Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 10, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Trump, California spar over wildfire monies, while shutdown delays thinning projects

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 10, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

As President Trump withholds FEMA monies for wildfires—unless California improves its forest management—his government shutdown is stalling forest thinning projects. In other Forestry news: the Canadian Institute of Forestry speaks out on gender equity; the Ancient Forest Alliance has a new [BC old growth] forest to protect; and road density, mining and forestry threaten key species in BC’s Elk Valley.

In Business news: lumber’s price-fall helps the case for wood use; BC’s Premier supports Minister Donaldson’s visit to pipeline blockade; LP announces plan to build a pellet mill in Mississippi; a woodlot owner speaks out in support of Northern Pulp; moduler wood housing is helping BC’s homeless; and Canfor’s 2018 year in review.

Finally, Wood WORKS! is working as evidenced by BC mayor’s lobby effort for more wood use.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Horgan Supports Donaldson’s Visit To Pipeline Blockade

By Cory Sellar
CKPG Today
January 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – Premier John Horgan calls Forests and Natural Resource Minister Doug Donaldson’s visit to the pipeline blockade near Houston “highly appropriate.” In a news conference Wednesday, Horgan told reporters that in order to find a solution, there needs to be dialogue and “who better than the local MLA to be there before the RCMP enforced the order, to hear one last time what the concerns were.” The Premier said that the MLA for Stikine followed the necessary protocols when he attended the Wet’suwet’en camp, which included bringing a gift. Once Donaldson was there, Horgan adds that the Minister heard the people’s concerns and then left.  Following the events that have occurred over the last few days, Horgan hopes that everyone can work towards a peaceful resolution.

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Southern Interior forestry union, mill owners return to bargaining table

The Salmon Arm Observer
January 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Following rotating strikes at five southern Interior sawmills late last year, the union representing area forestry workers is headed back to the bargaining table. The United Steelworkers and Interior Forest Labour Relations Association have agreed to three days of bargaining in Kelowna, from Jan. 15 to Jan. 17. “We’re going back to the table at their [the IFLRA’s] request,” USW 1-417 president Marty Gibbons said. “We’re still seeking a fair agreement. That doesn’t mean everything we wish and dream for, but any discussions are good discussions,” he said. The two sides haven’t engaged in talks since Nov. 16 when USW dismissed mediator Dave Schaub and initiated rotating strikes at five operations into December.

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Canfor: Year in Review 2018

By Michelle Ward, Director, Corporate Communications
Canfor Blog
January 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

In 2018, we were honoured to receive several awards including being named one of BC’s Top Employers for the sixth year in a row. Canfor was also named one of the Career Directory’s 2018 Best Employers for Recent Graduates. …There were also several Canfor employees who received awards for their commitment and contributions to our industry. …Matthew Buxton with FPAC’s inaugural Rising Star Award of Excellence and Michael Jordan with FPAC’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Carmen Augustine made the Canadian Forest Industries’ Top 10 under 40 List, and Christine Taylor was awarded the CIF’s Prince of Wales Award for Sustainable Forestry. …Two other exciting events for our company in 2018…a re our plans to expand in the US and in Europe: VIDA Group of Sweden and Elliott Sawmilling Co.

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Modular housing units in Chilliwack will be housing the homeless by this spring

By Jennifer Feinberg
The Chilliwack Progress
January 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…With the Chilliwack project added into the mix, Metric Modular has been the supplier of about 24 modular housing projects in B.C. …Formerly known as Britco, Metric Modular has become one of the largest manufacturers of modular structures in North America, specializing in affordable housing structures. Metric is one of the major suppliers of pre-constructed modules for BC Housing’s Rapid Response to Homelessness program, which is on track to deliver 2,000 modular supportive housing units across B.C. The 12-foot-by-64-foot “modules” were built with B.C. wood, and crane-positioned, one by one, to create a cohesive a three-storey complex. …“Because they’re constructed in the factory, the wall assembly never gets moisture in it. So what we are finding, and what our consultant has predicted, is that they will last longer than traditional construction.”

