Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 8, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

We agree with Australia – wood IS better!

Tree Frog Forestry News
February 8, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

BC continues to prepare for the Softwood Lumber negotiations—on the heels of a lobbying announcement—Premier Christy Clark will be leading a BC envoy to Washington, DC to “make our voice heard on softwood in a singular way“. Clark turned to former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney for advice on selecting the envoy, saying “he’s very connected to some of the big players down there so getting insight from him about where we need to go“. Question is … who is the new envoy?

Australian forestry stories highlight the dilemma the industry faces most places these days – trying to grow (or maintain) the sector in the light of public opposition. Environmental groups complained that logging in Straghbogie State Forest would turn forests into woodchips and firewood, asking “aren’t our forests are worth more than this?“. However, the VicForest manager says the timber will be used for high quality flooring and furniture. Meanwhile the New South Wales Government is expanding their forest business with their biggest purchase of forest land since the 1980s.

Despite debate on land management, Australia is moving forward with their “Wood is Better” policy, kicking it up a notch with engineered timber on two fronts. The country’s tallest engineered timber building (an office building with 10 storeys!) will be built in Brisbane using CLT and glue laminated timber. The CLT will come from a recently completed factory (XLam) that received federal funding and will create over 50 direct jobs.    

–Tree Frog Editors

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Business & Politics

Forestry minister prepares for softwood lumber battle (audio)

By The Early Edition, CBC
CBC News
February 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s Minister of Forests Steve Thomson says he’s prepared for a challenge as he works with the federal government to negotiate a new softwood lumber trade deal with the Trump administration.. Rick Cluff, host of The Early edition, interviews B.C.’s Minister of Forests Steve Thomson about preparations for the softwood lumber agreement negotiations.
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Ready for softwood fight

By Alanna Kelly
Castanet
February 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s forests minister says the United States needs Canada’s softwood. Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission, and Susan Yurkovich of the B.C. Lumber Trade Council, met with the federal government in Ottawa on Monday to discuss the softwood lumber agreement. No common ground has been reached yet, but “they are going to need our lumber,” Thomson said Tuesday. “It’s beneficial for their economy, so it’s about how do we get that message and that understanding and how do we do it collectively with ourselves, the federal government and our industry representatives.” Negotiations on a new trade agreement have teetered on the edge of a legal battle. The 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement expired in October 2015.

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Tolko mill reopens after fatal sinking

The Daily Courier
February 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Tolko mill in Kelowna has partially resumed operations following the sinking of one of its tugboats that killed an employee last week. On Jan. 30, police received a call from Tolko employees reporting one of their commercial tugboats had sunk near Manhattan Point in Kelowna. The body of the tugboat operator, identified by Tolko as Ivor Lundin, was found inside the vessel early the next morning. A funeral for Lundin was held Tuesday in West Kelowna. “Mr. Lundin was a well-liked, 24-year employee of the mill,” said Troy Connolly, senior general manager, lumber. “Everyone at the Kelowna operation has been deeply affected by his loss, and our thoughts and sympathies remain with his family and friends.” Tolko resumed land-only operations at the mill on Friday, he said.

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Fire crews battle conveyor belt blaze at Canfor mill

By Chris Newton
Energetic City
February 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Firefighters from both the Charlie Lake and the Fort St. John Fire Departments were called out to tackle a fire at the Canfor sawmill late last night. Fort St. John Fire Chief Fred Burrows says that crews got the call regarding the fire shortly before midnight on Monday night. Upon arrival, crews discovered that a conveyor belt on one of the sawmill’s hopper bins had caught fire, in addition to some sawdust that was on the belt itself. Burrows says that fire crews from the Charlie Lake Fire Department were also called out, since the Canfor mill has a joint response from both departments.

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B.C. envoy to head to Washington in defence of softwood lumber: Clark

By Stephanie Ip
The Vancouver Sun
February 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States, Canada West

Premier Christy Clark is set to announce a B.C. envoy to Washington, D.C., charged with making a case for British Columbia’s softwood lumber industry in hopes of reaching a new trade agreement with the U.S. “We’re going to have to take our fight to Washington and we are going to have to fight it on the floor of Congress and the floor of the Senate and in the administration at the White House,” said Clark. “But we are going to be armed and ready because those jobs matter to a lot of British Columbians and a lot of communities. “Their future depends on forestry and we’ve got to keep it alive.” During an interview Tuesday with Postmedia columnist Vaughn Palmer, Clark acknowledged there was still much uncertainty over the future of softwood lumber and where President Donald Trump’s administration is headed in terms of trade relationships.

