Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 26, 2012

Froggy Foibles

Trees ‘can electrify air’

Hindu Business Line
March 24, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

Scientists have for long suspected an association between trees and electricity. Now, a team, led by Queensland University of Technology in Australia, claims to have finally discovered the link… They found positive and negative ion concentrations in the air were twice as high in heavily wooded areas than in grassy areas, such as parks… The researchers said the findings, published in the ’Environmental Science and Technology’ journal, have important implications for the atmosphere, climate and human health.

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Business & Politics

Home Sales Down…Lumber Up?

Bloomberg
March 23, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Bloomberg’s Alix Steel reports on the decline in lumber prices. She speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “Money Moves.” 

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Tolko embraces awards

Vernon Morning Star
March 25, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A large North Okanagan corporation is welcoming recent recognition. Tolko Industries received the business of the year and exporter of the year awards at the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce’s business excellence awards gala. “It is especially meaningful to receive this from residents and fellow businesses in our home community,” said Brad Thorlakson, Tolko president.

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Canfor Completes Purchase of Tembec’s BC Southern Interior Wood Products Assets

By Canfor
MarketWatch (press release)
March 23, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — Canfor announced today that further to its news release of November 28, 2011, it has completed the acquisition of the Tembec Industries southern British Columbia interior wood products assets consisting of the Elko and Canal Flats sawmills and approximately 1.1 million cubic metres of combined Crown, private land and contract annual allowable cut. The transaction includes a long term residual fibre supply agreement for Tembec’s Skookumchuck mill.

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Canfor to invest $50 million

Invermere Valley Echo
March 23, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alongside the announcement that Canfor has completed the acquisition of the Elko and Canal Flats sawmills, Canfor has also re-iterated their announcement of $50 million in capital investments in their “southern BC mill facilities,” over the next few years. While no funds have been earmarked for any facility in particular, one of the potential benefactors is the sawmill in Radium. Canfor is currently in the process of developing a capital plan for the region that will be presented to the board in a couple months, according to Canfor Director of Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Christine Kennedy.

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Sawmill wins case against power corp.

Penalty charge against Ligni Bel dismissed
Chronicle Herald
March 23, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia’s regulator has dismissed a penalty against a Pictou County sawmill charged for not responding to emergency calls from Nova Scotia Power Inc. In a decision reached this week, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board sided with Ligni Bel Ltd. and dismissed the $85,000 fine. The board found that the Scotsburn mill shut down power within 10 minutes of receiving a request from Nova Scotia Power last January.

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Fishersville lumber producer uses global economy to its advantage

News Virginian
March 25, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

FISHERSVILLE, Va. — While Virginia attempts to build on a 2011 record of $2.4 billion in agricultural and forestry exports, Blue Ridge Lumber President Tom Sheets works the phones and his computer, servicing new export customers and established ones… “Most recently during the governor’s trade mission to Israel and India in November, we had more than a half-dozen meetings with wood product importers,” he said. “We’re also working closely with the USDA and the USTR [U.S. trade representative] to have the Chinese ban on the importation of Virginia hardwood and softwood logs lifted.”

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Lack Of Alternative Energy In NU Merger Settlement Rankles Critics

Hartford Courant
March 25, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

When John W. Olsen, president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, learned that the proposed Montville Biomass plant project wasn’t part of the Northeast Utilities-NSTAR merger settlement reached last week by state officials, he was angry. Not only would the plant owned by NRG Energy have been a source of jobs, but also it would have advanced Connecticut toward the requirement that 20 percent of all power used or sold in the state come from clean or renewable resources by 2020.

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NZ urged to build $1b mill for wood pulp

Stuff.co.nz
March 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A United States forestry expert is recommending New Zealand build a $1 billion “mega-mill” to meet China’s hunger for wood pulp. Richard Phillips, of North Carolina State University, and a former career executive with International Paper, told a forestry conference in Wellington last week that China’s demand for logs and wood pulp would continue to soar. But its demand for other wood product exports were likely to wane. “Logs will always have a home in China, your lumber and plywood probably won’t. Your paper and paperboard probably won’t. Because those are the kinds of things that China would like to produce themselves.”

