idled sawmill in British Columbia. A second mill followed two years later as well as a biomass power plant that has been in operation since 2015.  The company has invested about $80 million in two Canadian sawmill complexes and related businesses as well as $100 million in its green power generation business, creating over 500 jobs.  This will be Conifex's first facility in Arkansas and the Southern U.S. "The positive impacts of the plant are many fold," said El Dorado Mayor Frank Hash. "From timber owners, timber harvesters, timber processors, plant maintainers/suppliers and product transporters, the economic gains to all will be significant! The City of El Dorado welcomes Conifex." "I have been driving by that property twice a day for the past 10 years, and I'm glad to see the property back in use," said Union County Judge Mike Loftin. "The jobs that will be created for citizens of Union County will be a great boost to our local economy and many will see great benefit."
Jan. 20, 2017 - The new WSM Pin Chipper is a high capacity fibre preparation machine that converts lower value mill residuals (shavings and hogged wood) and alternate fibre supply sources into a high percentage of “pin chips” with long fibre length. The WSM Pin Chipper is available in rotor diameters of 42”, 48”, and 60” and rotor lengths from 36” to 88” long and typically operates with 200 – 800 HP. Modular and adjustable tooling includes either rigid or swing hammers with replaceable tips, combined with modular sizing screens allow adjustment to product sizing. Field proven performance at rates up to 75 tph, and when combined with a WSM pre-screen the processing rate is confirmed at rates of 150+ tph. System integration into your woodyard is no problem – WSM offers complete infeed and outfeed options to help you supplement your chip supply with lower cost fiber from the WSM Pin Chipper.Need to see it to believe it? WSM’s test lab can process your material to demonstrate how the WSM Pin Chipper performs on your specific low cost fiber materials. This machine isn’t for everyone – but where it’s a “fit” – it’s a game changer.  If you are looking for a way to reduce incoming fiber cost and can handle a percentage of “pins” and “fines” in your pulping process, then the WSM Pin Chipper can deliver value by expanding your sources of wood fibre, reducing hauling costs, and substituting high cost fibre with low cost fibre. To learn more about WSM’s Pin Chipper and how it might benefit your operation, visit www.westsalem.com/pinchipper, email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or call your WSM technical specialist at 800 722 3530 to discuss your application in more detail, or schedule a test on your materials.
Jan. 26, 2017 - Whether the structure you’ll be erecting is something that has been built a thousand times, or if it is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, an efficient and cost-effective construction process is heavily dependent on how well-organized and prepared your trades are. Major construction projects find multiple trades working in conjunction, and one crucial way to ensure success is to incorporate pre-fabrication into the process. Mass timber manufacturer Structurlam Products is a Penticton, B.C.-based company that uses pre-fabrication in every project it undertakes. The company champions this process because they find it results in cost savings for clients, fast on-site assembly, safer work sites and an opportunity for higher quality structures. Preparation is key in pre-fabrication The important first step in pre-fabricating the pieces that will ultimately be put together to form a building is the creation of a 3D model. Mocking up the building exactly as it will need to be created — also known as virtual construction — from the walls, to the holes for plumbing and electricity, is a means of testing and fine-tuning the details to ensure everything is in place before anything is produced and sent to site. Structurlam advocates that all trades use a single geometry model during this process, as it reduces confusion and saves time for all involved. Once the modelling is underway, Structurlam can make adjustments to the building as needed to allow for tolerances and fabrication details. Once the 3D model is complete, the customized data can then be used to create a list of materials that are needed, the exact shop drawings can be completed and then the pre-fabrication of the pieces can begin. The modelling work results in a process that creates the CNC machine codes for the geometry needed to produce each unique panel. This begins what will ultimately make completing the building akin to putting together a dresser from IKEA. “At Structurlam we work closely with all trades involved to ensure everything that will go into the building is reflected perfectly in the 3D model,” said president of Structurlam Bill Downing. “Our ability to incorporate every detail into the pre-fabrication