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Soaring power bills threaten heavy industry, forestry in BC

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
February 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tax breaks for big business and heavy industry don’t usually play well on Main Street. But a distress call from heavy industry and the forestry sector is being picked up and relayed by labour, small business and the mayors of eight resource communities throughout B.C. The eight mayors, Unifor, the Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC) and a number of small businesses are lobbying to have the 7% PST on industrial power sales scrapped in the next provincial budget. If it’s not, they fear heavy industry will become unsustainable in B.C. Three pulp and paper mills closed in 2015, and if more closures follow, it would have a domino effect that would likely trigger the closure of sawmills, they warn.

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‘We’re not naive’: B.C. Forestry Minister prepares for ‘challenging’ softwood lumber negotiations

CBC News
February 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States, Canada West

B.C.’s Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations says he’s gearing up for what could be challenging and lengthy negotiations surrounding softwood lumber trade with the United States. Yesterday, the provincial government and the B.C. Lumber Trade Council announced they will launch a lobbying campaign to try and convince their U.S. counterparts for an equitable softwood lumber deal. Steve Thomson told CBC’s The Early Edition that he’s preparing for a drawn out battle. “We’re not naive at all to the challenge,” Thomson said. “We’re going to be making all efforts. We have a great, collaborative working relationship with the federal government on it.” The softwood lumber industry has been one of the biggest trade disputes between the U.S. and Canada resulting in years of litigation.

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Guidelines after death

Castanet
February 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. Forest Safety Council is urging sawmill workers not to become complacent on the job following the death of a man in Lumby on Jan. 27th. The man was fatally injured while doing maintenance at a sawmill in the village. “Our condolences go out to the family and co-workers of the deceased,” said the council in a release. The council said it has not been confirmed if the incident was a direct manufacturing fatality and the details are still unknown.

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Logging trailers built in Vanderhoof a boon to industry

By the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Government of British Columbia
February 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

FreFlyt Industries is doing its part to help find efficiencies in the forest sector.  The company’s new, nine-axle logging truck trailers make it more efficient for Interior logging companies to move logs from the bush to the mill site. Their new truck and trailer combination allows for a gross vehicle weight of 71 tonnes, which represents a 16% increase in payload capacity over a conventional six-axle truck-trailer configuration. The larger trailers improve the economic feasibility of hauling logs from more remote areas. …This project has been a collaborative effort involving the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, FPInnovations and forestry partners that include Canfor,West Fraser and Tolko.

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Tembec announces appointment of new Director

By Tembec
Canada NewsWire
February 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – Tembec  is pleased to announce the appointment of Pierre Gignac to the Board of Directors of the Company. Mr. Gignac joins Tembec’s Board with broad international experience and expertise in Enterprise Risk Management, Corporate Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Finance. Mr. Gignac served as the Senior Vice-President of Enterprise Risk Management and Chief Risk Officer at Export Development Canada (“EDC”), as Acting President and Acting Chief Executive Officer of EDC from June 3, 2013 to February 2014 and in a variety of senior roles at EDC from the time he first joined in 1999. EDC, a Crown corporation, is Canada’s export credit agency, providing financing and insurance solutions locally and around the world to help Canadian companies of any size respond to international business opportunities.

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Irving expects to hire 498 people in PEI over next three years

By Kevin Yarr
CBC News
February 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The three-year forecast for JD Irving on P.E.I. has the company expecting to hire 498 new employees. The vast majority of that hiring will be to fill existing positions. “Our focus is to help grow the local talent that’s required for the various businesses, to keep them at home. But we also are bringing some folks home,” said Mary Keith, vice-president of communications. “We’ve got a number of folks that have returned from the west to work in some of the industrial operations that we have. Then there are people who are looking to make the region home.”

