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    22.11.2017   HOMAG Group continues to grow    ( Company news )

    Company news
    In the first nine month of 2017, the HOMAG Group, the world's leading manufacturer of machines and systems for the woodworking industry and trade, continued its positive performance and recorded significant increases, especially in incoming orders and earnings.

    The HOMAG Group's incoming orders rose by 26 percent to € 1,079 million (previous year: € 858 million). On September 30, 2017, it recorded an order backlog of € 578 million (September 30, 2016: € 381 million), while sales were up 12 percent, reaching € 901 million (previous year: € 804 million). Operating EBIT rose by 47 percent to € 71.1 million (previous year: € 49.6 million). As at September 30, 2017, the HOMAG Group had 6,316 employees (previous year: 6,072 employees).

    "We are still seeing a high level of demand for our solutions", highlights CEO Pekka Paasivaara (photo). "And we are successful in all regions around the world." CFO Franz Peter Matheis sees the disproportionately strong increase in earnings as a validation of the measures taken to achieve efficiency gains. "We have standardized and optimized our processes and systems and made our production more efficient. Although we have already achieved a lot, we want to keep on getting better. This is why we have initiated a comprehensive Operational Excellence Program."

    Paasivaara expects further growth, mainly as a result of the customer trend toward digitization and automation. By offering end-to-end solutions, the HOMAG Group sees itself as a long-term partner to its customers. With this in mind, the HOMAG Group expects 2017 to be a successful year overall, and it remains confident for 2018, not least given the high order backlog.
    (Homag Holzbearbeitungssysteme GmbH)
     
    21.11.2017   Moelven earned NOK 296 million     ( Company news )

    Company news
    Moelven improved its operating result for the first nine months by NOK 24 million compared with the corresponding period last year.

    In the results for the first nine months the Group has entered a total of NOK 46 million as costs as a result of the decision to discontinue activities at Moelven Norsälven AB and resolution of a dispute related to a larger project in the Building Systems division. The underlying operating improvement so far this year is NOK 71 million compared to the corresponding period last year.

    Good underlying operations
    In the year’s 3rd quarter the Group earned NOK 84 million compared to NOK 66 million in the corresponding period the previous year.

    “Demand for the Group’s products and services developed as expected and was satisfactory overall,” says CEO Morten Kristiansen (photo) of Moelven Industrier ASA.

    Increased sales
    Revenues in the third quarter were NOK 2,441 million (NOK 2,359 million) and NOK 8 060 million (NOK 7 894 million) year to date.

    “We increased sales in the latest quarter and year to date by NOK 82 millioner and NOK 166 million respectively compared to the same periods last year. There has been good demand for sawn timber internationally, satisfactory activity in the building materials trade in Scandinavia and a healthy level of activity and a good order backlog in the Building Systems project division,” Kristiansen says.

    Climate-friendly wood
    The CEO explains that the increasing interest in climate-friendly construction and in wood as a building material is notable in all three divisions.

    “But the effect is most pronounced in the Building Systems division, which delivers small and large projects all over Scandinavia. This applies to both bridges and other projects where load-bearing structures in glulam dominate, in addition to module-based apartment buildings,” Kristiansen says.

    Satisfactory timber inventories
    In some areas the supply of sawlogs has been somewhat reduced due to the wet autumn, but at the end of the quarter sawlogs inventories were nevertheless satisfactory and on a par with the same time last year.

    “In both Norway and Sweden prices for sawlogs have increased slightly compared to the same period last year. Prices for chip and fibre products were at the same level as the third quarter last year, but for the Norwegian units, currency conditions and costs related to logistics have had a certain negative impact,” Kristiansen says.

    Increase in revenues
    For the Group as a whole revenues are expected to increase somewhat. The programme for operational improvement and structuring of the Group in line with the long-term strategy plan continues unabated and will contribute to continued improved profitability for the underlying operations.

    “The Group's composition, with divisions that experience different impacts from economic fluctuations and units that operate in different markets, provide us with a good starting point for further improvements. Overall, the result for 2017 is expected to be somewhat better than for 2016. We have a long-term goal of a return on capital employed of 13 per cent over an economic cycle. The Group has sufficient solidity and long-term access to liquidity to implement the restructuring and improvement projects required to achieve this goal,” Kristiansen says.
    (Moelven Industrier ASA)
     
    20.11.2017   Individuality is the key! Supreme discipline batch size 1    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Individual design, customization and fast delivery require an intelligent production with optimal material flow. Batch size 1 production requires an absolute process command. Right here we have the best knowledge. Today we offer you best technical solutions for your tomorrow’s production. An example is the new collating center TLB 321.

    Material management with more than 100,000 articles or machines that process more than 10,000 parts - both is no longer special for medium-sized companies, but is a prerequisite to remain competitive. How is it possible to produce profi tably and deliver "just in time" assortments even in batch size 1? HOMAG has the answer.

    Operating machines working in an automated environment have a clearly greater utilization factor than machines that are supplied manually in a traditional way with material. Automation solutions of HOMAG connect individual machines to userfriendly operation cells with high added value due to the control by intelligent software.

    Material flow with superhuman reliability
    Sorting in batch size 1. That is possible with the collating center TLB 321. Arriving panel streams are decoupled, sorted and provided to the next process in ideal order. The material is exactly positioned already when taken out of the transport belt. The new designed carriage whose surface can be flexibly used will be especially helpful in this respect.

    The carriage design also ensures better space use of the shelves, which can be served by the transport element carriage. The reason is the simultaneous transport and telescoping of workpieces onto the carriage. Using the TLB 321 enables ideal use of sheds, multiple storing of workpieces in a row and side by side, and an optimal utilization of the available space.

    However, the carriage is only one component of the new development. There are interesting developments in the topic of maintainability. The switch cabinet is a fixed component of the carriage frame and in the event of maintenance can be driven in an ideal position for the user. Several quick-change modules have also been integrated into the TLB to maintain various components without significant loss of time.

    In the end, the use according to size and capacity is only limited by the range of laser measurement. A sorting alley can be extended up to a length of 45 meters module by module due to the unitized scalable modular system. How many of these alleys are positioned next to each other depends on the customer's requirements. Finally, the customer has to decide.

    Uwe von Allwörden, Technical Sales Manager: "Today, it is our demand to develop affordable machines for all market segments so that also a handicraft enterprise may partly be automated. In this respect intelligent material streams are important which are only enabled through a continuous data management, and a project team that develops solutions by design."

    From small to large, single to complex
    HOMAG machines change furniture production in a revolutionary manner due to the material and data flow. The optimal capacity utilization of the operating machines and production center is a key element of the production's organization. Intelligent continuous software solutions link operation cells through innovative feeding and stacking systems, robot guided pick & place applications, and automatic storage and collating systems.

    The result: Efficiency and productivity multiply. Precision and repeat accuracy on high availability and process safety are improved in yet unknown magnitude. The fully automatic material management reduced costs in noticeable degrees.
    (Homag Automation GmbH)
     
    17.11.2017   Stora Enso to divest Puumerkki, a wholesaler of wooden building materials    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Stora Enso has divested 100% of its shares in the Finnish Puumerkki Oy and the Estonian Puumerkki AS to Mimir Invest AB, a global investment firm. Puumerkki is a specialised wholesaler of wooden building materials and was 100% owned by Stora Enso.

    This divestment supports Stora Enso’s Wood Products division in focusing on its growth strategy and further build on the strength of the premium portfolio of products and services. Puumerkki’s wholesale business does not belong to Stora Enso’s core business. The new owner is in a better position to give Puumerkki the attention it deserves and ensure its long-term development. Puumerkki will continue to be a key customer for Stora Enso’s renewable building materials also going forward.

    Puumerkki’s sales in 2016 were approximately EUR 160 million, and it has approximately 170 employees. The transaction was finalised immediately, and it will have no significant impact on Stora Enso’s operational EBIT or net debt. Stora Enso will book a loss of EUR 8 million in its operational EBIT in the fourth quarter of 2017 as an item affecting comparability (IAC).
    (Stora Enso Timber)
     
    16.11.2017   Weinig presents new CNC solution for furniture and frame construction    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Weinig has made a further addition to the Conturex CNC system with a new solution for furniture and frame construction.

    The C 125 Vario Furniture is based upon proven patented clamping table technology and combines maximum output with optimal flexibility. The new development is designed as a double-part system with special individual clamping technology. In keeping with this design, the C 125 Vario Furniture has parallel charging and unloading. This allows an output of 2 parts per minute in furniture applications. Two interpolating 5-axis heads ensure optimal flexibility with complex curved parts. The large parts buffer for up to 240 parts fulfills the prerequisites for long-term unmanned production. Integration into the Weinig Solid Wood Work Flow (WF) system ensures dynamic process sequences optimized in real time. Behind this stands an integrated software solution from idea to finished work piece. Besides the benefits of a standardized data set for all production processes, and the entire peripherals, WF includes parts identification via different processes, work piece data administration including an interface with angle units and monitoring via app and desktop. Owing to the comprehensive digital architecture, WF is ideally suited to virtual commissioning.

    One highlight of the C 125 Vario Furniture is the new Weinig CAM. This is a 3D CAD/CAM system, that can be integrated into every Conturex going forward. Simple and fast programming is just one of its many outstanding qualities. As a geometry-based system, Weinig CAM also offers a fully-fledged drawing program with smart commands. All standard CAD formats, such as dxf, dwg, solid, stl, rhino and parasolid, are supported. Unlike conventional systems that do not allow 3D surface processing, Weinig CAM includes 3D 5-axis interpolation. Other customer benefits include greater reliability thanks to detailed simulation down to single-item batches, simple operation via macro programming and modular design from 2D to 3D interpolation. Furthermore, Weinig CAM significantly increases flexibility. Unlike comparable systems, installation takes place in the office. Product Manager Michael Hemmerich: “This is not only a general technical trend, it is also completely consistent since the Conturex is a fully-automated production machine.”

    In the C 125 Vario Furniture, Weinig marks a new milestone in the evolution of the Conturex system. However, the designers are already thinking further ahead: The long-term objective of the latest stage of development is to offer individual automation solutions for a wide variety of solutions in the furniture sector.
    (Michael Weinig Aktiengesellschaft)
     
    15.11.2017   CNC Timber-Evolution Days first edition: a great success    ( Company news )

    Company news
    On October 12 to 13, in the splendid Tuscan autumn setting of the SCM Sinalunga plant, a number of companies and technological partners from the wooden construction industries in Japan, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Portugal, Denmark and Italy have assembled in order to learn first-hand about the latest developments in Oikos and Area CNC machining centres. A great number of interested companies flocked to the first edition of the SCM open-house dedicated to constructors of large and small wooden buildings, residential and public; a clearly successful event with massive international presence during which SCM introduced new technological training programmes.

    Tommaso Martini, SCM Machining Centres for Timber Construction BU Manager, sums up well the energetic enthusiasm during the Tuscan days: "The fact that wooden buildings are more popular these days is also due to the great technological developments in this sector, achieved by research & development efforts in which SCM has invested heavily and continues to invest. SCM's CNC TIMBER-EVOLUTION finds its best expression in the Oikos and Area machining centres, which provide continuous innovation, maximum precision, application flexibility and ease of use, and which our partners from around the world continue to use to Build the Future with Wood."

    During the open-house event, a programme of technical demonstrations illustrated the peerless performance of the OIKOS machining centres by processing structural beams and X-LAM/CLT wall panels, as well as that of the AREA centres by processing walls, insulating panels and curved beams. These are two different machines, yet both are based on the same design principles that characterise all the SCM machining centres. Great interest was shown in the demonstrations of the SCM Beam & Wall Maestro software, where you could actually feel the ease of programming and controlling the Oikos and Area centres.

    A new partnership between SCM and the Turin Politecnico's Department of Architecture and Design (DAD) was announced during the open-house event. This long-term collaboration between the academic and industrial worlds is certain to produce ever more efficient and better technological solutions.
    (SCM Group S.p.A.)
     
    14.11.2017   Think Click! CoFix is the innovative connecting fitting by Hettich    ( Company news )

    Company news
    CoFix is the innovative connecting fitting by Hettich. Disassemble and reassemble upholstered furniture with just a click thanks to the new fitting. Transport, production or logistics – there are enough reasons to take apart upholstered furniture. The quick disassembly and reassembly also offers manufacturers new and unprecedented opportunities for modular product design. Did it click?