process allows us to deliver the pieces to a building that will come together smoothly and benefit all who are working together to erect it.” Upon completion of the individual pieces, these fabricated panels are placed in order of delivery to the site. They are loaded on to the trucks perfectly to match the installation sequence. While this requires a tremendous amount of pre-planning, it is what results in the time and cost savings for the project and allows for buildings to be erected in high-traffic, small footprint areas, as there is no material stored on site. Tall wood and pre-fabrication Pre-fabrication is an essential element the construction of mass timber buildings. For example, this process was utilized at the recently completed Brock Commons at UBC, the world’s largest tall wood building. The 18-storey mass timber structure will be a student residence building, housing more than 400 students when it is completed in May 2017. Structurlam provided 169 mm, 5 layer CLT panels measuring 2.9 x 11.8 m for floors, along with glulam columns for the building’s interior. Steel connectors allowed the building to be put together quickly and safely. The steel connectors allowed for a direct load transfer between columns and also provided a bearing surface for CLT panels. The seamless construction of this record-breaking project was well served by pre-fabricating the pieces. Benefits of pre-fabrication Pre-fabrication can be realized for any size or scope of project, from record-breaking towers to multi-family homes in dense urban areas; no matter the project the benefits will be the same: ·       Fast assembly: Perfect pieces delivered in order allows for an efficient and quick assembly; this can minimize the total schedule duration of a project. ·       Cost-effective: Pre-fabricating the pieces reduces waste and allows for a fast assembly, cutting down on costs and encouraging efficiency across the trades. ·       Safer work site: Many tasks are accomplished in Structurlam’s shop, removing the need for complicated work to be undertaken on site or at jarring heights. ·       Reduced labour on site: Prefabrication ultimately requires less people on site to install the structure.   ·       Higher quality: Critical elements of the building are completed in a controlled shop environment. An organized and efficient construction site is ultimately dependent on how well the trades involved work together. Incorporating pre-fabrication supports these efforts and encourages collaboration and close working relationships from the onset of the project. Utilizing the impressive power of pre-fabrication serves projects of all sizes and delivers tremendous benefits across the board.   Photos//Structurlam Photos//Structurlam   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.woodbusiness.ca/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=1&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleriafe6aac1396
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.
Feb. 13, 2017 - Ever had your eyes glued to the screen watching elaborate cottage and cabin renovation shows? Well Log Cabin Hub magazine has created an infographic offering a peek at log homes that go beyond your typical, humble abode. Belonging to public figures ranging from Ralph Lauren and Paul McCartney, all the way to Oprah Winfrey and Queen Elizabeth II, here are 20 log cabins of the rich and famous:(Click on the image below and expand to see the full list.) Infographic//Courtesy of Log Cabin Hub Infographic//Courtesy of Log Cabin Hub   View the embedded image gallery online at: https://www.woodbusiness.ca/index.php?option=com_k2&Itemid=1&lang=en&layout=latest&view=latest#sigProGalleria3609fdb794
Jan. 26, 2017 – Canadian forest products company Western Forest Products (WFP) is permanently closing its South Vancouver Island remanufacturing plant. The announcement came on Wednesday and follows WFP’s plan to strengthen the company through recapitalization and consolidation. WFP’s goal is to become a global competitor, according to a statement. The statement also mentions that all employees of the consolidated South Vancouver Island plant have either received compensation or been located to other facilities within WFP. WFP also consolidated its sawmills in Nanaimo, B.C. in October 2014. President and CEO Don Demens said that the decision was also part of the strategy to make WFP more competitive worldwide. “This strategy involves the evaluation of new market programs and operating configurations designed to improve our operating results," Demens said. According to the company, “Since 2011, Western has invested over $260 million in recapitalizing its coastal operations, including more than $94 million in strategic investments towards upgrading technology, with a focus on reducing costs while maintaining product flexibility.”
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.

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