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Wood chip exports from Australia fall to their lowest level in 11 years

March 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

SEATTLE, WA, Mar. 24, 2012, Troy Media/ – Wood chip trade flows in the Pacific Rim have changed substantially in the past five years. Vietnam, Chile, Thailand and Uruguay have all been increasing their shipments of chips, while Australia and South Africa have been losing their market share as fiber suppliers to the pulp mills in Japan, China, Taiwan and South Korea. Australia has been the largest wood chip supplier in the world for almost 20 years, but in 2011 Vietnam overtook this role with shipments accounting for about 20 per cent of globally-traded chips. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Designers imagine skylines of wood high-rises, made possible by new technology

By Tristin Hopper
National Post
March 25, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

For more than a century, Canadian builders have treated wood as little more than a cheap material suited only for homes and dubious low-rise condos. Municipal laws still reflect the sentiment. Vancouver may have a lumberjack on its coat of arms, but the city allows no wood buildings taller than six storeys… But now, designers are daring to imagine buildings of 20 to 30 storeys held up by nothing more than gargantuan plywood beams. Made possible by new advances in wood technology, they will be fire resistant, earthquake proof, cost-competitive and built in a fraction of the time taken to pour a concrete building. Amid a lagging lumber market and a massive oversupply of trees killed by the mountain pine beetle, architects and developers are already sounding the news: Wood is coming to Canada’s skylines.

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House of hemp? Pushing cannabis as a construction material

Los Angeles Times
March 24, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Woody Harrelson championed the environmental benefits of hemp… Now a company promoting hemp as the eco-building material of the moment said it wants to build California’s first hemp house. Hemp Technologies said it wants to use hemp-based materials to construct a 500-square-foot structure at the ruins of Knapp’s Castle near Santa Barbara… The principal material for the project is Hempcrete, made of the woody internal stem of the Cannabis sativa plant, which is processed into chips and mixed with a lime-based binder. That concoction is then sprayed on, poured into slabs or formed into blocks like concrete to create the shell of a building.

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Making furniture out of torn-down houses keeps materials out of landfills

Plain Dealer
March 26, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

CLEVELAND, Ohio — An emerging movement in Cleveland sees an alternative to knocking down the region’s thousands of vacant homes. The process is known as “deconstruction,” and it differs from demolition because up to 40 percent of a building’s remains can be saved from the landfill — from Southern Yellow Pine joists to the oak flooring capable of regaining life as furniture or millwork. Northeast Ohio is fertile territory for the movement. The region has an abundance of structures to be taken down, many of them monuments to the foreclosure crisis. Cuyahoga County alone has 27,000 vacant and abandoned properties, more than 12,000 of them in Cleveland.

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Amazing wooden bicycles: beautiful, artistic, cool and recycled

Bangor Daily News
March 25, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — We are surprising slaves to conformity when it comes to the materials used to make things. An armoire made of bicycle parts? That would just be silly. But what about a bicycle made from an armoire? As it turns out, a bike hewn out of wood is a ride that some people pine for. …The bikes are considered “green” because the wood used to make them is not. The pair spends countless hours tracking down the most beautiful used woods they can find and repurposing them for their rolling works of art.

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Earth Day: Save a tree by going online

Hattiesburg American
March 24, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

April 22 is Earth Day. More than 1 billion people will celebrate Earth Day in one way or another. You could plant a tree, recycle your plastic, glass and paper, or use the back side of printer paper before tossing it. But what is even better than recycling your paper is not having any paper to begin with.

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More forest resources good for economy

Business Mirror
March 24, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

THE Philippines must increase the production of forest resources in order to reduce importation, save dollar reserves and generate more employment for Filipinos… Mendoza said wood-based products generated the highest volume worth $1.028 billion, followed by paper and articles of paper and paperboard worth $155.4 million, and forest-based furniture totaling $94.11 million.

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Pulp and paper mill waste could be used in cheaper batteries

Scientists have created a rechargeable battery using the lignin from pulp and paper mills
Gizmag
March 23, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Scientists have discovered that lignin, a plentiful byproduct of the pulp and paper industry, can be used to store an electrical charge. They’ve used the material to create a prototype lignin-based rechargeable battery, and suggest that it could one day be used as a less expensive, safer alternative to the precious metals currently utilized in battery cathodes. Although the battery does lose its charge when sitting idle, Milczarek and Inganäs found that different types of lignin derivatives offered different levels of performance.