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Sonny Perdue, Trump’s Agriculture Pick, Could Roll Back Forest Protections

By Georgina Gustin
Inside Climate News
February 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The man nominated by President Donald Trump to steward the national forests as secretary of agriculture, former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, is drawing opposition from conservationists and climate activists, who are concerned about Perdue’s ties to the timber industry and his dismissal of climate change science. Perdue comes from Georgia, one of the country’s biggest timber states, at the heart of a region that cuts and sells more wood than any other on the planet—the “wood basket” of the world. A woodland owner himself, Perdue has questioned the link between extreme weather and climate change, has taken campaign funding from the timber industry and has been a booster of converting wood to ethanol, with potential climate consequences.

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German softwood lumber output down 2.0% in Q3 2016

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
February 8, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Rough-sawn softwood lumber production in the German sawmilling industry in the third quarter of 2016 was 2.0% lower than in the same quarter of the year before at 4.534m m³. According to Destatis, the federal statistics office, 3.631m m³ was earmarked for sale to external buyers; this equates to a reduction of 1.8%. The revenues generated from sales also fell by 1.8% to €658.5m. The volumes produced in the first and second quarters were 0.8% and 4.3% higher respectively than in the reference quarters of the previous year.

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€4.5m land and forestry investment fraud uncovered

By Amy McShane
irish Farmers Journal
February 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A land and forestry investment fraud involving €4.5m has been uncovered by gardaí from the National Economic Crime Bureau (GNECB). Two men were arrested on Monday and are being questioned in Bray and Dún Laoghaire Garda stations. As part of this investigation, the GNECB has frozen a significant amount of money held in Irish banks. A male in his 40s who had been detained at Bray Garda Station in relation to alleged investment fraud and money laundering offences involving up to €5m is scheduled to appear before Dún Laoghaire District Court on Tuesday, charged in connection with the investigation. It is believed detectives have discovered over 200 people who have been deceived into buying the same plots of land in Roscommon and Laois.

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NSW Government makes biggest acquisition of forestry in decades to boost softwood production

By Gavin Coote
ABC News, Australia
February 8, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The New South Wales Government is not ruling out further expansion of its forestry business after making its biggest acquisition since the 1980s. The Forestry Corporation has bought 7,000 hectares of pine plantation and plantable land near the timber towns of Oberon, Tumut and Tumbarumba. The state-owned corporation already manages about 220,000 hectares of softwood plantations as part of the $1.92 million industry. New Lands and Forestry Minister Paul Toole made the announcement on Wednesday near Oberon, which falls within his local electorate of Bathurst and has the second-highest number of workers in the NSW forestry industry. Locally in Oberon, the timber industry makes up about 20 per cent of the region’s workforce, employing about 500 people.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Athena Sustainable Materials Institute Releases Update to Popular Impact Estimator for Buildings

By The Athena Sustainable Materials Institute 
PR Web
February 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

The popular and free Athena Impact Estimator for Buildings has been updated to further simplify life cycle assessment (LCA) for building designers and sustainability consultants. The new version 5.2 includes these improvements: A much faster internal engine; Improved reporting for the LEED v4 LCA credit; New assembly mapping for “extra basic materials”; Updated life cycle data for precast and ready mixed concrete, concrete block, and cement; New products: Duro-Last® and Sika Sarnafil roofing products, and glass mat gypsum panels.

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Fire at new AvalonBay development in Maplewood renews debate about lightweight construction

By Krystal Knapp
Planet Princeton
February 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A six-alarm fire destroyed the unfinished portion of an AvalonBay apartment complex in Maplewood this weekend, almost two years after a maintenance worker started fire with a blowtorch at another AvalonBay building in Edgewater, displacing nearly 1,000 people and leaving about 500 people homeless. …Lightweight wood-frame construction is popular with many developers because it is faster and less expensive to build with. the current code allows lightweight wood construction in buildings up to 60 feet tall if the first level is concrete. Safety advocates have been calling for a ban on lightweight wood construction in buildings taller than three stories, but proposed legislation has stalled. The Saturday fire has renewed the push for legislation banning lightweight construction.