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Nova Scotia Woodland Owner of the Year Award to defend Northern Pulp

By Peter Spicer
Nova Scotia Notes
January 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Peter Spicer

Everyone seems to have an opinion on the forestry industry in Nova Scotia and in particular, the issue of Northern Pulp. As a rural Nova Scotian and a woodlot owner operator that makes my living on the forestry industry, I thought I should express my views on the topic. The press/media basically covers one side of the issues, most politicians just say what they think they need to get re-elected, and the people voicing most of the anti-forest industry rhetoric are more or less professional protestors. The latter group is a very small percentage of the total population, but a very vocal group, that are experts at navigating the various media in the province and rallying other groups to support their cause. They hide under the guise of environmentalists when in fact most of these groups have their own personal agendas.

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Active Energy changed mind on pellet plant destination in November

By Stephen Roberts
The Telegram
January 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

GREAT NORTHERN PENINSULA, N.L.—St. Anthony was once Active Energy Group’s (AEG) chosen destination for a pellet plant now planned for Hawke’s Bay. The Northern Pen has obtained government emails and memos, via an access to information request, including a Department of Fisheries and Land Resources internal direction/decision note dated Oct. 29. It recommends the department establish a pellet plant in St. Anthony. The directive adds that the AEG’s product, CoalSwitch black wood pellets, would be exported “to Poland through the local port.” However, in late November, just a few weeks after the Oct. 29 note was issued, the company and the province announced the plant would be located in Hawke’s Bay with shipping to take place from that area. …“The decision is made now…,” St. Anthony Mayor Desmond McDonald told The Northern Pen. “But it’s disappointing. Somebody obviously pulled some weight to get this to go a different direction.

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Lumber Sits Near Its Lows – A Case For WOOD

By Andrew Hecht
Seeking Alpha
January 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Andrew Hecht

The lumber futures market is highly illiquid. I would never recommend any long or short positions as the volume and open interest do not support a narrow bid-offer spread and the ability to move into and out of risk positions. While I have been trading commodities and futures since the early 1980s, I have never bought or sold one contract of lumber. However, I watch the price action in the lumber futures market like a hawk. Lumber is a benchmark, and the price trend of wood can be as significant as the paths of crude oil or copper when it comes to understanding and monitoring the health and well-being of the global economy. Lumber is a critical ingredient in construction and infrastructure building. The price of wood reflects the demand for new home construction in the United States.

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Millinocket group ‘turning over every rock’ to eliminate $1.4M tax debt that scuttled factory

By Charles Eichacker
The Bangor Daily News
January 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A volunteer economic development group that’s trying to revive Millinocket’s former paper mill site is continuing to challenge a federal tax lien that has hampered its efforts. …That’s already spiked one large investment at the site. LignaTerra Global LLC of Charlotte, North Carolina, was considering opening a $30 million factory at the Millinocket mill site that would manufacture a composite wood product for use in construction and cross-laminated timber, and employ more than 100 people. But late last year, the group decided against launching the project in Millinocket because of the lien.

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Wood pellet maker plans $200M investment in Mississippi

Associated Press in The State
January 9, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A company that makes wood pellets burned for fuel in overseas power plants is moving ahead with plans for a $140 million pellet mill and a $60 million ship-loading terminal on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Enviva LP spokeswoman Maria Moreno said Wednesday that the Maryland company signed agreements Monday with leaders in George and Jackson counties. The company won’t finalize its investment until environmental permits are approved for facilities in Lucedale and Pascagoula, she said. Enviva expects to hire about 90 workers in Lucedale. As many as 300 loggers and truckers could also find work supplying logs to Enviva. …The plant was first announced in 2013 by Green Circle Energy, a wood pellet company that Enviva bought in 2015. Plans were delayed, but Moreno said the company is now ready to move ahead.

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Brexit drives creation of new forestry body

By Claire Fox
The Independent
January 10, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Fergal Leamy

A NEW trade association has been created for the forestry and timber industry, amid growing fears over the impact of Brexit. Forestry Industries Ireland (FII), which has been set up by Ibec, was launched in Dublin yesterday and comprises 22 member companies from across the island which cover the entire forestry chain. Coillte CEO Fergal Leamy stated at the launch that Brexit was the main driving force behind forestry companies deciding to come together at this time. …”The UK is going to be a crucial market for us and the more we can work together as an industry and meet that challenge, the better it is,” he said. …FII aims to increase the combined turnover of the industry from the current €800m to €1.6bn by 2035.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

