Forestry and timber stories
Forico plans $130m pellet plant
New Forests and its Tasmanian subsidiary Forico are in the final stages of planning for a $130 million wood pellet factory at Long Reach. The plant will produce about 250,000 tonnes of compressed, cooked wood pellets a year to export to Japan, where coal power stations are being subsidised to switch to pellets in order to reduce carbon emissions. New Forests Managing Director, Mark Rogers, told The Australian in March that the densified wood pellets would be made from forestry residues from Forico’s Tasmanian timber plantations. They would be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. “Replanting the trees, as is our intention in Tasmania, gives you an almost full carbon benefit; very strong decarbonisation,” Mr Rogers said. “The reason it’s going ahead in Japan is because the carbon component is being recognised in the feed-in tariff price … If Australia had a similar signal, then there is no reason why some of our black coal power stations could not use these pellets.” Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation does not provide subsidies for densified pellets at present.
Meanwhile, Timberlink, a leading Australasian timber processor, is investing in a $700,000 world-class grader to give it an edge in manufacturing structural pine at its Bell Bay mill. The Tasmanian and Australian Government have provided the company with a $50,000 grant for the project from the Tasmania Jobs and Investment Fund. Timberlink employs 190 people at Bell Bay.
4 April 2017, Edition 182