    CoFix is a K. D. fitting for upholstered furniture that permits arm- and backrests and even complete sofa bases to be knocked down into small units that are easy to handle. With CoFix, upholstered furniture can be knocked down completely, the individual parts can be transported easily and then can be reassembled at the customer's site. CoFix facilitates handling of upholstered furniture and therefore improves production, storage and transport of furniture. Flexible platform concepts are possible at any point of the value chain. Even topics such as environment protection and workplace safety are being improved at the same time.
    (Hettich Holding GmbH & Co. oHG)
     
    13.11.2017   Record increase in electricity from the forest     ( Company news )

    Company news
    Between January and September, Södra delivered 15 times more green electricity to the public electricity grid compared with the same period in 2015, an increase from 11 to 167 GWh. Deliveries are equivalent to the total electricity consumption of 7,000 houses per year. The electricity is produced from the forest raw material that is processed at Södra’s mills.

    “We are very pleased with this substantial increase. It shows how we can use innovation and investments in green industry to meet important societal needs,” said Roine Morin, Sustainability Director at Södra.
    Electricity is mainly generated at the three pulp mills in Värö, Mörrum and Mönsterås. In 2016, major investments were made at these mills, that provided the basis for the increase in deliveries. The largest investments were made at the Värö pulp mill, which increased its electricity generation by almost 70 percent, from 232 to 390 GWh, compared with January to September 2015.

    “The electricity is a by-product created through the use of resource-efficient solutions in production. This is one example of how the forest has a key role to play in the transition to a bioeconomy,” said Roine Morin.

    Södra has been self-sufficient in green electricity since 2007. At the same time, Södra is working to reduce its own electricity consumption. One of Södra’s sustainability targets concerns the efficient resource utilisation of electricity, with the aim of reducing consumption by at least 10 percent by 2025.
    (Södra Timber AB)
     
    10.11.2017   Tool changes with effortless ease with Weinig ServoLock    ( Company news )

    Company news
    A high degree of user-friendliness is a hallmark of Weinig moulders. In the new ServoLock aid, the market leader in machines and systems for solid wood processing sets standards once again.

    Photo: Weinig ServoLock: Loosening and tightening of the spindle nut have never been easier

    ServoLock makes the clamping of drilling tools more convenient than ever. Previously, a spindle nut would have to be loosened and tightened with a combination wrench. Handling such a key is awkward because the direction of rotation cannot be precisely defined. Loosening and tightening the spindle nut also requires a high amount of force to reach the specified torque of 80 Nm.

    This is precisely where Weinig ServoLock comes into its own. An internal gearbox ensures significant reduction of the manual effort required. This means spindle nuts can be loosened and tightened with effortless ease. Weinig ServoLock also has an in-built slipping clutch that, similarly to a torque wrench, ensures that the spindle nut is always tightened with the correct torque. The direction of rotation is marked with arrows to make handling easier. A further benefit is the saving in setup time via the rapid loosening and clamping of the spindle nut. ServoLock replaces the traditional tool wrench and can be used with most Weinig moulders. No adaptation of the machine is necessary. ServoLock can be ordered directly from the manufacturer.
    (Michael Weinig Aktiengesellschaft)
     
    09.11.2017   Setra invests in a new trim saw and planing machine in Hasselfors    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Wood products company Setra is investing in a new trim saw with integrated planing machine at its mill in Hasselfors (photo). The investment is expected to deliver major efficiency gains and help to strengthen Setra’s position in the global construction market.

    Setra’s Board has decided to invest in a new trim saw with integrated planing machine at Hasselfors sawmill. The new investment, amounting to SEK 300 million, is expected to deliver major efficiency gains and forms an integral part of Setra’s strategy to increase the proportion of finished products in response to the growing demand in the global construction market.

    “This investment will allow us to boost our competitiveness and sharpen up our offer to customers in Sweden, the rest of Europe and, not least, markets outside Europe. The investment will also mean greater flexibility and better service for existing and new customers alike,” says Olle Berg, Market Director at Setra.

    With the new facility in place, the mill in Hasselfors is expected to produce 320,000 m3 of wood products. Planed products will make up around two thirds of overall production.

    “This is a major step in our Hasselfors mill’s continued development. The new trim saw and planing machine will enable us to significantly improve the efficiency of our current operation. We’ll be able to expand and enhance our product portfolio and better meet our customers’ wishes, which is something we’re really looking forward to,” explains Jonas Fintling, Mill Manager at Setra Hasselfors.
    (Setra Group)
     
    08.11.2017   Södra strengthens offer for softwood pulpwood and small-diameter timber    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Demand for softwood pulpwood is high. The strategic investments in Södra’s mills have now led to higher fibre consumption. Södra is therefore raising the price of softwood pulpwood to SEK 320/mᶾ sub. The price of the small-diameter and softwood block range will also be raised by SEK 25/mᶾ sub.

    “The high demand for both sawlogs and softwood/hardwood pulpwood is gratifying for forest owners. The price increases will create excellent conditions for increasing the level of thinning in members’ forests,” said Olof Hansson, Acting President of the Södra Skog business area.

    Markets for sawn timber remain favourable, and therefore demand for pine and spruce logs. Södra has therefore decided to incorporate the existing contracting premium of SEK 25/mᶾ sub into the basic price.

    The new prices will apply for contracts signed as of 23 October.
    (Södra Timber AB)
     
    07.11.2017   UPM moves forward in sustainable biochemicals business    ( Company news )

    Company news
    UPM moves forward with the development of biochemicals business by evaluating the potential of building a biorefinery in the Chemical Park Frankfurt-Höchst in Germany. The new-to-the-world biorefinery would combine novel technologies and utilize sustainable wood raw material in an innovative way. This opportunity is the outcome of more than five years of extensive technology development and piloting.

    Photo: Juuso Konttinen, Vice President, UPM Biochemicals

    The planned industrial scale biorefinery would convert wood into bio-monoethylene glycol (bMEG), bio-monopropylene glycol (bMPG) and lignin up to 150,000 metric tons per year. Production would be based on hardwood from sustainably managed forests in Central Europe.

    Application areas for bio-monoethylene glycol include textiles, bottles, packaging and deicing fluids. Bio-monopropylene glycol is used for example in composites, pharma and cosmetics or detergents. Lignin can be used for example in wood resins, plastics or foams and coatings. Recently, UPM Plywood introduced WISA BioBond gluing solution that replaces fossil-based phenol with lignin in plywood products.

    UPM will now proceed with a detailed commercial and basic engineering study to verify the attractiveness of the business case. The estimated duration of this phase is about 12 months. If all preparation phases are concluded successfully, UPM would initiate the company's standard procedure of analysing and preparing an investment decision.

    "We are truly excited about this opportunity to bring bio-based products to the market, which would enable replacement of fossil-based materials with new renewable alternatives" says Juuso Konttinen, Vice President, UPM Biochemicals.

    "Renewable raw material and efficient processes enable significant reductions in CO2 footprint compared to fossil-based products. Furthermore, wood as a second generation raw material does not compete with food production. These are compelling sustainability arguments for brand owners and their businesses."
    (UPM Timber)
     
    06.11.2017   13TH BUILDASIA 2017 - International Trade Show on Building & Construction     ( Company news )

    Company news
    13th Build Asia Construction Machinery International Exhibition & Conference scheduled from 18-20 December 2017 at Karachi Expo Centre, a UFI approved event with an aim to focus on the immense potential of the Building and Construction Industry in Pakistan. The Event also incorporates Coating Expo, Furniture Asia, Property Asia & Stonefair Asia International Exhibitions.

    Build Asia will also feature the most comprehensive array of Conferences to provide a networking platform for engineers, contractors, builders, consultants, government officials, bankers, policy makers, stakeholders, other practitioners & professionals of Housing & Construction Industry.

    Build Asia housing & building construction material & machinery exhibition and conferences will display latest Technological Advancements of Equipments, Materials, Services and Techniques in the related fields, providing opportunities to Overseas Exhibitors to interact with entrepreneurs in Pakistan for joint ventures, transfer of technologies and appointing Agents / Distributors / Partners.
    (Ecommerce Gateway Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd)
     
    03.11.2017   Strong result and positive market conditions for Södra    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra’s operating profit totalled SEK 421 million (400) for the third quarter. The strong results were due, inter alia, to higher prices and stable demand for both paper pulp and sawn timber. During the quarter, decisions were also taken about future-oriented initiatives for increased wood processing and biofuel production.

    “Market conditions for forest industry products remained favourable, and higher prices for both market pulp and sawn timber contributed to a strong result. Production levels remained stable at all of Södra’s facilities during the quarter, while Södra is in its most extensive investment phase for decades,” said Lars Idermark (photo), President and CEO.

    “We also made decisions about important future initiatives during the period. These relate partly to increased wood processing in cross-laminated timber, and partly to the production of biofuel based on the by-product methanol from the pulp industry,” said Lars Idermark, President and CEO.

    Net sales in the third quarter increased 8 percent to SEK 4,763 million (4,417). Operating profit increased 5 percent to SEK 421 million (400). Operating margin was 9 percent (9).

    The Södra Skog business area reported operating profit of SEK 12 million (11) and a sales increase of 8 percent in the third quarter.

    The Södra Wood business area reported operating profit of SEK 8 million (0). The increased result was mainly due to a positive price development and high demand for sawn timber. Sales decreased 8 percent due to restructuring and a deliberate product portfolio reduction.

    The Södra Cell business area reported operating profit of SEK 421 million (377). The improved result was mainly due to strong demand. The new pulp mill in Värö is now fully operational and capacity has increased according to plan. The result was also positively impacted by the continuing high price level for softwood sulphate pulp.

    For the January to September period, net sales amounted to SEK 15,105 million (13,915), operating profit to SEK 1,336 million (699) and operating margin to 9 percent (5). Return on capital employed was 11 percent (6) and equity ratio was 55 percent (53).
    (Södra Timber AB)
     
    03.11.2017   ANDRITZ GROUP: Results for the third quarter of 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    International technology Group ANDRITZ recorded business development in line with its own expectations in the third quarter of 2017.

    The key financial figures developed as follows:
    -Order intake in the third quarter of 2017 amounted to 1,341.2 MEUR, decreasing by 8.8% compared to the previous year’s reference period (Q3 2016: 1,470.1 MEUR). This decline is attributable primarily to the HYDRO and the METALS business areas, whose order intake decreased by 9.5% and 19.8%, respectively, compared to the previous year’s reference period. In the first three quarters of 2017, the Group’s order intake at 4,112.5 MEUR was slightly higher than the level of the previous year’s reference period (+1.9% versus Q1-Q3 2016: 4,036.5 MEUR). This increase is particularly attributable to the PULP & PAPER business area, which achieved increases in both capital and service business. The SEPARATION business area also saw favorable development in the reporting period and was able to continue the rising trend in order intake that began in the previous quarters.

    -The order backlog as of September 30, 2017, amounted to 6,650.8 MEUR and was thus down slightly compared to the figure at the end of 2016 (-2.0% compared to December 31, 2016: 6,789.2 MEUR).

    -In the third quarter of 2017, sales decreased by 7.7% compared to the previous year’s reference period, reaching 1,364.6 MEUR (Q3 2016: 1,478.1 MEUR), with all four business areas showing a decline. The PULP & PAPER business area, in particular, saw a significant decline in sales compared to the previous year’s reference period, which had very high sales due to processing of a large order. Group sales in the first three quarters of 2017 amounted to 4,143.6 MEUR, decreasing slightly compared to the previous year’s reference figure (-2.3% compared to Q1-Q3 2016: 4,239.3 MEUR).

    -The EBITA also decreased at practically the same rate as sales; at 98.9 MEUR it was 9.3% below the figure for last year’s reference period (Q3 2016: 109.1 MEUR). Profitability (EBITA margin) declined slightly to 7.2% (Q3 2016: 7.4%). The EBITA amounted to 306.2 MEUR in the first three quarters of 2017 and thus increased compared to the previous year’s reference period (+4.8% compared to Q1-Q3 2016: 292.1 MEUR). Profitability increased to 7.4% (Q1-Q3 2016: 6.9%), although it is important to note that the second quarter of 2017 – as already disclosed – was impacted positively by an extraordinary effect mainly from sale of the Schuler Technical Center in Tianjin, China. Excluding this extraordinary effect, the Group’s EBITA would have been 283.3 MEUR and the profitability 6.8%.

    -The net income (without non-controlling interests) decreased to 189.8 MEUR (Q1-Q3 2016: 194.2 MEUR) in the first three quarters of 2017.

    Wolfgang Leitner (photo), President & CEO of ANDRITZ AG: “For the coming months, we do not anticipate any major changes in the markets we serve. In PULP & PAPER, we expect unchanged good project and investment activity and also assume that the positive development in the SEPARATION business area will continue. The Group’s service business, which currently accounts for around one third of sales, is also expected to continue its positive development.”