FPInnovations collaboration leads to improvements in moisture content measurements

FPInnovations Blog
January 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

FPInnovations is currently supporting the first industrial implementation of the continuous precision drying technology. The process, that allows for the redrying of selected lumber pieces at a given target moisture content (MC), is equipped with an MC measurement system, a decision support tool that is provided by SCS Forest Products by Finna Group (SCSFP), an FPInnovations member company. The moisture meter measurement determines whether the product requires redrying or not. For FPInnovations’ Advanced Wood Manufacturing team, this is a step towards the development of technological solutions that can help achieve the desired levels of precision for the moisture content in an automated, reproducible and continuous way. …The MC precision improvement in the process will lead to a better dryer utilization and also to a better global quality of the products.

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FPInnovations on opportunities for fibre-based food-service packaging

FPInnovations Blog
January 10, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Most of us have done it at one point—leave a take-out restaurant or café with our order in a plastic bag or in a polystyrene (PS) foam container, but times are changing and more consumers are willing to adapt their habits in the interest of protecting the environment. …In a recent online survey of 3,000 North American consumers commissioned by FPInnovations, 33 percent of consumers said they try to refrain from buying a product that is packaged in PS foam because they believe it is bad for the environment… Seventy percent of consumers aged between 18 and 35 said they would be willing to pay a premium for a paper-based single-use food container. …FPInnovations researchers are investigating the feasibility of recyclable and biodegradable fibre-based packaging replacing PS foam and single-use plastic products. …The survey demonstrates there is consumer interest and will to support … fibre-based single-use restaurant packaging.

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Mayor lobbies for wood use in new Mills construction

By Rod Link
The Terrace Standard
January 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

As much wood as possible should be used in the construction of the new Mills Memorial Hospital, says Terrace mayor Carol Leclerc… wood in the public areas of the hospital, for instance, would create a warm and inviting atmosphere. …Leclerc’s wood use lobbying efforts involve speaking with Wood Works! BC. Through Leclerc, its municipal affairs and national sustainability manager, Peter Moonen, has already been speaking with Northern Health Authority project planners and intends to make more contact later this month. “Our role is really to encourage [the use of wood], act as coaches, if you will,” said Moonen about the role of Wood Works! BC. …The Northern Health Authority’s Eryn Collins said the extent of wood to be used in the new Mills is being determined by the ongoing business plan.

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Koppers Performance Chemicals Enters into Sales Arrangement for Fire Retardant Product

By Koppers Holdings Inc.
Cision PRNewswire
January 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

PITTSBURGH– Koppers Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koppers Holdings Inc., today announced that its Performance Chemicals business has entered into a sales arrangement to supply FlamePRO® to Biewer Lumber. Supply will begin effective immediately and is estimated to generate sales of approximately $10 million over a two-year period, with the potential to extend for an additional 12 months. “Koppers is excited about the opportunities to grow in our select markets related to our fire-retardant product. We introduced FlamePRO® in September 2018 for wood-based construction applications and we are pleased that it is being recognized as a premier solution in the marketplace,” said Koppers Performance Chemicals Senior Vice President Doug Fenwick. Commenting on the partnership, Biewer Lumber Vice President Doug O’Rourke said, “…With the introduction of FlamePRO® into their portfolio, we felt that we could strengthen our position in the market with their partnership.”

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Forestry

Canada’s Forestry board the ‘worst in terms of gender representation,’ says forestry institute

By Christina Jung
CBC News
January 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

A new initiative by the Canadian Institute of Forestry is looking to find ways to promote gender equity in Canada’s forest sector and is creating a national action plan to support the “recruitment, retention and advancement of women.” “We see that women only make up about 17 per cent of the entire workforce,” Canadian Institute of Forestry executive director Dana Collins said, after the organization studied data from Natural Resources Canada. “As you start moving down the line and breaking that up into different positions, we see that that’s even less so within executive level positions.” Collins said out of all the industries across Canada, the board representation in the forestry sector is “the worst in terms of gender representation.” That’s why the institute has decided to put together a national action plan with “implementation strategies for all segments of the forest sector.” 