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Forestry

Forestry pioneer John Drenka dies

March 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A man who has been referred to as a “legend” and called “the grandfather of forestry in our community” died this week. John Drenka, co-founder of the still-successful Squamish Mills logging company, forest-industry innovator and one of the people who helped establish the curling club, the golf club and the Squamish Rotary, passed away on Monday (March 19) at Squamish General Hospital. He was 95.

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Meadow Creek Cedar extension expires

Nelson Star
March 25, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A local forest company’s extension to prepare an appeal of its license suspension ran out Friday. However, no date has yet been set for Meadow Creek Cedar’s hearing before the Ministry of Forests’ regional executive director. Early last month, Kootenay Lake district forest manager Garth Wiggill informed the company its license was being suspended. Meadow Creek filed notice of appeal, and the cases were expected to be heard by March 12, but the company asked to be given until March 23 to prepare its case, which was granted.

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Community forestry breaks for springtime

Arrow Lakes News
March 25, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wind and snow ushered in the ides of March around Nakusp. Although the thermometer read warm and warmer, the snow kept falling. On the last week before the loggers and school kids took their spring break, Jesper Nielsen, Nacfor manager, went to check out what was happening on the community forest blocks near McDonald Creek. “This area’s called Slewiskin or McDonald Creek,” Nielsen said, as the truck headed up the numbered forestry service road.

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Strong forest sector, not raw logs, is main issue

Opinion piece by Ray Travers
Nanaimo Daily News
March 24, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

What is the solution to the complex, controversial topic of B.C. log exports? In the past, B.C. log export policy changed when global economic conditions changed. With recent increased Chinese demand for B.C. logs and lumber, maybe a policy change will occur. A Ministry of Forests log export review by staff in now underway. In my opinion, log exports (and imports) would be a nonissue if B.C. had a strong forest sector, especially on the coast where most log exports occur.

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Biodiversity, and Green Slugs, in Action

By Aliette Frank
New York Times (blog)
March 23, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The coastal western hemlock zone on north Vancouver Island, British Columbia, is wet and windy… The pruned toes, the muddy trail shoes, the slop-slopping socks, the research notebook papers ripped out and tossed to the wind are all part of doing research here. But it’s worth it. The scale and diversity of plant and animal species in the coastal western hemlock zone that one can observe brimming from every cranny are astounding. Under a moss-laden stand of old-growth Douglas fir trees I find gyrating plants of all sorts: ebullient amabilis fir, grand fir, western white pine and lodgepole pine above bunches of salal, bushes of Oregon grape and bubbling heads of red huckleberry. The odd vanilla leaf, twinflower and bracken also pop up. I watch out for the sprouting skunk cabbage.

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Pulp NonFiction: Fungal analysis reveals clues for targeted biomass deconstruction

Eureka! Science News
March 23, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Without fungi and microbes to break down dead trees and leaf litter in nature, the forest floor might look like a scene from TV’s “Hoarders.” Massive-scale genome sequencing projects supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and being carried out at the DOE Joint Genome Institute highlight the importance of learning how the cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin that serve as a plant’s infrastructure can be broken down by these forest organisms to extract needed nutrients. Among the fungi being studied are species that can selectively break down the cell wall components cellulose and lignin — the number one and two most abundant biopolymers on Earth.

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Flathead National Forest proposes logging to collect pine cones

by Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
March 23, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Larch tree cones grow near the top of very tall trees, which makes them tough to collect for anything other than squirrels. The Flathead National Forest needs a lot of larch cones for its reseeding efforts, and it’s seeking public comment on how best to get them. The trees have brittle branches and bark that flakes off easily, making them difficult for humans to climb. Another alternative is shooting cone-bearing branches off the tree. “That’s apparently not one we’re interested in,” Flathead Forest spokesman Wade Muelhof said. 