    ANDRITZ continues to expect a slight decline in Group sales for the 2017 business year compared to 2016, but also expects profitability (EBITA margin) to achieve the solid level of the previous year in spite of the decline in sales.
    (Andritz AG)
     
    02.11.2017   PONSSE'S INTERIM REPORT FOR 1 JANUARY – 30 SEPTEMBER 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    – Net sales amounted to EUR 398.3 (Q1-Q3/2016 349,9) million.
    – Q3 net sales amounted to EUR 139.6 (Q3/2016 112,7) million.
    – Operating result totalled EUR 46.8 (Q1-Q3/2016 37,0) million, equalling 11.8
    (10.6) per cent of net sales.
    – Q3 operating result totalled EUR 18.6 (Q3/2016 10,8) million, equalling 13.3
    (9.6) per cent of net sales.
    – Profit before taxes was EUR 40.4 (Q1-Q3/2016 38,5) million.
    – Cash flow from business operations was EUR 20.7 (14.9) million.
    – Earnings per share were EUR 1.08 (1.08).
    – Equity ratio was 50.2 (47.4) per cent.
    – Order books stood at EUR 154.2 (163.2) million.

    PRESIDENT AND CEO JUHO NUMMELA (photo):
    In the third quarter, demand for PONSSE forest machines was excellent. The order flow was strong, and the value of the order book at the end of the period under review was EUR 154.2 (163.2) million. The Russian market is growing very rapidly, and other markets are also functioning well. The markets in North America, the Nordic countries and Central Europe are in good situations.

    During the period under review, the company’s turnover was EUR 398.3 (349.9) million, showing growth of 13.8 per cent. In the third quarter, the company’s turnover was EUR 139.6 (112.7) million, showing growth of 23.9 percent compared to the comparison period. The quarter was historically strong, with all business areas growing positively. The turnover of the after sales services continued to increase significantly, and that of trade-in machines grew strongly from the year before. International business accounted for 75.9 (77.4) per cent of turnover.

    The operating result for the period under review was EUR 46.8 (37.0) million, giving an operating margin of 11.8 (10.6) per cent. The operating result for the third quarter was EUR 18.6 (10.8) million, giving an operating margin of 13.3 (9.6) per cent. The machine and market distribution combined with the heavy growth in all our business areas had a significant impact on profitability. In addition, operating costs were well under control during the quarter.

    Cash flow for the period was EUR 20.7 (14.9) million. The stock of trade-in machines is still higher than target level, even though it has decreased as a result of the notable increase in sales.

    The factory has been able to improve its productivity during investments, and the number of machines has increased. The general economic recovery has an impact on our supplier network, and component delivery times are increasing.

    Our investments are proceeding according to plan. New service centres have been completed in Uruguay and France, and our UK subsidiary's new facilities are ready and will open at the end of the year. The investment for the factory's expansion is on schedule. Construction work is nearly finished, and equipment installation has begun. The added benefits of the expansion will begin to be realised as planned, in the second half of 2018.

    NET SALES
    Consolidated net sales for the period under review amounted to EUR 398.3 (349.9) million, which is 13.8 per cent more than in the comparison period.
    International business operations accounted for 75.9 (77.4) per cent of net sales.

    Net sales were regionally distributed as follows: Northern Europe 40.0 (37.7) per cent, Central and Southern Europe 19.1 (21.3) per cent, Russia and Asia 17.7 (14.4) per cent, North and South America 22.6 (25.1) per cent and other countries 0.6 (1.5) per cent.

    PROFIT PERFORMANCE
    The operating result amounted to EUR 46.8 (37.0) million. The operating result equalled 11.8 (10.6) per cent of net sales for the period under review.
    Consolidated return on capital employed (ROCE) stood at 24.8 (27.6) per cent.

    Staff costs for the period totalled EUR 57.1 (52.7) million. Other operating expenses stood at EUR 35.0 (32.2) million. The net total of financial income and expenses amounted to EUR -6.5 (1.4) million. Exchange rate gains and losses with a net effect of EUR -5.8 (1.9) million were recognised under financial items for the period. Result for the period under review totalled EUR 30.1 (30.3) million. Diluted and undiluted earnings per share (EPS) came to EUR 1.08 (1.08).

    STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION AND FINANCING ACTIVITIES
    At the end of the period under review, the total consolidated statements of financial position amounted to EUR 334.9 (287.7) million. Inventories stood at EUR 136.8 (127.9) million. Trade receivables totalled EUR 43.2 (34.9) million, while liquid assets stood at EUR 24.1 (18.4) million. Group shareholders’ equity stood at EUR 162.0 (133.4) million and parent company shareholders’ equity (FAS) at EUR 152.2 (127.0) million. The amount of interest-bearing liabilities was EUR 74.2 (69.8) million. The company has used 63 per cent of its credit facility limit. The parent company's net receivables from other Group companies stood at EUR 94.4 (87.7) million. The parent company’s receivables from subsidiaries mainly consisted of trade receivables.
    Consolidated net liabilities totalled EUR 49.9 (51.3) million, and the debt-equity ratio (net gearing) was 30.8 (38.5) per cent. The equity ratio stood at 50.2 (47.4) percent at the end of the period under review.

    Cash flow from operating activities amounted to EUR 20.7 (14.9) million. Cash flow from investment activities came to EUR -25.8 (-17.8) million.

    ORDER INTAKE AND ORDER BOOKS
    Order intake for the period totalled EUR 433.4 (364.8) million, while period-end order books were valued at EUR 154.2 (163.2) million.

    DISTRIBUTION NETWORK
    The parent company Ponsse Plc established a new subsidiary Ponsse Machines Ireland Ltd in Ireland on 13 January 2017.

    The subsidiaries included in the Ponsse Group are Ponsse AB, Sweden; Ponsse AS, Norway; Ponssé S.A.S., France; Ponsse UK Ltd, the United Kingdom; Ponsse Machines Ireland Ltd, Ireland, Ponsse North America, Inc., the United States; Ponsse Latin America Ltda, Brazil; Ponsse Uruguay S.A., Uruguay; OOO Ponsse, Russia; Ponsse Asia-Pacific Ltd, Hong Kong; Ponsse China Ltd, China and Epec Oy, Finland. The Group includes also the property company OOO Ocean Safety Center, Russia. Sunit Oy, Finland, is an associate in which Ponsse Plc has a holding of 34 per cent.

    R&D AND CAPITAL EXPENDITURE
    Group’s R&D expenses during the period under review totalled EUR 10.3 (8.9) million, of which EUR 3.0 (2.5) million was capitalised.

    Capital expenditure totalled EUR 25.9 (17.9) million. It consisted in addition to capitalised R&D expenses of investments in buildings and ordinary maintenance and replacement investments for machinery and equipment.

    MANAGEMENT
    The following persons were members of the Management Team: Juho Nummela, President and CEO, acting as the chairman; Petri Härkönen, CFO; Juha Inberg, Technology and R&D Director; Tapio Mertanen, Service Director; Paula Oksman, HR Director; Tommi Väänänen, Director of Delivery Chain Process and Jarmo Vidgrén, Deputy CEO, Sales and Marketing Director. The company management has regular management liability insurance.

    The area director organisation of sales is led by Jarmo Vidgrén, the Group's sales and marketing director, and Tapio Mertanen, service director. Area directors and managing directors of subsidiaries report to Jarmo Vidgrén, Ponsse Plc's sales and marketing director.

    Changes took place in the Ponsse sales organization during the period under review. Separate release was issued on 15 September 2017 on the changes. The changes concern the division of markets for which area directors and managing directors of subsidiaries are responsible, as well as changes in the responsible persons.

    The geographical distribution and the responsible persons are presented below:
    Northern Europe: Jani Liukkonen (Finland), Carl-Henrik Hammar (Sweden, Denmark), Jussi Hentunen (the Baltic countries) and Sigurd Skotte (Norway).

    Central and Southern Europe:
    Tuomo Moilanen (Germany and Austria), Clément Puybaret (France), Janne Tarvainen (Spain and Portugal), Gary Glendinning (the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia) and Jussi Hentunen (Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia).

    Russia and Asia:
    Jaakko Laurila (Russia and Belarus), Janne Tarvainen (Australia and South Africa) and Risto Kääriäinen (China and Japan).

    North and South America:
    Pekka Ruuskanen (the United States), Eero Lukkarinen (Canada),
    Marko Mattila (Brazil) and Martin Toledo (Uruguay, Chile and Argentina).

    PERSONNEL
    The Group had an average staff of 1,498 (1,428) during the period and employed 1,525 (1,456) people at period-end.

    SHARE PERFORMANCE
    The company’s registered share capital consists of 28,000,000 shares. The trading volume of Ponsse Plc shares for 1 January – 30 September 2017 totalled 1,778,437, accounting for 6.4 per cent of the total number of shares. Share turnover amounted to EUR 41.4 million, with the period’s lowest and highest share prices amounting to EUR 20.85 and EUR 25.73, respectively.

    At the end of the period, shares closed at EUR 23.85, and market capitalisation totalled EUR 667.8 million.

    At the end of the period under review, the company held 33,092 treasury shares.

    ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
    A separate release was issued on 11 April 2017 regarding the authorizations given to the Board of Directors and other resolutions at the AGM.

    GOVERNANCE
    In its decision-making and administration, the company observes the Finnish Limited Liability Companies Act, other regulations governing publicly listed companies and the company’s Articles of Association. The company’s Board of Directors has adopted the Code of Governance that complies with the Finnish Corporate Governance Code approved by the Board of the Securities Market Association in 2015. The purpose of the code is to ensure that the company is professionally managed and that its business principles and practices are of a high ethical and professional standard.

    The Code of Governance is available on Ponsse’s website in the Investors section.

    RISK MANAGEMENT
    Risk management is based on the company’s values, as well as strategic and financial objectives. Risk management aims to support the achievement of the objectives specified in the company’s strategy, as well as to ensure the financial development of the company and the continuity of its business.

    Furthermore, risk management aims to identify, assess and monitor business-related risks which may influence the achievement of the company’s strategic and financial goals or the continuity of its business. Decisions on the necessary measures to anticipate risks and react to observed risks are made on the basis of this information.

    Risk management is a part of regular daily business, and it is also included in the management system. Risk management is controlled by the risk management policy approved by the Board.

    A risk is any event that may prevent the company from reaching its objectives or that threatens the continuity of business. On the other hand, a risk may also be a positive event, in which case the risk is treated as an opportunity.
    Each risk is assessed on the basis of its impact and probability. Methods of risk management include avoiding, mitigating and transferring risks. Risks can also be managed by controlling and minimising their impact.

    SHORT-TERM RISK MANAGEMENT
    The insecurity in the world economy may result in a decline in the demand for forest machines. The uncertainty may be increased by the volatility of developing countries’ foreign exchange markets. The geopolitical situation, in particular, will increase the uncertainty through financial market operations and sanctions.

    The parent company monitors the changes in the Group’s internal and external trade receivables and the associated risk of impairment.

    The key objective of the company’s financial risk management policy is to manage liquidity, interest and currency risks. The company ensures its liquidity through credit limit facilities agreed with a number of financial institutions. The effect of adverse changes in interest rates is minimised by utilising credit linked to different reference rates and by concluding interest rate swaps. The effects of currency rate fluctuations are mitigated through derivative contracts.

    Changes taking place in the fiscal and customs legislation in countries to which Ponsse exports may hamper the company’s export trade or its profitability.

    The risks in the supplier network may cause problems in material availability.

    OUTLOOK FOR THE FUTURE
    The Group's euro-denominated operating profit is expected to be slightly higher in 2017 than in 2016.

    Company upgraded its outlook for the full financial year’s operating profit development by issuing the stock exchange release on 9 October 2017. The previous guidance stated the Group's euro-denominated operating profit to be at the same level in 2017 as it was in 2016.

    Ponsse's strongly updated and competitive product range and service solutions have had a significant impact on the company's growth. The market situation has continued to be particularly positive and the demand for PONSSE forest machines has been better than expected towards the end of the year. The Russian market in particular is extremely brisk. The market situation in United States, in the Nordic countries and in Germany and France in Central Europe is also good.

    Our investments are directed at development of the service level and capacity of the delivery chain and spare parts logistics and development of service business network both in Finland and abroad. The expansion of the Vieremä factory is progressing as planned on schedule. The construction work is soon to be finished and installation of the equipment has begun. The added benefits of the expansion will begin to be realised as planned, in the second half of 2018.
    The investment in the factory is related to the development of safety, productivity, product quality and capacity of the Vieremä factory. The total investment to the factory is approximately EUR 32 million.
    (Ponsse Oyj)
     
    01.11.2017   Honkarakenne delivers 2,500th house in Russia    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The 2,500th Honka log home will soon be completed in Russia, providing a second home of 1,080 square metres for a family from St. Petersburg. Honkarakenne, currently preparing for its 60th anniversary, has been operating in the Russian market for more than 20 years, gaining a significant market position during that time.

    The 2,500th Honka house currently under construction in the HonkaNova residential area is a home specifically customised to meet the customer’s needs. The house’s total area amounts to 1,080 m2 and comprises two floors. The one-floor wing contains a swimming pool with sauna facilities. The house was designed by architect Alexey Skoldinov, who is the man behind all architecture in the HonkaNova area.