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Road density, mining and forestry threaten key species in Elk Valley

By Kimberley Vlasic
Fernie Free Press
January 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A landmark report has found road development is the biggest threat to key species and habitat in the Elk Valley. Mining and forest harvest are also putting stress on old growth forests, riparian habitat, westslope cutthroat trout, grizzly bears and bighorn sheep, according to the Elk Valley Cumulative Effects Assessment and Management Report. It proposes a number of mitigation measures to restore and protect these elected Valued Components. …The report is the first of its kind and the result of a unique partnership between the Ktunaxa Nation Council and other stakeholders, including mining and forestry companies, environmental groups, and government. …It is the only project in the province to consider potential conditions 50 years in the future, employing modern simulation technology, which draws on the knowledge of experts around the province.

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Conservation groups discover ancient old-growth forest near Port Renfrew

By Kevin Laird
Sooke News Mirror
January 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two Victoria-based forest conservation groups recently discovered an ancient grove near Port Renfrew that they’re calling the “the most magnificent and awe-inspiring old growth forest in the country.” Members of the Endangered Ecosystems Alliance and the Ancient Forest Alliance found the unprotected grove, with several near-record trees, in the San Juan River Valley in October. Ken Wu, the executive director of the Endangered Ecosystems Alliance, said the largest trees in grove are near-record size, including a Sitka spruce and bigleaf maple that would rank as the ninth widest on the B.C. big tree registry. …The grove is located on Crown land and managed by B.C. Timber Sales. There are no plans to log the area, but B.C. Timber Sales has come under fire for auctioning off old-growth forests for logging in areas of the Nahmint Valley and Schmidt Creek on Vancouver Island and Manning provincial park.

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Annapolis County council looking for answers after forestry faux pas

By Lawrence Powell
Cape Breton Post
January 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

CORBETT LAKE, N.S. – When Annapolis County’s municipal council heard in late December that yet more crown forest was up for public comment and possible harvest, Warden Timothy Habinski said council would meet over the holidays to discuss the matter and formulate a response. By the time it met on Jan. 3 the Department of Lands and Forestry said those posted parcels of land … had already been approved for harvest and the posting on the Harvest Plan Map Viewer in December had been a mistake. Councillors didn’t know what to think of the conflicting information… “We really need a clear understanding of exactly what it is the province is stating…” said Habinski. “…council made a resolution to direct … staff – to get in touch with the province and clarify exactly what the rules are surrounding this kind of a cut and how that process was followed, or not followed, by the province in this instance.”

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New Newfoundland and Labrador commercial cutting permit policy in effect

The Telegram
January 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Jan. 1 marked start of more direct use-it-or-lose-it approach. On New Year’s Day, a new forestry policy affecting commercial cutting permit allocations came into effect in Newfoundland and Labrador. The policy sees Fisheries and Land Resources staff making recommendations on future permit volumes for commercial cutting, after evaluating the applicant’s last two years of logging activity. For permit renewals, it means if the full allocation under the permit is not being used, the company may be permitted for less, freeing up resources for other harvesters. “There’s no economic benefit to having fibre, trees in the forest that are not being harvested,” Fisheries and Land Resources Minister Gerry Byrne told The Telegram, reiterating the Liberal government’s move to increase forestry activity. The Liberal’s “The Way Forward” plan explicitly stated their desire to see harvest levels in the province raised by 20 per cent from 2015 levels by 2020.

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Federal shutdown has halted some preparations for wildfires, and it could get worse

By Stuart Leavenworth
McClatchy Washington Bureau
January 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Training has been halted for thousands of western firefighters. The U.S. Forest Service can’t award contracts for needed equipment. In forests across the West, no federal employees are doing work to reduce dry “fuel” that feeds catastrophic blazes. These are some of the impacts of the 19-day federal shutdown on federal firefighters, and experts say the situation could quickly worsen. If the shutdown drags out for several more weeks, federal fire crews won’t be ready for the months ahead… “This is the second year in a row we’ve had a shutdown right in the middle of the (firefighter) training season,” said Jim Whittington, … who runs an Oregon-based crisis management consulting firm, Whittington & Associates. “The last thing we want is for fires to break out, and not have the kind of crews we need…” …Even without the shutdown, firefighters were facing an increasingly compressed “window” to prepare for the upcoming fire season, Whittington said. 