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Forest Service won’t offer riverside property for sale

Discovery of a threatened, rare plant means El Jebel-area land will remain in forest system
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
March 24, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service has decided not to sell riparian land along the Roaring Fork River because of the discovery of a threatened, rare plant. The property is on a lower bench between the river and Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel. The Forest Service wants to sell its holdings in that area to help raise funds to build a new office and visitors center in Aspen. 

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New forest planning rule may be challenged in court

Conservation advocates want stronger protections for wildlife
Summit County Citizens Voice
March 24, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SUMMIT COUNTY — With more than half the country’s 155 national forests operating under outdated management plans, the U.S. Forest Service is eager to start implementing a new planning rule that was finalized March 23. But like several previous attempts to revise the existing 1082 rule, this latest version may face a legal test… The way the Center for Biological Diversity sees it, the latest version of the rule represents the fourth attempt to weaken wildlife protection. The Forest Service was not able to successfully defend its previous attempts to update the planning rule. Top agency officials say the rule includes stronger protections for water and wildlife, and touted the rule as providing a path toward long-term forest restoration.

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Redwood Region Logging Conference held in Ukiah

Humboldt Beacon
March 23, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Loggers, foresters and others affiliated with the industry gathered in Ukiah this past weekend for the 74th annual Redwood Region Logging Conference (RRLC). This location of the event alternates every year between Eureka and Ukiah. RRLC will celebrate its Diamond Jubilee next year in Eureka, with Dave Carter of Green Diamond Resource Company presiding.

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Plan to boost logging to help Ore. timber counties still facing uncertain future in Congress

Associated Press
March 23, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — More details have come out about a proposal to increase logging on certain federal lands in Oregon to help struggling timber counties, but the idea’s future in Congress remains uncertain.  The proposal has yet to become an actual bill, and its pathway to the House floor — as part of a bill that would suspend environmental laws to vastly increase logging on national forests nationwide — remains blocked in a House committee with no prospects in the greener Senate. Timber counties across the country have been getting a subsidy from the federal government since 2000 to make up for timber revenues that plummeted when logging on federal lands was cut more than 80 percent to protect habitat for the northern spotted owl and salmon.

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Forestry honors Five-Year Loggers of Excellence

State Journal
March 25, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Two Charleston-area businesses were among 21 companies recognized recently by the West Virginia Division of Forestry as Five-Year Loggers of Excellence. C&B Logging Inc. of Cedar Grove in Kanawha County and D&K Logging Inc. of Fraziers Bottom in Putnam County were cited for completing five consecutive years’ work in full compliance with the West Virginia Logging Sediment Control Act. 

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Call to extend forest peace deal deadline

ABC News, Australia
March 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The forestry union wants the State Government to extend the forest peace deal deadline to give more groups a say. The Government has given the signatories three weeks to reach an agreement to stop logging in most native forests. The union says the deal has been negotiated so far by signatories from government, unions, community, environment and industry groups. But it says some parties, like private land owners, mineral or Aboriginal interest groups, haven’t been given a chance to put their position.

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Countdown to peace talk deadline

ABC News Australia
March 24, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Tasmanian Government has given industry groups and environmentalists three weeks to negotiate an agreement to stop logging in most native forests and end the decades-old conflict. On Friday the parties to the peace talks were given a report by forestry expert Professor Jonathon West which backed environmentalists’ claims that 572,000 hectares had conservation value. The report also said massive forestry job losses were likely regardless of what happened with forest reserves.

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Peru: More Transparent Forest Governance In Amazon

Eurasia Review
March 23, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

In Peru, where over half of the national territory is covered by forests and the logging industry is marred by corruption, transparency and good forest management are closely linked. Twenty government agencies related to forest management were evaluated by a non-governmental institution in 2011 to determine whether they complied with a legal requirement to operate websites and to what degree they provide the public with access to information.