    HonkaNova is a modern residential area in the Solnechnoye village near St. Petersburg, some 300 metres from the Gulf of Finland. The area is designed to represent modern European architecture, and it has been awarded several prizes, such as the Best of Elite Class in St. Petersburg (Village of the Year 2017), the Best Housing Development of the Decade (ProEstate Awards 2016) and the Best Architectural Concept (2013). The constructor of the area is the company Rossa Rakenne, the exclusive distributor of Honka in Russia.

    In 1995, Finland-based company Honkarakenne, founded in 1958, was the first western producer of log homes to launch operations in Russia. Russia remains the largest export market for Honkarakenne to this date, and its share of the company’s net revenue in 2016 was 28 per cent.

    “Honkarakenne has been working to promote better housing for nearly sixty years. We want to prove that a high-quality log home constructed from Finnish wood with the use of modern technology is a great choice for many different purposes and environments. We are glad to have maintained a good, long-term partnership with Rossa Rakenne for already two decades,” says Maria Turenkova, Sales Director for Honkarakenne’s Russian operations.

    Honkarakenne’s distributor Rossa Rakenne Spb. offers its customers a wide range of services from architectural design to interior design, construction and yard construction. The company specialises in large-scale projects such as the development of residential areas, restaurants and hotels.

    “Our customers appreciate healthy and natural housing in a naturally beautiful environment. Our goal is to set the trend for high-quality, ecologically sustainable construction that takes natural values into account. In addition, we want to promote the sense of community in the areas by, for example, including playgrounds and sports facilities in the residential areas,” says Alexander Tsarev, Chairman of the Board of Rossa Rakenne.
    (Honkarakenne Oyj)
     
    30.10.2017   Maria Baldin – new Director of Communications and Sustainability at Södra Group    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Maria Baldin (photo) has been appointed the new Director of Communications and Sustainability at Södra. She will assume her position on 1 January 2018 and will be a member of Group Senior Management, reporting to President and CEO Lars Idermark.

    Maria Baldin is 50 years old and most recently served as the Head of Communications and Sustainability Officer at Siemens Sweden. She has previously worked at Bewator, Comex Electronics and Bennett BTI Nordic. Maria has extensive and broad experience with a clear business focus. The company’s intention with the recruitment of Maria is to group together communication and sustainability under a single management function, and thereby further intensify focus on Södra’s strategy. Maria will assume her new position on 1 January 2018.

    “Maria Baldin has an industrial background with strong skills in communication and sustainability and a commercial focus. This will benefit Södra’s continued efforts to strengthen our competitiveness, growth and long-term profitability,” said Lars Idermark, President and CEO.

    “I am looking forward to working for Södra and my choice was guided by the sense of Södra as a stable company with strong values and a well-defined sustainability profile, underpinned by a high level of expertise. Clear targets, strategies and plans are in place that outline how Södra will show the way in communication and sustainability,” said Maria Baldin,

    Roine Morin, who has served as a highly competent Sustainability Director for many years, will gradually reduce his work load in 2018 and subsequently retire.

    “I would like to express my thanks to Roine for his fantastic work in advancing Södra’s environmental and sustainability agenda to the leading position that it now has,” said Lars Idermark, President and CEO.
    (Södra Timber AB)
     
    27.10.2017   Weinig Group makes major investment in Holz-Her production facility    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The symbolic groundbreaking ceremony on the Holz-Her production facility in Voitsberg, Austria, signaled the start of an ambitious forward-looking project. The 22,000 m2 site of the specialist in machines and systems for panel processing is being developed with a 1,000 m2 extension specifically designed for the planned new CNC milling machine for framework processing.

    Picture: Positive growth in the Weinig Group: Supervisory Board, Management Board and Holz-Her executives at the groundbreaking ceremony for the forward-looking, multi-million-euro project.

    The project was approved by Weinig's Supervisory Board as part of a series of planned investments. “Our decision is a deliberate response to the growing importance and huge potential of the Business Unit Panel Processing,” says Chairman of the Supervisory Board Thomas Bach. Holz-Her has been part of the Weinig Group since 2010. The innovative company can look back on an extremely successful last few years. Turnover has risen by 20 percent over the last two years alone. Just recently, Holz-Her attracted massive attention at the world's leading trade fair LIGNA with its Nextec technology for furniture production. As a result of the strong growth, production capacity in Voitsberg has already doubled over the last two years.

    The investment of 4.5 million euros is part of a group-wide investment package of more than 15 million euros and will secure the future, long-term growth of the company. To reflect the significance of the project for the future of the company, the groundbreaking ceremony was attended by both Weinig's Supervisory Board, led by Chairman Thomas Bach, and Weinig’s Management Board, represented by CEO Wolfgang Pöschl, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Gregor Baumbusch and Chief Financial Officer Gerald Schmidt. Together with Holz-Her Managing Director Frank Epple and the Managing Director of the Voitsberg production facility Harald Steiner, the start of the construction project was marked with a small ceremony attended by all personnel.

    The investment will also have a positive impact on the employment situation at the Holz-Her production site. Currently, 300 personnel are employed in Austria. Thanks to the further expansion of sales activities, the extension of the product portfolio with regard to CNC processing centers, the development of the saw/storage combination segment, the further evolution of edge banders for industrial applications and the extension of the factory, Frank Epple anticipates further requirements for qualified personnel. “Holz-Her, like the entire Weinig Group, is on a strong trajectory,” says Wolfgang Pöschl. Group orders to the end of April showed 17% growth while revenues rose by as much as 21%. The Weinig Group is very confident of achieving the order inflow of 471 million euros targeted for 2017. Owing to the excellent business growth, the group’s global personnel will increase to more than 2,100 in 2017.
    (Michael Weinig Aktiengesellschaft)
     
    26.10.2017   Rougier: Positive results for the first half of 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    First half business:
    The Rougier Group’s revenues for the first half of 2017 came to €76.0 million, down 3% year-on-year.

    The Rougier Afrique International branch generated €61.1 million of revenues, down 4% from the first half of 2016. This change primarily reflects volatile demand on several international markets and shipping delays at Douala Port in Cameroon. More specifically, these elements have had an adverse impact on operating margins in Cameroon and Congo, while EBIT in Gabon has continued to pick up, benefiting from the good level of forest production, the improvements in sawmill productivity and the launch of the contract with GSEZ (Gabon Special Economic Zone) for log supplies.

    Revenues for the France Import-Distribution branch are up 6% from the previous year to €17.7 million. This branch is confirming its turnaround, which was already underway in 2016, with significant progress and positive results.

    Consolidated accounts
    Earnings are higher than for the first half of 2016 despite the contraction in revenues. Income from ordinary operations broke even, up €0.4 million from last year. EBIT improved to €2.7 million, compared with a €(0.6) million loss for the first half of 2016. More specifically, this factors in the capital gain recorded by the holding company during the first half of 2017 on the sale of an investment property in France for €3.3 million.

    After taking into account the cost of net debt, down to €(1.5) million, and a tax expense offset by a deferred tax effect, total net income is positive, climbing to €0.6 million, compared with a €(3.4) million loss for the first half of 2016. On a Group share basis, net income comes out at €1.5 million. Consolidated shareholders’ equity at 30 June 2017 is up to €52.4 million, compared with €51.8 million at 31 December 2016. Net financial debt is down to €51.9 million at 30 June 2017, versus €56.1 million at 31 December 2016.

    Outlook
    The Group is focusing its actions in Africa on improving its industrial and logistics performances, as well as creating value through its more profitable timber species. In the second half of the year, the release of the first €5 million tranche from the €15 million loan set up with Proparco will enable Rougier to start up operations in the Central African Republic in the fourth quarter and give it the means to ensure its development in the Congo Basin.
    (Rougier International)
     
    25.10.2017   Setra initiates process of selling Setra Rolfs in Kalix    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Setra has set in motion the sale of its operation in Rolfs (photo), Kalix. The mill has around 60 employees and produces sawn wood products such as construction timber, cladding and a range of other building products.

    Hannele Arvonen, Setra’s President and CEO, comments:
    “We are focusing on increasing the synergies within the Group as a means of improving our long-term competitiveness. The level of integration between Setra Rolfs and Setra’s other production units is low when it comes to raw material supply and marketing concepts, and it therefore makes sense for us to explore other ownership structures for the unit.”


    Setra has previously sold units that did not directly link up with or support its core business.

    “It is a case of making choices and setting priorities. We have a strong financial position and have created a platform for developing Setra and taking the next step. This move is entirely in line with Setra’s overall strategy of optimising our resources, such as raw material and production capacity, and exploiting market opportunities as best we can in order to meet customers’ needs and wishes,” says Hannele Arvonen.

    Demand for sawn wood products remains very good in Sweden, the rest of Scandinavia and the world. Setra recently took on 19 new employees at its sawmill in Malå.

    “We have increased production of sawn wood products in Malå from 170,000 m3 per year to around 215,000 m3 per year. The planing mill has been refitted and updated to handle the higher production volume of interior products, including high-quality flooring and cladding. We also recently acquired a unit next to the mill that is ideal for our finishing work. With these measures in place, we have secured a better future for both established and new customers as regards volumes, product development and service,” states Hannele Arvonen.

    Setra’s mill in Rolfs, Kalix – one of the Group’s ten production units – manufactures sawn wood products such as construction timber, cladding and a range of other building products. The production volume amounted to 73,000 m3 in 2016. The mill has around 60 employees, the majority of which work in production, alongside their colleagues in administration, finance and marketing. The main markets for the products are Scandinavia and Europe.
    (Setra Group)
     
    24.10.2017   Chinese customer decided to buy proven Siempelkamp technology    ( Company news )

    Company news
    SciSky ordered a particleboard plant

    The significance of Siempelkamp’s expertise in the wood-based materials industry was again affirmed by a new order from Asia. The Chinese company Nanning Shuixin Ketien (SciSky) ordered a particleboard line to become established in a new area of wood-based materials.

    Signing of the contract in China: Wang, Dong Tao (General Manager Nanning Shuixin Ketien) with Andreas Krott (Siempelkamp)

    The order for the particleboard plant includes the forming and press line with a 9th generation 8’ x 30.5m ContiRoll® press. The machinery is driven by the innovative drive concept ContiRoll Ecodrive, the new standard drive for the ContiRoll®. Its key performance indicators and energy efficiency are convincing: The system provides plant operators with energy savings of at least 7 % under full load operation and up to 14 % under partial load operation. The scope of supply for this order also includes a cooling and stacking line as well as a storage system. The system will be especially suited for the processing of formaldehyde-free resins – for SciSky a special advantage because of the company’s commitment to non-toxic living environments.

    SciSky, which is headquartered in Lanzhou in the north-west Chinese province of Gānsù, is a global supplier of home decorations and furniture. The Chinese company is also established as producer of water-based coatings and paints as well as other water-based agents for interior construction. From now on SciSky will conquer new markets in the wood-based materials industry with the first plant at the Wuming location in the province of Guangxi. This plant will manufacture wood-based panels as well as furniture. Because Siempelkamp enjoys a high reputation as a quality supplier for modern wood-based panel production plants in China, SciSky chose the Krefeld-based company as the partner to implement its ambitious objectives.

    The expertise of the Siempelkamp subsidiaries Pallmann Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG in Zweibrücken, Germany, and CMC Texpan in Colzate, Italy, were also in demand for this order: The size reduction specialist Pallmann contributes five knife ring flakers, two surface layer mills, and one sanding robot. CMC Texpan and its expertise in front-end technology is also represented. The company will supply screening machines for dry chips, two sifters for surface and core layers, and the resin blending system. In this way Siempelkamp is presented as a strong partner in large-scale plant construction which provides all products and services from one source within its own Group.

    The installation of the plant is scheduled for May 2018, the startup for October 2018.
    (Siempelkamp Maschinen- und Anlagenbau GmbH)
     
    23.10.2017   binderholz Group acquires Klenk Holz AG from The Carlyle Group    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The Austrian binderholz Group, which has its headquarters in Fügen, has reached a binding agreement with The Carlyle Group to acquire the German sawmill and timber processing company Klenk Holz AG based in Oberrot. The purchase agreement was signed recently, as announced by both companies. The transaction is expected to be concluded at the start of November 2017, a conclusion dependent on the agreement of the competition authorities. Further details are not currently being disclosed.

    This step represents a milestone for the binderholz Group. Both companies’ sites and products are a perfect fit for each other. It is envisaged that the 3 Klenk sites will be expanded, with investment planned in the near future. Klenk Holz has an outstanding reputation in the market and the Klenk Holz brand will be retained. The purchase ensures the constantly growing demand for lumber for the binderholz Group’s finishing and processing sites. TTW Waldpflege, a forestry maintenance company, guarantees the reliable basic supply to the central European sawmills.

