Tuesday 19 April 2022
$1.3M GRANT TO TURN SPLINTERS INTO STRUCTURES
A first of its kind Green Triangle wood trial will explore how to use low value fibre in a new structural timber product thanks to a $1.3 million contribution from the Federal Government, announced today at the Port of Portland by Member for Wannon Dan Tehan and Member for Barker Tony Pasin.
Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) in partnership with the Green Triangle Forest Industries Hub (GTFIH) have received an Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation (ATMAC) Program grant to explore opportunities to create new wood products utilising softwood and hardwood pulp log.
GTFIH executive general manager Liz McKinnon said the Splinters to Structures: Value Adding to Exported Wood Fibre project was derived from an industry-wide wood flow study last year by IndustryEdge, which identified new market opportunities and areas to optimise fibre use across the Green Triangle.
“Recent export log bans to China highlighted the lack of domestic processing opportunities for both softwood pulp log and hardwood chip, whilst at the same time there has been a shortage of structural timber to meet growing housing demand,” Ms McKinnon said.
“This project will determine whether it is feasible to manufacture an engineered wood product for use in building construction using this fibre.
“The focus is on creating new hybrid wood products, combining these two fibres to make stronger timber and in turn meet growing domestic and international demand, which we know is going to quadruple by 2050.
“The Hub has committed to 100 per cent fibre optimisation – essentially we need to do more with less – with this project providing an avenue to further diversify our market base, generating new jobs and sustainability for our sector.”
The whole supply chain has come together to invest in the project with Australia’s major plantation growers offering wood for testing and major manufacturing plants supporting sawmilling trials to understand the fibre potential.
The GTFIH membership has committed $110,000 cash, in addition to extensive in-kind support valued at more than $468,000.
Ms McKinnon said the project would start immediately.
“This project is so important to industry as it will diversify our market base, optimise the use of low grade timber, creating a new higher value product that will generate new local jobs,” she said.
“We thank the Federal Government for this generous contribution and look forward to continued partnership as we realise these new investment and trade opportunities.”