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Councils Decide: Wood is Better

By Jack Haber
Sourceable
February 8, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

In May 2015, the Municipal Association of Vic endorsed Latrobe City’s Wood Encouragement Policy. Since then, Wellington Shire Council became the second local government area endorsement. Now this month, the Fraser Coast Council became the first LGA in Queensland to adopt a similar stance. …Ross Hampton, CEO of the Australian Forest Products Association, has stated “all over the world in countries such as Canada and France, governments are making the decision to change their tender processes to better accommodate timber.” Australian councils are joining others around the world, including Rotorua in New Zealand, Hackney in London, British Columbia in Canada, Finland, France and the Netherlands. The policy is being framed by these councils to take advantage of the sustainability, environmental and health benefits of wood and encourage the use of wood as the preferred material for construction and fit out of new buildings where appropriate.

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Tallest timber office to call Brisbane home

By Carolyn Cummins
The Sydney Morning Herald
February 8, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The country’s largest timber building will call Brisbane home in a deal worth $140 million between developer Lendlease? and the Liberman? family-backed Impact Investment Group. Known as 5 King, the property will be one the final projects to be delivered in the $2.9 billion renewal of the Brisbane Showgrounds precinct in Fortitude Valley. …It will eclipse the Forte timber apartment building in Melbourne’s Docklands by four storeys and well overshadow the six-storey International House Sydney at Barangaroo, all of which were developed by Lendlease. …The appeal of buildings made from engineered timber are that they have a lower carbon footprint than other building materials. The production process produces zero waste, and timbers are sourced from certified sustainably-managed forests. They also produce less CO2 during ongoing operation.

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STIDC launches plan for value-added, high income timber industry

The Borneo Post
February 8, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

KUCHING: Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) launched its ‘STIDC Strategic Planning Plan, 2016-2020’ as part of efforts to establish a value-added high income sector in the state’s timber industry. Second Minister of Resource Planning and Environment Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said among matters highlighted in the plan included developing an export-oriented furniture industry, value-added panel industry and pulp and paper industry. “In line with STIDC’s mission of ‘To regulate and facilitate the advancement of an innovative timber industry’, we therefore have to come up with an action plan to establish a high-income, value-added industry,” he said at an assembly held at STIDC seminar hall in Wisma Sumber Alam here yesterday.

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Australia’s tallest engineered timber building planned for Brisbane

By Rosanne Barrett
The Australian
February 8, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Australia’s tallest engineered timber building will be developed in Brisbane by Lendlease and Impact Investment Group. Impact Investment Group will fund the development of the 45m-tall building, 5 King, at the Brisbane Showgrounds complex and own the 10-level building on completion. The valuation of about $140m reflects a net yield of 6.5 per cent. …Designed by Bates Smart with engineering services from Aurecon, the materials will come from new, sustainably-sourced, engineered timber. It will use cross-laminated timber (CLT) for the floors, lift shafts and stairs; glue-laminated timber for the beams and columns; energy-efficient LED lighting, optimised airconditioning and rooftop rainwater harvesting. IIG said engineered timber buildings produced about half the volume of carbon emissions compared to equivalent concrete and steel during construction and ongoing operation.

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XLam product to be used in construction of 10-storey extension to Southbank property

By David Johnston
The Border Mail
February 8, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A MULTI-million dollar Melbourne building extension will be one of the first projects to use a sustainable timber material produced at the Logic industrial hub at North Barnawartha. XLam is nearing completion of its $25 million cross-laminated timber factory at Logic with the Victorian government approving the 10-storey extension of the Southbank Boulevard which will become a hotel. …Cross-laminated timber is an engineered wood product renowned for its exceptional strength and rigidity. It will also be used in Australia’s tallest engineered timber building (45 metres) to be built in Brisbane and has already been used in the construction of a 10-storey Docklands apartment tower. Once operational, the XLam factory will produce 60,000 cubic metres of cross-laminated timber annually.

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Forestry

Scientist: High resolution mapping needed for N.S.

By Heather Desveaux
Chronicle Herald
February 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

About one hundred professionals and students specializing in the field of geomatics are at the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) in Lawrencetown this week to take a closer look at topics, trends and technologies used in high resolution mapping areas where land meets the sea. “This work is critical, especially to to enhance and help Nova Scotia’s rural economy when it comes to development of our coastal resources,” said Tim Webster, who is the lead scientist with the Applied Geomatics Research Group at NSCC Middleton campus and chair of the N.S. Canadian Institute of Geomatics. …Webster said prioritizing the land is due to the significance of the forest sector to Nova Scotia’s economy, and LiDAR is useful in that it helps see the forest through the trees.