    With this acquisition, the binderholz Group is now one of the largest producers of lumber in Europe. In 2017 alone, over 5 million cubic metres of logs will be cut in the Group’s 7 sawmills in Austria, Germany and Finland. Over 2 million cubic metres of solid wood products are produced from the 3 million cubic metres of lumber.

    Reinhard Binder (photo), CEO of binderholz, explains the strategic rationale as follows: “Klenk Holz is a perfect fit for the binderholz Group. Thus strengthened, we will continue our successful journey as an integrated producer of solid wood and supplier to the DIY sector together with the management of Klenk Holz. We will continue to evolve our successful business model jointly with Klenk Holz’s dedicated employees.”

    Klenk Holz, which has its headquarters in Oberrot in Germany, currently employs around 1,000 people at three sites in Germany, with a turnover of approx. € 400 million. It produces lumber, solid wood panels, softwood lumber, multi-purpose panels, garden wood, solid construction timber, moulded pallet blocks, moulded wood pallets and waste timber. This product range is sold through builders merchants, retail, wood processing industries and the packaging industry, among others. Klenk Holz exports approx. 30% of its products and annually cuts approx. 2 million cubic metres.

    Ian Jackson, Managing Director and Co-Head of CSP explains: “Klenk Holz is one of the leading sawmill and wood processing companies in Europe. We have once again demonstrated our expertise in turnaround processes with our investment in Klenk Holz. We would like to thank Dr. Markus Adams and his management team for their successful cooperation. Together we have significantly increased productivity and growth at Klenk Holz and thus set the company up in an excellent position for continued growth under its new owner binderholz.”
    (Binderholz GmbH)
     
    20.10.2017   UPM Plywood starts using a new sustainable WISA BioBond gluing technology    ( Company news )

    Company news
    UPM Plywood starts using a new sustainable lignin based WISA BioBond gluing technology in plywood manufacturing. In the new technology 50% of the fossil-based phenol has been replaced with lignin obtained as a by product of kraf pulp production.

    "Our long term goal has been to develop a gluing technology that utilizes lignin as raw material. The technological breakthrough that now has been achieved is the most significant innovation in plywood gluing in five decades" says Susanna Rinne, Vice President, Business Development at UPM Plywood.

    UPM Plywood plans to take the new gluing technology into use gradually in all of its plywood mills.

    Technical properties of the plywood manufactured using the new gluing technology match those of the traditional method. Therefore, WISA BioBond products replace old products directly. The change of the gluing technology has no practical effect on end-users, nor does it reguire any actions from their side. Customers will be able to utilise the sustainability of the new WISA BioBond in their own business gradually as the implementation of the technology progresses.

    "Sustainable and effective use of raw-materials is one of the corner stones of UPM's Biofore strategy. WISA BioBond is a prime example of this strategy in practice. Through cross-business co-operation we have developed a gluing technology that makes our WISA plywood products the most sustainbe ones on the market" says Mika Sillanpää, Executive Vice President of UPM Plywood.

    Ability to use ligning obtained as a by-product of kraft pulp production in gluing wood has been studied for a long time. WISA BioBond is based on patented UPM BioPiva lignin technology developed by UPM Biochemicals. UPM Plywood is now bringing the first patent pending plywood products utilising the technology to the market.
    (UPM Timber)
     
    19.10.2017   A new dimension for the furniture industry: BASF and Sonae Arauco win AVK Innovation Award 2017...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... for 3D moldable wood fiber composites

    -New acForm™ binder technology enables thermoformable wood fiber composites to be manufactured on existing standard MDF production lines
    -3D moldability opens up new design options for the furniture industry

    At the International Composites Congress in Stuttgart, BASF and Sonae Arauco were jointly honored with the AVK (German Federation of Reinforced Plastics) Innovation Award 2017 for a new development in 3D moldable wood fiber components. The two companies ranked first in the category “Innovative products/components or applications” for providing the furniture industry with a storage stable composite that can be processed by hot molding.

    In contrast to standard thermoset boards, the new wood-based composite is able to be post-molded and its surface can be structured in short cycles on standard furniture molding equipment.

    The novel wood composites are based on BASF’s new binder technology, acForm. Its application is using Sonae Arauco wood refining technology which is adjusted to be used without any productivity restrictions. Due to the specific binder-fiber composition the composite allows all three spatial axes to be formed at the same time.

    “Our new composites greatly facilitate the thermo-molding and thermo-embossing processes, because several production steps, including veneer gluing and layering, are no longer necessary,” says Dr. Thorsten Habeck, Head of BASF’s marketing unit Dispersions for Fiber Bonding Europe, Middle East & Africa. “This allows much shorter cycle times than separate layering and a significant productivity increase.”

    In addition, the composites can be used to produce highly structured or curved components. This opens up new design options for application fields like door and furniture fronts, wall or ceiling linings, room dividers, partition walls in open-plan offices or structured flooring.

    acForm also sets new standards in terms of work place health and safety, meeting the most stringent regulations because formaldehyde is not added to the binder system.

    The production of 3D moldable composites is using Sonae Arauco’s continuous wood refining technology, ensuring consistency of materials and improved environmentally-friendly products. “The composites are “ready to be converted” materials ensuring higher productivity and lower costs for customers versus current conventional embedded processes such as plywood, deep rooted panels, bended HDF, allowing exhaustive applications in all segments of the furniture and construction market”, says Adelaide Alves, Manager Product Development Sonae Arauco.

    The AVK Innovation Award acknowledges innovations in the field of fiber reinforced plastics (FRPs)/composites in four different categories. The award promotes the development of new products/components and applications using FRPs as well as new procedures and processes for manufacturing FRP based products.
    (BASF Bereich Performance Chemicals for Plastics and Specialties / E-EVP/KT)
     
    18.10.2017   Lucrative log markets in China have resulted in a tripling of softwood log export volumes...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    .... from Australia the past four years, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly

    Timberland owners in Australia are increasingly exploring opportunities for the exportation of logs as an alternative to selling logs in the domestic market. From 2012 to 2016, the export volume was up 300%, and 2017 is likely to set a new record high, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. Rising log prices in the export market have been the key drivers of the increase in exports. Conversely, prices in the domestic market have stagnated the past few years.

    Australia has rapidly become a major exporter of softwood logs and was the world’s sixth largest log exporter in 2016. During the 1H/17, the upward trend continued with shipments being 17% higher than in the 1H/16. In 2012, Australia’s annual exports totaled only 1.2 million m3. Just four years later, in 2016, exports had tripled to a record high of 3.6 million m3, of which 96% was destined for China. If the upward trend seen this far in the first six months of 2017 continues, export volumes will end up totaling over four million m3 in 2017, which represents approximately 25% of the total softwood timber harvest in Australia.

    Obviously, exportation of logs has become an attractive alternative to domestic sales for timberland owners in Australia. Wood Resource Quarterly reports that in 2012, there were minimal price premiums for exported logs over domestic logs, but by 2016 and 2017, premiums had surged to between A$35-50/m3. Despite these recent price increases, Australia is still considered to be a low-cost log supplier in the Chinese market as compared to other suppliers such as New Zealand, Russia and North America, mainly because of higher domestic sawlog prices in those markets.

    Higher log export volumes have occurred at the same time as domestic log demand has gone up over 20% in four years, from 3.6 million m3 of lumber in 2012 to an estimated 4.4 million m3 in 2016. Although sawmill production fell slightly in 2016 from the previous year, the output from the Australian sawmill sector reached record high levels the past two years thanks to healthy domestic demand for softwood lumber.
    (Wood Resources International LLC)
     
    17.10.2017   Dieffenbacher builds the world's largest continuous LVL press    ( Company news )

    Company news
    At its new site in Chester, South Carolina, Roseburg will produce 285,000 m³ of LVL boards per year on one line

    The U.S. company Roseburg Forest Products operates a Dieffenbacher particleboard plant in Simsboro, Louisiana, that has been running for the past 15 years. Roseburg has now contracted with Dieffenbacher to supply the microwave preheating system, continuous press and stacking system for its new LVL plant in Chester, South Carolina.

    With a daily output of 800 m³, the more-than-65-m long CPS will be the world's largest continuous LVL press as measured by production capacity. The upstream 600 kW microwave will be the most powerful preheating system of this type in LVL production.

    "We obviously knew of Dieffenbacher's previous LVL projects. These excellent references are among the reasons that we ultimately chose Dieffenbacher as our supplier," said Roseburg President and CEO Grady Mulbery. He added, "The short distance between Chester and Dieffenbacher's service center in Alpharetta, Georgia, is another plus for us."

    Roseburg has earmarked a total investment of USD 200 million for its new LVL production line. Construction starts in the first quarter of 2018. Production of the first board is planned for 2019.
    (Dieffenbacher GmbH)
     
    16.10.2017   Markus Baukmeier elected President of the European Federation of Prefabricated Building    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The European Federation of Prefabricated Building (EFV) have elected the German entrepreneur Markus Baukmeier as its president. Baukmeier manages the family enterprise Meisterstück-HAUS Otto Baukmeier Holzbau - Fertigbau GmbH & Co KG in Hameln/Lower Saxony, and is an active board member of the Association of German Prefabricated Building Manufacturers (BDF). Members of EFV are the industry associations from Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. They advocate quality assurance, fair competition and the representation of the prefabricated way of construction at European level. In 2016 the management of EFV has moved from Vienna to BDF Bad Honnef.

    Picture: Board members of the European Federation of Prefabricated Building with its new president Markus Baukmeier (center). Picture credits: BDF
    (BDF Bundesverband Deutscher Fertigbau e.V.)
     
    13.10.2017   FFIF: Jyrki Peisa appointed director and member of the management team    ( Company news )

    Company news
    LL.M. Jyrki Peisa (38) has been appointed director and member of the management team at Finnish Forest Industries Federation as of 1 November 2017. He will be in charge of lobbying associated with energy and climate policy, mill environment issues and product logistics.

    Peisa currently works as Special adviser for Kimmo Tiilikainen, Minister for Housing, Energy and the Environment. Before this, he served as Managing Director at The Bioenergy Association of Finland.
    (Metsateollisuus ry - Skogsindustrin rf / FFIF Finnish Forest Industries Federation)
     
    12.10.2017   HOLTEC receives the order for a new log sorting line at Holzwerke Weinzierl     ( Company news )

    Company news
    In Vilshofen in Bavaria, Holzwerke Weinzierl runs one of the best performing softwood sawmills in Germany. At a area of more than 20 hectare, more than 700 000 solid cubic meters of logs are processed each year. Due to the company’s dynamic development during the last years, it was necessary to extend the log sorting and the storage areas accordingly and to adapt them to state-of-the-art technology. Junior manager Hans Weinzierl did not take the decision easily – it was the result of a long and very intense planning period. Eventually, HOLTEC asserted itself with its chain-less technology in the feeding and acceleration area, since the reduction of ongoing operating costs takes an ever higher priority. These arguments were already convincing in 2015, when the sawmill infeed had to be exchanged. “At that time, the Holtec technology has already convinced us in the sawmill – thus, it was a consistent step to prefer HOLTEC in the log sorting as well” states Hans Weinzierl, who is the managing director in Vilshofen since 2006.

    HOLTEC is looking forward to another reference installation in Bavaria and is thankful for the confidence.
    (Holtec GmbH & Co. KG)
     
    12.10.2017   Södra's port becomes fossil-fuel free    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra’s port in Mönsterås will become completely free from fossil fuels in October. All work vehicles and cranes at the port will begin using HVO diesel – a completely fossil-free alternative to standard diesel.

    Södra’s port has four cranes and 16 work vehicles. Together, these handle about three million tonnes of freight each year. The freight is loaded for transport to Europe by land and sea and includes 430,000 tonnes of paper pulp and 170,000 m³ of sawn timber. This will now be carried out using only fossil-free HVO diesel.

    “As a representative of a green industry, we consider this an obvious next step,” said Niclas Strömqvist, Site Manager at Södra’s port in Mönsterås.

    The switchover at the port began in the spring of 2017 and was completed at the end of September. The move is part of Södra’s sustainability targets that aim to achieve fossil-free production by 2020 and fossil-free transportation by 2030 – targets adopted in 2016 and assigned the same status as Södra’s financial targets.

    “Efforts have focused on examining and ensuring that the HVO diesel is compatible with existing equipment at the port. We are always on the lookout for climate-smart solutions. This is in line with how we want to act and operate as a company,” said Jörgen Erlandsson, Head of Technology, Environment and Quality at Södra’s port in Mönsterås.

    HVO is both a climate-smart and economical alternative to synthetically produced petrodiesel. The raw materials for Södra’s HVO are slaughterhouse waste and rapeseed oil.