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Transgenic trees face rocky path from farm to forest

By Heidi Ledford
Nature – International Journal of Science
January 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

For more than three decades, US farmers have been growing genetically engineered crops. Now researchers are pushing to move the technology from farm to forest by releasing transgenic trees — engineered to carry genes that would make them resistant to pests — into the wild. Regulatory and research challenges to such genetically modified trees could make that transition harder, according to a report released by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on 8 January. However, genetic engineering’s potential to boost forest health is promising enough to warrant further research, the report authors say. Unfortunately, commercial interests are already hampering scientific work on transgenic trees, says plant geneticist Steven Strauss of Oregon State University in Corvallis. … few companies will allow him to plant his trees on their land because doing so could make them lose their certification by organizations including the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

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Government Shutdown Stalling Forest Thinning Projects

By Dennis Shanahan
Fox 40 News
January 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

POLLOCK PINES — President Donald Trump’s Wednesday tweet criticizing California’s forest management comes at a time when the government shutdown is preventing federal forest workers from doing their jobs. …Heather Campbell… a retired U.S. Forest Service ranger and firefighter who is now the director of the Pollock Pines-Camino Fire Safe Council. …This is the time of year when Forest Service crews are usually busy working to thin out the forests to reduce the threat of major wildfires. But that work is not being funded during the government shutdown. The president’s tweet is baffling to people like Campbell, who are familiar with the work that has been done. That work can ramp up again as soon as the government shutdown ends.

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Trump tells FEMA not to send more money to California for forest fires

By Brett Samuels and Timothy Cama
The Hill
January 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

President Trump said Wednesday that he has ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to withhold funding for California unless the state improves its forest management to prevent wildfires. “Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forrest (sic) fires that, with proper Forrest (sic) Management, would never happen,” Trump tweeted. …Trump has at least twice before threatened to withhold disaster funding from California and pressed the state to fix what he sees as major flaws with its forest management. Local officials and fire experts, meanwhile, have criticized Trump for ignoring the impact that climate change is having on the length and severity of fires while giving too much credit to forest management. …California passed a comprehensive law last year aimed at wildfires. …A majority of forest land in the state, however, is owned by the federal government.

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Trump, California spar over money for wildfire relief funds

By Kathleen Ronayne
Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
January 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. President Donald Trump threatened Wednesday to withhold money to help California cope with wildfires, a day after new Gov. Gavin Newsom asked him to double the federal investment in forest management. Trump again suggested poor forest management is to blame for California’s deadly wildfires and said he’s ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to stop giving the state money “unless they get their act together.” Fire scientists say climate change, not poor forest management, is the driving contributor to California’s increasingly destructive wildfires, many of which have not been primarily in forests. FEMA could not immediately comment because of the government shutdown. Trump has previously threatened to withhold wildfire payments but never followed through.

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Sustainable forestry awards announced

The Smoky Mountain News
January 9, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Megan Sutton

The Nature Conservancy’s work to promote sustainable forestry in Western North Carolina has been recognized with the organization receiving one of this year’s Root Cause Awards, which celebrate achievement in local forest products and sustainable forestry. The Nature Conservancy, led in WNC by Program Director Megan Sutton, won the Sustainable Forestry Award for its work to prevent wildfire through education and prescribed burning. …Other Root Cause winners included Asheville-based Navitat Canopy Adventures — which received the Support of Local Forest Products Award for its efforts in promoting zip-lining, an unconventional forest product — and Asheville woodworker Mike Hester, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award for welcoming customers to his woodworking shop for more than 40 years. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

4th Biomass Trade and Power Europe Summit Probes Record Price Rise, High Demand, Supply Crunches

Alternative Energy Magazine
January 9, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Major European utilities and global pellet suppliers return to Copenhagen on 12-13 February 2019 for CMT’s 4th Biomass Trade and Power Europe Summit to assess biomass price trends, capacity increases, and supply projections to satisfy the rising biomass demand in Europe. The acclaimed annual summit on Europe’s biomass power market trends makes a comeback in 2019 with a refreshed program featuring three panel discussions: A Utility and Trader Panel; The growth of the wood chip market; and Global Producer Panel. …Organized by Centre for Management Technology (CMT), the summit also focuses on: Overview of the European Wood Pellet Market; The Next Frontier for the Wood Pellet Market: A Look at Future Markets for the Wood Pellet Industry; Overview of the International Wood Chip Market – Hawkins Wright…

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