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Province marks one year of open data

Chronicle Herald
February 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The province marked one year of open data by making 50 new and refreshed collections publicly available via its online portal. Tuesday’s release brings the total number of datasets publicly released over the past year to nearly 400. The open data portal offers information in an easily accessible format. …Two businessmen making use of open data are Alastair Jarvis and his business partner Will Martin, who created WoodsCamp, an online tool that uses the province’s forest inventory data to match woodlot owners with loggers and markets for their timber.

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Gov. Brown fails to lead on natural resource issues

By James B. Stengle, retired certified wildlife biologist
The Oregonian
February 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


It is time to take the gloves off with our “accidental” Governor Kate Brown. Her lack of knowledge, insight and leadership on our natural resources should be disturbing to all Oregonians. …Separately, the Elliott State Forest on our South Coast is up for sale to a timber company that partnered with a tribe. …Selling off our public lands to the highest bidder is wrong at every level. …I am concerned that the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) has actively worked to suppress scientific findings by other state agencies because of potential impacts to the timber industry. My concern extends to ODF suppressing a water quality report developed by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Throughout the governor has been silent.

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New Washington State lands commissioner promises balance in meeting operation goals

By Brandon Hansen
The Independent
February 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Hilary Franz became the state’s new commissioner of Public Lands last month after earning that title in the November election. The management of much of the state’s natural resources rests with her department. …As commissioner, Franz administers the state Department of Natural Resources and its 1,500 employees, directs the management of 5.6 million acres of state-owned lands, directs resource protection on millions of acres of state and private forest lands and chairs the state’s Board of Natural Resources and the Forest Practices Board. The natural resources board has final approval authority on state trust-land timber sales, and on sales, exchanges or purchases of trust lands. It also establishes the sustainable harvest level for forested trust lands.

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Forest audit finds Idaho loggers following state rules

By Keith Ridler
Associated Press in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
February 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

BOISE, Idaho – Idaho’s logging rules intended to protect water quality in streams inhabited by fish are effective and loggers are following those rules, state officials say. The Idaho 2016 Interagency Forest Practices Water Quality Audit released late last week found an overall compliance rate of 96 percent at 62 randomly selected sites that include state and private lands, as well as federal lands under an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service. The rules have “had a huge impact on improving water quality,” said Gary Hess, Forest Practices Program manager for the Idaho Department of Lands. He visited sites with Hawk Stone, a surface water specialist with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, to conduct the audit.

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No more timber to fall in Strathbogie State forest

Shepparton News
February 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A spokesman for a local environmental group wished VicForests would pack up and go away after a recent single-selection timber harvest in Strathbogie State Forest. Strathbogie Sustainable Forests Group’s Sim Ayers said the group was pleased harvesting had stopped, but expressed concern with the amount of timber taken from the forest. ‘‘What’s left is not much,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s good they’ve stopped now, but no-one seems to regulate it. ‘‘It’s ignorance by choice — we will log until we’ve been told to stop.’’ VicForests stakeholders and planning general manager Lachlan Spencer said the operation had been completed without complications and the site would begin regenerating. ‘‘The single-tree selection method that was used for this operation is low intensity and leaves more trees behind than are taken,’’ he said.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Evolution Markets brokers residential wood pellet futures trade

By Evolution Markets
Biomass Magazine
February 7, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Evolution Markets recently announced it has facilitated the first futures trade in residential wood pellets on the Euronext exchange. The trade between Swedish utility Vattenfall and a European energy company was arranged over-the-counter and executed on Euronext as an Exchange for Swap transaction. The trade was cleared by LCH SA. “Biomass market participants are seeking the means to hedge price risk, especially as it relates to the weather, and the Euronext futures contract offers this opportunity,” said Ben Gibson, vice president of biomass markets for Evolution Markets Ltd. “We are delighted to draw upon our deep knowledge of the biomass industry to arrange the first cleared EFS trade for residential wood pellets.”

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