    “HVO is a better environmental choice because it is 100-percent fossil-free. This means it is completely renewable and greenhouse gas emissions are substantially lower,” said Åsa Forss, Manager of Södra’s wood-chip truck fleet.
    (Södra Timber AB)
     
    11.10.2017   Ponsse and Epec to open a product development unit in Tampere    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Ponsse and Epec are jointly establishing a product development unit in Tampere for designing the software and automation of mobile work machines. The aim is to ensure the continued availability of top experts in the fields of software and automation.

    Photo: Juha Inberg and Teemu Raitis

    With Finland’s improving economic situation, competition for the top
    professionals in various sectors has become more intense. Given the change in the situation, the aim is to ensure the competitiveness of Ponsse and Epec and the availability of personnel by expanding the product development activities of the two companies to southern Finland. With the rapid development of technology, the importance of software in forest machines is growing rapidly.
    Ponsse wants to remain at the forefront of development.

    Tampere was chosen as the location of the new product development unit, since the city has become a growth centre for the work machine industry. The Tampere region also has strong training expertise and business operations in software and automation.

    “Ponsse’s product development will continue to focus mainly on Vieremä and
    Kajaani, so there will continue to be good communications between customers, manufacturing and product development. With the Tampere product development unit we are seeking to ensure the continued availability of a skilled workforce,” says Ponsse’s director of technology and R&D Juha Inberg.

    Engineers will be recruited for the Tampere R&D unit to meet the needs of
    Ponsse’s subsidiary Epec also. Epec is actively seeking growth as a supplier of smart control system solutions. Managing Director Teemu Raitis says that having the unit in Tampere also enables the company to cooperate more closely with its customers in southern Finland. The focus of Epec’s product development will continue to be its headquarters in Seinäjoki.

    The R&D unit will be located in Kampusareena, which is a hub of science,
    research and technology located at the heart of the campus of Tampere
    University of Technology. Ponsse and Epec will arrange a recruiting and
    information event in the new premises on November 3, 2017 and the operations are scheduled to begin before the end of the year. The product development unit will have approximately 20 employees by the end of next year.
    (Ponsse Oyj)
     
    10.10.2017   Vollmer builds new subsidiary in Poland    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Vollmer has built its new subsidiary for Poland in Zabrze near Katowice in Upper Silesia. On around 500 square metres there are offices for seven employees, workshops, storage facilities and a showroom where the Biberach-based sharpening specialist displays its sharpening machines. The machines include the QXD 250 eroding machine, as well as the VGrind 360 tool grinding machines and the CHD 270 grinding machine for carbide-tipped circular saw blades. With the new subsidiary Vollmer Polska, the sharpening specialist expands its offer for the wood and metalworking industries and strengthens its market position in Eastern Europe.

    "Vollmer has been represented in Poland since 2012 with its own subsidiary and has successfully positioned itself here in the industry for grinding and eroding machines", states Marcin Kurcon, Managing Director of Vollmer Polska. "Our new building in Zabrze is part of this development. We now have more space for our sharpening machines which we can promote better to our customers. In addition, more training courses and machine tests can be performed than before."

    Situated only 20 kilometres from the previous Vollmer subsidiary in Bytom, Poland, the new subsidiary is in Zabrze near Katowice. Marcin Kurcon received a visit from the Mayor of Zabrze Malgorzata Manka-Szulik at the official opening. Vollmer Managing Directors Dr. Stefan Brand and Sieglinde Vollmer travelled especially from Biberach for the event. Sieglinde Vollmer is curator of the Sieglinde Vollmer Foundation, member of the Supervisory Board of the Vollmer plants and daughter of the company's founder Heinrich Vollmer.

    The entire grounds cover around 4,700 square metres, the new building has space for offices, workshop, warehouse and showroom on around 500 square metres. In the machine demonstration room Vollmer Polska showcases high-quality sharpening machines for machining tools and circular saw blades. The product portfolio includes five machines such as the QXD 250 eroding machine, as well as the VGrind 360 grinding machine for machining rotary carbide-tipped tools and the CHD 270 grinding machine which can be used to automatically sharpen carbide-tipped circular saws.

    Customers come from the woodworking industry and include furniture manufacturers, sawmills and service companies because Poland is one of the biggest furniture producers in Europe. Circular saws and rotary tools made from carbide or with PCD (polycrystalline diamond) play a decisive role in the precise machining of wood, chipboard or composite materials. The metalworking industry with customers from car manufacturing as well as aerospace technology is also becoming increasingly important. It is not only companies from the region who make their way to Vollmer Polska, but companies from Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic region also rely on these tried and tested products.

    "For Vollmer, Poland has become an important market for sophisticated eroding and grinding machines", states Dr.-Ing. Stefan Brand, Managing Director of the Vollmer Group. "The investment in our new building in Poland is another valuable component of our growth strategy in order to be able to offer our customers more intensive support and meet the increasing requirements of future-oriented technologies and services."
    (Vollmer Werke Maschinenfabrik GmbH)
     
    09.10.2017   Södra invests SEK 25 million in Kallinge    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra is strengthening the long-term competitiveness of its planing operations and intends to co-locate the units in Ronneby and Kallinge. The new proposed location will be in Kallinge, where SEK 25 million is to be invested in upgrading to a paint system that is more environmentally sustainable, in new machinery and in improvements to the logistics centre. These measures will lead to efficiency enhancements and trade union negotiations in accordance with the Co-Determination in the Workplace Act (MBL) will start immediately.

    Market conditions have changed considerably for interior wood products in recent years. Södra has implemented many adjustments to the production structure in response to the changes in conditions. The next step is now being taken by co-locating units in Kallinge and Ronneby to achieve synergies.

    “We are now planning to invest in line-based production in Kallinge to strengthen competitiveness and are moving the warehouse in Ronneby to Kallinge in autumn/winter 2017, which will also improve the work environment. We will then move production in summer 2018 and cease production and logistics in Ronneby. Processes in marketing, logistics, order handling and general administration will also be streamlined. There is strong demand for interior wood products, with growth in the building materials trade of more than 4 percent for the first six months of 2017. The proposed changes will improve conditions to establish competitive interior wood operations,” said Peter Karlsson, segment manager for Interior Wood.

    Slightly more than 55 employees of the total 142 employees in Ronneby and Kallinge will be affected by the restructuring. MBL negotiations will begin immediately. Kallinge and Ronneby have joint priority rules for the order of termination and the two facilities are only three kilometres apart, which makes commuting to a new unit easier.

    “Unfortunately, employees will have to leave Södra, and we are doing everything we can to act responsibly and offer career transition and relocation support,” said Jörgen Lindquist, President of the Södra Wood business area.

    Over the past year, Södra has worked intensively with restructuring to increase the profitability of its interior products business. In June 2016, Södra Wood Rottne was divested to Ess-Enn Timber. In early October, Nordingrå Trä was sold to Pro Unica AB and Södra Wood Föllinge to Rickard Eriksson. On 1 November, Södra Wood Grimslöv was divested to the German company Sörnsen Holzleisten and Sörnsen also acquired UAB SIWood in Lithuania on 1 July this year.
    (Södra Timber AB)
     
    06.10.2017   New: DP form cutters for fischer undercut anchor system    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Picture: The fischer®-undercut anchor system requires an outstanding precision

    The diamond-tipped cutter is used for the production of undercut drill holes for the fischer® undercut anchor type FZP II- (T) M6 (fischer Zykon panel anchors). Normally, the facade materials to be processed are mineral based materials, high-pressure laminate (HPL) or fiber cement boards.

    The cutting material DP stands for a very long edge life and thus for considerably lower costs per hole compared to conventional solid carbide cutters. A special tooth geometry reduces the friction coefficient and ensures the lowest possible heat generation.

    A high-strength tool body guarantees high stiffness and excellent stability. The LEUCO topline design offers optimum cutting quality thanks to a special edge preparation.
    (Leuco AG)
     
    05.10.2017   Production cost margins for sawmills in Brazil, Russia and Finland have fallen during the first half    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... while they increased to their second highest level in 13 years in the US South in the 2Q/17, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly

    The sawmill margins to cover non-wood costs and profits have been squeezed in a number of countries in the first half of 2017 because of relatively higher raw-material costs and lower lumber prices, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. Since the wood costs account for about two-thirds of the production costs when manufacturing softwood lumber, it is essential for sawmills to control the wood cost/lumber price ratio.

    Wood costs are by far the largest and most important cost component when manufacturing softwood lumber. The Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ) has tracked quarterly sawlog prices worldwide since 1995 and is now also reporting the quarterly sawmill cost margins for key lumber-regions around the world. The costs for sawlogs when manufacturing lumber accounts for 65-70% of the production costs and is the factor that often determines a lumber company’s competitiveness.

    The sawmill cost margin, defined as the difference between the cost of wood rawmaterial and the revenue from lumber and sawmill residues, is a reliable indicator of the changing trend of the profitability of a region’s sawmill sector.

    In the latest issue of the WRQ, production cost margins for sawmills in the US South, Finland, Brazil and Eastern Russia are reported for the period 1Q/05 to 2Q/17. Additional regions of North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific will be added in the upcoming issues in 2017 and 2018.

    The average production cost margin for sawmills in the US South increased during much of 2016 and 2017 and reached its second highest level in 13 years in the 2Q/17. The higher margins have been the result of slightly declining sawlog costs and increasing lumber prices thanks to higher wood demand in the domestic housing sector.

    In Finland, lumber prices and income from residues have fallen faster than the log costs during 2014 to 2017, which has resulted in a decline in the cost margin by 25% in US dollar terms. In the local currency, the decline has been a more modest 8% over the past three years.
    (WRI Wood Resources International LLC)
     
    04.10.2017   Valutec gains new orders from Europe’s largest privately owned sawmill    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Valutec’s TC continuous kiln is an excellent choice for us, as this solution meets our high demand for capacity combined with flexibility. We have also had very good experiences working with Valutec in recent years,” stresses Kai Matthies, head of wood drying at Ziegler Holzindustrie.

    Valutec has ensured its tenth continuous kiln delivery in ten years to central Europe. This follows a further order from the German Ziegler Holzindustrie, Europe’s largest privately owned sawmill. The TC kiln to be delivered will be used to dry side boards and has a capacity of 110,000 cubic meters (46 600 MBF) of lumber per year.

    “This is our third order from Ziegler Holzindustrie. Renewed trust is a great acknowledgment for us and it's pleasing that they’ve chosen to invest in a TC continuous kiln. This shows they really believe in our solutions,” says Robert Larsson, CEO at Valutec.

    Valutec has previously supplier two continuous kilns to Ziegler Holzindustrie. The first delivery was ten years ago and was followed up in 2014 with an OTC continuous kiln, boasting a capacity of around 50,000 cubic meters (21 200 MBF).

    The new TC continuous kiln will be designed with space for three packages at air-blow depth, instead of two - which has long been standard. It will have ten individual drying zones.

    “Valutec’s TC continuous kiln is an excellent choice for us, as this solution meets our high demand for capacity combined with flexibility. We have also had very good experiences working with Valutec in recent years,” stresses Kai Matthies, head of wood drying at Ziegler Holzindustrie.

    There is huge market potential for timber drying in central Europe, where there has been a high proportion of timber that does not have a long drying phase, when compared to places such as the Scandinavian countries. In line with clients increasing their quality requirements, greater volumes of side-sawn boards have begun to be dried, which has created openings for Valutec, specifically for TC continuous kilns.
    “With TC continuous kilns, you have a unique flexibility that is highly valued by many people. In theory, when you can have ten different products in the kiln, this reduces the need for production planning and therefore there is also a high utilization ratio,” says Robert Larsson.

    The kiln is being made from stainless steel and will be equipped with Valutec’s Valmatics control system. It will be put into operation in February 2018 and will then be the second TC continuous kiln in Germany. Over the year, Valutec has supplied and put into operation a kiln for Egger Brilon.
    (Valutec AB)
     
    02.10.2017   Metsä Wood considering Kerto LVL investment in Punkaharju     ( Company news )

    Company news
    Metsä Wood is considering the construction of a new, 65,000 m3 Kerto® LVL line to its mill in Punkaharju, Finland. The value of the potential investment would be approximately EUR 52 million. Metsä Wood is negotiating with the town of Savonlinna and the mill’s personnel to create the conditions for the investment. The final investment decision will be made by the end of the year. If the investment is carried out as planned, the line will start up during the first half of 2019.

    The new line would bring approximately 35 new jobs to Punkaharju. In addition, the new line would add some 40 person-years to the subcontractors’ chain. If the investment is carried out, it will increase demand for logs by 160,000 m3 a year.