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Another FSC and WWF flagship company in Africa bites the dust as Danzer sells SIFORCO

(author unknown)
March 23, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Things only get worse for the FSC in Africa. Following the cancellation of the biggest certificate in Cameroon (SFEAC), the partial cancellation of the biggest certificate in Republic of Congo and sale of its holder (CIB) to a palm oil trader, now comes news that the high profile and largest certificate in the Democratic Republic of Congo has also been struck from FSC’s register of certified operations. As the Greenpeace press release below reports, the Swiss-owned Danzer Group has sold its subsidiary SIFORCO, one of Africa’s largest logging companies, to the US-based Groupe Blattner Elwyn

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Biomass Evaluation Has To Include Market Forces

Ashley Mooney
March 23, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

.. “One of the things that is often mentioned with regard to biomass—specifically when you’re talking about greenhouse gas emissions—is whether or not it’s better or worse than a fossil fuel alternative,” Galik said… “When you create a market for biomass, you can provide the incentives for landowners to plant more acres and manage their forests more intensely, storing more carbon than you would have otherwise…. This on balance brings down total greenhouse gas emissions from bioenergy.” With varied evidence regarding biomass’ viability as a fuel source, the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board is investigating how to measure the carbon debt of biomass, according to a Climate Wire article.

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Tzeporah Berman’s last Canadian project could have changed Canada’s climate politics. So why did it flop?

By Andrew Stobo Sniderman
This Magazine
March 23, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canadians who care about climate change have good reason to be depressed about our history of climate change politics… What explains this pattern? The answer has a lot to do with a woman from Vancouver named Tzeporah Berman, and her spectacular failure to make a good idea succeed. She made her name in the early 1990s during the Clayoquot Sound anti-logging protests in British Columbia… An epiphany in late 2007 convinced Berman to switch her focus from forestry to climate change. “I realized fighting for forests without taking on climate change was like repainting the Titanic after hitting the iceberg,” she said. Loggers were less of a threat to Canadian trees than rising temperatures and a resultant onslaught of ravenous pine beetles.

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Southeast Nebraska included in state’s inventory of tree resources

Lincoln Journal Star
March 25, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

The Nebraska Forest Service will be knocking on doors to conduct surveys of the state’s forested land, including some large windbreaks on farms. The inventory will give the service an estimate of the state’s potential for using trees as fuel in biomass energy projects, said Adam Smith, forestry project coordinator.

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Wood chips could be part of US energy future

Pacific Coast Business Times
March 23, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Vino Khosla has seen the Unites States’ energy future, and it is wood chips. Khosla was co-founder of Sun Microsystems and is now a prominent Silcon Valley venture capitalist… Speaking at the Wall Street Journal’s Economic forum at the Bacara Resort & Spa on March 22, Khosla said that the nation’s paper mills, many of which have gone out of business as the internet crushed the print media industry, are a ripe opportunity for investment. They have much of the processing equipment needed to process raw wood chips into what is known as cellulosic biofuel, fuel that comes from plants but doesn’t eat into food supplies like corn-based ethanol.

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Biomass industry sets out to meet NY needs

WNYT
March 23, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

SARATOGA – The conference showed off some of the latest innovations in things like wood chip boilers that heat homes and businesses. Organizers tout the cleanliness of the boilers and say there’s an abundant, renewable supply of wood. By 2025, the biomass heat industry hopes to meet 25-percent of New York and New England’s heating needs with domestic and renewable resources.

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General

Fibrek battle signals recovery in pulp industry

March 26, 2012
Category: Uncategorized

Surging Chinese demand for tissues has triggered a takeover battle for Fibrek Inc., a specialty pulp maker that counts Prem Watsa, the investment guru known as “Warren Buffett of the North,” as its largest shareholder. Fibrek, in which Watsa’s Fairfax Financial owns 26 per cent, is the target of a two-way battle for control that has driven its shares more than 85 per cent higher since the end of November. That’s when AbitibiBowater, a Canadian pulp and paper maker that emerged from bankruptcy protection last year, first made its $130-million hostile offer for Montreal-based Fibrek.

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Wood chip exports from Australia fall to their lowest level in 11 years

March 26, 2012
Category: Uncategorized

SEATTLE, WA, Mar. 24, 2012, Troy Media/ – Wood chip trade flows in the Pacific Rim have changed substantially in the past five years. Vietnam, Chile, Thailand and Uruguay have all been increasing their shipments of chips, while Australia and South Africa have been losing their market share as fiber suppliers to the pulp mills in Japan, China, Taiwan and South Korea. Australia has been the largest wood chip supplier in the world for almost 20 years, but in 2011 Vietnam overtook this role with shipments accounting for about 20 per cent of globally-traded chips. 

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