    “The demand for Kerto LVL is driven by urbanisation, which is creating new, specialised needs for construction products. We believe in the further growth of wood construction, which has gathered momentum over the past few years. Building with wood is fast, light and green. We want to develop partnerships in construction so that we can work with our partnership networks to offer increasingly effective solutions for our customers. The exceptional strength properties of Kerto LVL coupled with its lightness make it an excellent product for this type of construction,” says Esa Kaikkonen, Executive Vice President, Metsä Wood.
    (Metsä Wood)
     
    02.10.2017   DREMA 2017: Gold medal for Powermat 1500    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Success for WEINIG in Poland: The moulder Powermat 1500 and its System Plus were awarded a gold medal at the DREMA 2017 trade fair in Posen.

    The machine was praised for its high product quality and innovative technical development. The Powermat 1500 features the new Comfort Set operating concept and SmartTouch setup aid. Its flexibility makes it fully suitable for a wide range of applications. The digital System Plus combines all processes upstream of production, creating a perfect operating environment for the moulder.
    (Michael Weinig Aktiengesellschaft)

     
    29.09.2017   Increased demand for softwood lumber worldwide has pushed lumber prices upward, ...    ( Company news )

    Company news
    ... particularly in the US and China during the first half of 2017, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly

    Global Lumber Trade
    International trade of softwood lumber is on pace to a new record high in 2017 if the trend from the first six months of 2017 continues in the second half of the year. Of the ten largest lumber-exporting countries in the world, Russia, Finland, Austria and Ukraine increased shipments the most year-over-year during the first half of 2017. Russia alone, has accounted for 22% of global lumber trade so far in 2017, which is up from 15% ten years ago, according to the WRQ. Canada’s seven consecutive years of expanding shipments may reach an end this year with export volumes having declined 2.2% during the 1H/17.

    Lumber markets – North America
    During the first five months of 2017, lumber production in the US South bounced back after having declined during the second half of 2016. The total production output from January through May was 7.3% higher this year as compared to the same period in 2016, according to the WWPA.

    In Canada, lumber production was up seven percent in the Eastern provinces during the first five months of 2017, while it fell 2.1% in British Columbia. The decline in BC occurred mostly because of a reduction in lumber exports to China by 10% year-overyear.

    Lumber prices in both the US and Canada have trended upward for almost two years and reached 13-year highs in July. One exception has been pine lumber prices in the US South, which have fallen the past few months to the lowest level seen in almost a year.

    Lumber markets – Northern Europe
    Lumber production in the Nordic countries has increased faster than the rest of the continent the past five years. The sawmilling industry in Finland has grown more than in any other country in Europe the past few years, with production in 2016 being 21% higher than in 2012. This can be compared to increase of 12% during the same period in all of Europe.

    Lumber prices in the Nordic countries continue to be depressed in US dollar terms, although they have moved up slightly during the 2Q/17. Current price levels are close to the lowest they have been in eight years.

    Lumber markets – China
    Demand for softwood lumber has picked up in China in 2017 with import volumes during the first seven months being 16% higher than during the same period in 2016. By far, the biggest jump in supply sources has been from Russia, which increased shipments by 24% y-o-y to 7.1 million m3 from January to July.

    Russian sawmills also increased their market share from 42% of total Chinese imports in 2014 to 62% in 2017. Despite a substantial decline in the cost of Canadian lumber delivered to China from the record highs in 2013 and 2014, Canadian sawmills have lost market share substantially, dropping from a 40% share in 2013, when it was the largest supplier of softwood lumber to the Chinese market, to a current 22%.

    Lumber market – Japan
    Japan has increased importation of softwood lumber by two percent during the first half of 2017 as compared to the 1H/16. Total import volume in the 2Q/17 was 1.6 million m3, the highest level in two years. The biggest changes on the supply side this year compared to 2016 has been an increase in imports from Canada and Sweden, and a decline from Russia.

    In Yen terms, domestic lumber prices have moved up slightly in 2017, while import prices have remained practically unchanged.

    Lumber market – Russia
    Russian sawmills have increased production by an estimated 14% the past five years, mainly driven by a rise in demand for wood in China. Although domestic softwood lumber demand was up three percent in 2016 from the previous year, domestic consumption has fallen 12 percent the past five years. Russia has become a major player in the global lumber market the past ten years, but exported a surprisingly small share to Europe or the US. Instead a majority of the Russian lumber has been shipped to China, Japan, Iran and the CIS countries (see detailed export data in the latest WRQ Trade Snapshot). Export prices have trended upward for more than a year, and in June 2017, reached their highest levels since February of 2015.
    (WRI Wood Resources International LLC)
     
    28.09.2017   Keep carbon locked in     ( Company news )

    Company news
    Government subsidies for biomass energy production are not only distorting the UK market for wood but also releasing unnecessary CO2 into the atmosphere.

    Norbord continues to campaign for the best use of wood supplies via the Use Wood Wisely campaign – www.usewoodwisely.co.uk. In the wood panels industry, among others, wood is made into into panels that lock up carbon for many decades.

    However, as part of the government’s commitment to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, they are continuing to support the mass-industrialised burning of wood for energy, thus releasing tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere instead.

    Today, it is estimated that almost 3 million tonnes of British-sourced wood is being burnt by power generators every year.

    Use Wood Wisely campaign aims to highlight this predicament and to promote the responsible and sustainable use of wood. Norbord argues that it is much more efficient to process virgin timber into added-value products that have an important role to play in the world. Only when the wood products come to the end of their use, and can no longer be recycled or upcycled into other products, should their timber element be considered fit for burning for energy.

    This is known as the ‘cascade of use’ and is a best-practice model supported by a number of NGOs, who are otherwise unlikely bedfellows in campaigning efforts regards the biomass issue.

    As well as increased CO2 emissions, burning wood that isn’t at the end of its lifecycle is directly impacting the wood panel industry in terms of supply and cost. A recent report* highlighted the long-term imbalance between supply and demand in the UK. While it provides evidence that wood supply and demand will be roughly balanced for the next 15 years, there are concerns about demand exceeding supply beyond 2035. A concerning figure when one considers that trees take decades to fully mature.

    The extra demand is predominantly coming from the growth in sub-50MW biomass power stations in the UK and, in addition to putting extra pressure on the supply of wood, these plants also benefit from government subsidies which advantage them when it comes to competition for wood resource.

    Since E.ON commissioned a 50MW woodfired power station at Lockerbie, Scotland, in 2006, there has been a steady increase in wood-based power generation. This has created more competition for wood supplies in the UK but put companies like Norbord at a disadvantage as the government subsidies allow energy companies to distort the market, resulting in increased prices.

    For example, the Drax station in North Yorkshire will burn 7.5 million tones of wood pellets per annum – that’s equivalent to chopping down 12,000km2 of forest. Drax is sourcing the bulk of its wood pellets from North America and therefore contributing further to CO2 emissions in this long-distance transportation process.

    Norbord and the Wood Panel Industries Federation (WPIF), which represents other wood-consuming companies, are lobbying the government over this issue, but the WPIF is not against the development of biomass energy generation or competition – the industry just wants to compete for its raw material on a level playing field with the generators.

    In fact, Norbord has installed biomass boilers at its mills as an environmentally-efficient way of using up wood residues from its panel manufacturing process as fuel, wood that otherwise would go to landfill.

    Nevertheless, apart from the unfair competition situation, the Use Wood Wisely campaign has a strong ethical argument to get the best use out of a valuable resource before it is consigned to the flames.
    (Norbord (South Molton) Ltd)
     
    27.09.2017   Södra to invest in new CLT facility at Värö    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra is investing in a small facility for cross-laminated timber (CLT) adjacent to Södra’s sawmill at Värö. The plans include a future investment in a larger facility.

    “Södra is focused on increasing the use of sustainable timber construction and wants to take part, and to stake out a position, in this growing market. Production is scheduled to commence in early 2019. The facility will have an annual capacity of about 5,000 m³ per shift,” said Jörgen Lindquist, President of the Södra Wood business area.

    The investment is an important part of Södra’s strategic process of building long-term relationships across the value chain.

    “CLT will help us develop a new way of working, where we will be offering the most cost-effective material on the market for the construction of high-rise buildings. We are putting a complete customer offering together for CLT and will expand profitability as the market grows,” said Jörgen Lindquist.

    High-rise construction with timber is a growing market and demand is driven by both economics and sustainability. Demand is strong across all of northern Europe – in countries where Södra already holds a leading market position. CLT is a flexible material and particularly competitive in major cities, where the aim is to densify and construct high-rise buildings. Compared with other materials, CLT is transport-efficient, light and maintains high environmental integrity. These benefits are reflected not only in housing production, but also in the construction of sports facilities, warehouses, offices and schools.

    An extensive project has been ongoing for 12 months to improve and develop the profitability of Södra’s existing sawmills. At the same time, the best type of timber engineering for Södra’s structure, position and various markets has been under assessment.

    “Södra’s main mission is to strengthen family forestry by offering new and innovative products. We have identified CLT as an interesting product and want to take part, and to stake out a position, in a growing market. But we are also aware that this will require heavy investment, take time to position ourselves in the market and is associated with business risks. That is why we are starting out small,” said Lars Idermark, CEO of Södra.

    The location at Värö has been strategically chosen for its proximity to several Nordic high-growth regions, and the ease of shipping to both the UK and other international destinations. The facility will be co-located with Södra’s pulp mills and sawmills for access to green electricity and completed infrastructure. The investment is expected to require several new recruitments.
    (Södra Timber AB)
     
    27.09.2017   Scm Group continues to grow : Turnover for the first half of 2017 up by 15%    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Upward trend reinforced by the takeover of the German company HG Grimme

    The Board of Directors of Scm Group, a world leader in the machinery sector for processing wood, composites, plastic, glass, marble, metal and industrial components, met at the end of July 2017 to approve the financial report for the first half of 2017. In the first six months of the current year the group has achieved a turnover of 311 million euro, an increase of 14.5 per cent compared to the 271,7 million euro reached in 2016.

    On the basis of these incredible results, Scm Group expects to exceed the ambitious targets set for 2017. Scm Group ended 2016 with a turnover of 600 million euro, an increase of 15 per cent compared to 2015.

    This upward trend is also confirmed by the takeover of 51% of HG Grimme, a German specialist in the design and manufacturing of machines for processing plastic and composite materials. This operation – completed on 31st July 2017 – has led to the strengthening of global leadership in the production of technological solutions for the processing of plastic and composite materials, in which the SCM group is already present with the CMS brand.

    The recent Shareholders’ Meeting has also confirmed the Board of Directors, which is made up of: Giovanni Gemmani, President and Director-General; Andrea Aureli, CEO; Alfredo Aureli, Director; and Linda Gemmani, Director.
    (SCM Group S.p.A.)
     
    26.09.2017   The Global Forest Industry in the 2Q/2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Global Timber Markets
    - Sawlog prices were up quarter-over-quarter in practically all regions of the world in the 2Q/17. The biggest increases were seen in Central and Eastern Europe while there were modest price declines in the US South, Coastal British Columbia, Quebec and Brazil.
    - Although European sawmills continue to have some of the world’s highest rawmaterial costs, the discrepancy between the Global Sawlog Price Index (GSPI) and the European Sawlog Price Index (in US dollar terms) has fallen, bottoming out in the first quarter of 2017 to reach its lowest level in more than ten years, according to the WRQ.

    Global Pulpwood Prices
    - Both the WRI global wood fiber price indices inched up in the 2Q/17 because of a weaker US dollar and higher prices in the local currencies in many of the 17 regions that the two indices are comprised of.

    - In the 2Q/17, the Global Softwood Fiber Price Index (SFPI) was up 0.1% from the previous quarter to $85.10/odmt, which was the first qo-q increase since the 2Q/16. The biggest price increases (in dollar terms) occurred in the US Northwest, the Nordic countries, Spain, Russia and Chile.

    - The Global Hardwood Fiber Price Index (HFPI) also experienced a modest
    increase in the 2Q/17, mainly because of higher prices of hardwood pulplogs throughout Europe and Russia, as reported in the Wood Resource Quarterly.

    Global Pulp Markets
    - Higher pulp production in Latin America contributed to a rise global market pulp production by about 0.5% during the first five months of 2017 as compared to the same period in 2016. During the same period, production fell in North America partly because of the seasonal maintenance downtime at the pulp industry during the spring.

    - Strong demand and tighter supply during the spring pushed pulp prices upward in Europe, North America and China, with hardwood pulp price increasing the most. The price discrepancy between NBSK and BHK has tightened considerably compared to 2016.

    Global Lumber Markets
    - International trade of softwood lumber is on pace to a new record high in 2017 if the trend from the first six months of 2017 continues in the second half of the year.

    - Of the ten largest lumber-exporting countries in the world, Russia, Finland, Austria and Ukraine increased shipments the most year-over-year during the first half of 2017. Russia alone, has accounted for 22% of global lumber trade so far in 2017, which is up from 15% ten years ago.

    - During the first five months of 2017, lumber production in the US South bounced back after having declined during the second half of 2016. The total production output from January through May was 7.3% higher this year as compared to the same period in 2016.

    - Lumber prices in both the US and Canada have trended upward for almost two

    - Prices for lumber prices in the Nordic countries continue to be depressed in US dollar terms, although they have moved up slightly during the 2Q/17. Current price levels are close to the lowest they have been in eight years.

    - Demand for softwood lumber has picked up in China in 2017 with import volumes during the first seven months being 16% higher than during the same period in 2016. By far, the biggest jump in supply sources has been from Russia.

    Global Biomass Markets
    - Global trade of wood pellets has experienced a dramatic growth with a doubling of shipments to 16 million tons in 2016. There are four countries, the United Kingdom, Denmark, South Korea and Italy, that currently consume almost 80% of the world’s traded pellets.
    (WRI Wood Resources International LLC)
     
    25.09.2017   Moelven Norsälven AB may be closed    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The Board of Moelven Norsälven AB is considering closure of the sawmill. The reason is that the investment needs at the plant are extensive.

    The Chairman of the company, Division Manager Anders Lindh of Moelven Timber, says that even with extensive investment it will be difficult to achieve a future-oriented and profitable plant.

    “Considering closing a company is never easy. Unfortunately, Moelven Norsälven currently has a very low technical status and requires extensive ongoing maintenance to keep up operations,” Lindh says.

    Photo: The Board of Moelven Norsälven AB is considering closure of the sawmill. Photo: Tommy Helström

    MBL negotiations
    Employee representatives have been formally asked to attend MBL negotiations pursuant to section 19. Negotiations have been initiated. 44 employees risk losing their jobs.
    The company has annual revenues of just below SEK 200 million.

    Major maintenance measures
    Lindh says that attempts have been made to continue operations at Moelven Norsälven for as long as possible.
    “We now recognize that it is a question of time with regard to how long operations can continue in a proper manner without implementing improvement measures in the shape of major investments,” Lindh explains.

    Positive so far this year
    So far this year, results at the company have however been relatively positive.
    “However, this must be viewed in the context of the economic situation for Swedish sawmills being the best in 10 years. Overall, the company has posted a loss in the five-year period from 2012 to 2016”, Lindh says.

    Major investment needs
    Lindh says that overall investment needs will total at least SEK 70 million in the next three years in order to provide hope for justifiable operations.
    “We nevertheless believe that this will not result in sufficient long-term profitability.”

    Focus on Karlskoga and Torsby
    Two other large sawmills in Sweden – Moelven Valåsen AB and Moelven Notnäs AB – are in the midst of a development programme involving methodology, investments and organizational development.
    “These two companies will have increased production capacity that can compensate for the reduction in production that an eventual closure of Moelven Norsälven will entail,” Lindh says.

    Strengthens profitability
    According to Lindh, Moelven's overall production of sawn timber can be maintained at the same level, while efficiency and profitability is strengthened.
    “Customers and suppliers will therefore not be affected by an eventual closure of Moelven Norsälven and restructuring of operations,” Lindh says.
    (Moelven Norsälven AB)
     
    22.09.2017   Södra to invest in new CLT facility at Värö    ( Company news )

    Company news
    Södra is investing in a small facility for cross-laminated timber (CLT) adjacent to Södra’s sawmill at Värö. The plans include a future investment in a larger facility.

    “Södra is focused on increasing the use of sustainable timber construction and wants to take part, and to stake out a position, in this growing market. Production is scheduled to commence in early 2019. The facility will have an annual capacity of about 5,000 m³ per shift,” said Jörgen Lindquist, President of the Södra Wood business area.

    The investment is an important part of Södra’s strategic process of building long-term relationships across the value chain.

    “CLT will help us develop a new way of working, where we will be offering the most cost-effective material on the market for the construction of high-rise buildings. We are putting a complete customer offering together for CLT and will expand profitability as the market grows,” said Jörgen Lindquist.

    High-rise construction with timber is a growing market and demand is driven by both economics and sustainability. Demand is strong across all of northern Europe – in countries where Södra already holds a leading market position. CLT is a flexible material and particularly competitive in major cities, where the aim is to densify and construct high-rise buildings. Compared with other materials, CLT is transport-efficient, light and maintains high environmental integrity. These benefits are reflected not only in housing production, but also in the construction of sports facilities, warehouses, offices and schools.

    An extensive project has been ongoing for 12 months to improve and develop the profitability of Södra’s existing sawmills. At the same time, the best type of timber engineering for Södra’s structure, position and various markets has been under assessment.

    “Södra’s main mission is to strengthen family forestry by offering new and innovative products. We have identified CLT as an interesting product and want to take part, and to stake out a position, in a growing market. But we are also aware that this will require heavy investment, take time to position ourselves in the market and is associated with business risks. That is why we are starting out small,” said Lars Idermark, CEO of Södra.

    The location at Värö has been strategically chosen for its proximity to several Nordic high-growth regions, and the ease of shipping to both the UK and other international destinations. The facility will be co-located with Södra’s pulp mills and sawmills for access to green electricity and completed infrastructure. The investment is expected to require several new recruitments.
    (Södra Timber AB)
     
    21.09.2017   2017 INTERNATIONAL SOFTWOOD CONFERENCE 4TH-6TH OCTOBER 2017 HAMBURG    ( Company news )

    Company news
    After the great success of the previous editions, the 2017 INTERNATIONAL SOFTWOOD CONFERENCE will be organized this year on the 4TH-6TH OCTOBER 2017 in the fascinating city of Hamburg.

    Located on the River Elbe, Hamburg is one of the three city-states in Germany and the largest sea-port in Germany, third largest in Europe.

    As per tradition, the conference will be anticipated by a cocktail reception in the early evening on the 4th October, then will officially start at 9 o’clock the following morning with the market analysis from the perspective of top-class international speakers.

    The presentations will be focused on facts and figures showing softwood production as well as consumption in the most relevant timber markets such as North Africa, Egypt, Japan, Russia and USA, for mentioning just a few. An insight view of the Great Britain market after the BREXIT result will be one of the most interesting points of discussion of this year’s ISC. Moreover, a detailed insight view of the Canadian market and clarification on the softwood lumber agreement between USA and Canada will certainly contribute to enrich the debate between participants.

    The 2017 International Softwood conference is hosted by the German Timber Trade Federation (GD HOLZ), the European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF) and the European Organization of the Sawmill Industry (EOS).
    (EOS European Organisation of Sawmill Industry aisbl)
     
    20.09.2017   Theme Days at WEINIG DIMTER in Illertissen / 8 and 9 November 2017    ( Company news )

    Company news
    WEINIG DIMTER and HOLZ-HER are inviting you to WEINIG DIMTER Packaging Days in Illertissen.

    Thousands of valuable goods are transported around the world every day. To get them safely from A to B, packaging concepts are becoming increasingly important to the distributor. To produce packaging materials efficiently, suitable manufacturing machines and a precise production planning system is essential.

    WEINIG DIMTER is specialized in cross-cut saws and gluing presses for solid wood processing. HOLZ-HER is your competent specialist for stationary panel processing.

    During the WEINIG DIMTER Packaging Days we will present everything around the manufacturing of wooden packaging products and pallets. You will be able to listen to experts and you will see how lengths and widths are cut and how cutting processes are optimized – all for your perfect packaging.

    Exclusively for you, we are going to offer a guided visit to the running production of our customer Tricor Packaging & Logistics AG.

    We cordially invite you to join our Packaging Days on 8 and 9 November 2017 in Illertissen, where we would like to show you exciting new options on productive packaging manufacturing for your business.
    (Weinig Dimter GmbH & Co. KG)
     
    19.09.2017   At 18 storeys, Mjøsa Tower in Brumunddal to take title of world's tallest wooden building    ( Company news )

    Company news
    When completed in March 2019, Mjøsa Tower in the Norwegian town of Brumunddal will be the world’s tallest wooden building. The construction, which started in early April this year, is an example of how wood can be substituted for concrete, which is considerably heavier and less environmentally friendly. The building will stand over 80 metres tall, and its 18 storeys will house offices, a hotel and apartments.

    Wooden buildings are the solution to the high demand for new housing and offices, urban densification, and stringent environmental demands. Using wood as the main building material produces lightweight and cost-effective buildings that are quick to build and have minimal environmental impact. This also applies to load-bearing elements.

    Environmental concerns are perhaps key
    This high-rise is being built using glulam, CLT, and Metsä Wood’s Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber). To ensure the required load-bearing capacity, cross-bonded veneer panels called Kerto-Q LVL will be used for the flooring between the storeys. The panels are extremely strong and durable.

    Wood is an environmentally friendly building material. As a raw material, it is renewable and abundantly available in the Nordic countries. The material absorbs more carbon dioxide as the tree grows than the quantities emitted in the manufacture of this construction material. The wood’s light weight means less transportation and lighter foundations of the kind required for concrete buildings.

    Construction time slashed by half
    Using wood as the main construction material, even in high-rises, is key to shortening the construction time and, consequentially, cost. Modern technology enables us to prefabricate all components in a factory with a very high degree of precision. Compared to cast-in-situ concrete, wood makes it possible for construction time to be slashed by half. In addition, it’s relatively easy to make adjustments or corrections on-site.

    “The floor structures, which consist of massive beams with Kerto panels on top, are assembled in our factory, just 15 kilometres from the construction site. Obviously, that’s a huge advantage if you have something that needs to be adjusted at the factory. The work is progressing at the rate of one storey a week, which has shortened our construction time by approximately 35 to 40 per cent compared to using cast-in-site concrete. And since the wooden components are so lightweight, we don’t need the machinery to be as heavy,” says Rune Abrahamsen, Managing Director of Moelven Limtre AS, a general subcontractor in the Mjøsa Tower project.

    Using wood means greater fire safety
    Fire safety is not a weak point in the wooden Mjøsa Tower. Untreated solid wood creates its own fire-resistant surface because the outermost layer chars when exposed to fire, protecting against further fire damage.

    In fact, wood is a fireproof material despite the commonly held belief that it isn’t. “Fire safety rules state that buildings must be able to withstand a full fire for at least two hours without collapsing. When you have a building made of steel and concrete, the steel melts and the building collapses,” says Erik Tveit, Project Manager at HENT AS, the general contractor for the site.

    Nevertheless, concrete will be used between the floors of the Tower’s top seven storeys. Using concrete has nothing to do with the load-bearing capacity. There's a simpler explanation: the swaying that increases the higher you get in a building built of wood or concrete. The weight of the concrete in the upper storeys makes the swaying slower and not as readily perceivable.

    Metsä Wood is supplying Kerto LVL to Moelven Limtre AS, which is constructing the wooden frame for the general contractor HENT.
    (Metsä Wood)
     
    18.09.2017   Norway: Agreement Signed for Forest Protection and Restoration in Ethiopia    ( Company news )

    Company news
    The Governments of Norway and Ethiopia have taken an important step towards supporting Ethiopia’s climate friendly economic development. The Government of Norway has allocated up to NOK 600 million for sustainable forest management and forest restoration in Ethiopia until 2020.

    Photo: Bale Forest, Ethiopia Photo: RNE

    Representatives of the two countries have signed an agreement for a NOK 600 million (approximately USD 80 million) investment aiming to protect Ethiopia’s remaining natural forests and for transforming the Ethiopian forest sector. The grant will be used for forest protection and restoration activities and for establishing innovative public-private partnerships in the forestry sector. The support will contribute to Ethiopia’s Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) Strategy which aims for middle-income country status by 2025 while maintaining greenhouse gas emissions at 2010-level. To achieve this, Ethiopia plans to avoid greenhouse gas emissions of 255 Mt CO2e by 2025, compared to a business as usual emissions scenario. Half of these emissions will be avoided by protecting and restoring forests.

    The agreement constitutes the main element of Phase II of the Ethiopian-Norwegian partnership agreement on forests and climate.

    “Protection of Ethiopia's remaining natural forest as well as forest restoration at an unprecedented scale is needed to reach Ethiopia’s climate ambitions. Norwegian support focuses on innovation and new partnerships aiming to drive the costs of forest restoration down. Success in this area is important, not only to Ethiopia, but to all countries planning to undertake large scale forest restoration.”, said H.E. Mr. Andreas Gaarder, Norwegian Ambassador to Ethiopia.

    The majority of Ethiopians depend on rainfed agriculture for their livelihoods. The country is highly vulnerable to climate change and suffering from unpredictable rainfall, drought and extreme weather. Forests prevent soil erosion and can help raise the ground water level as well as provide food, fuel and building material. Forests are also a source of commodities such as honey, coffee and herbs and an important resource and security net for the poor. From a global climate perspective, forests have huge importance because of their ability to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This multidimensional benefit of forests makes investment in the sector a worthy developmental pursuit and a strategic area for tackling challenges of climate change.
    (Royal Norwegian Embassy in Addis Ababa)
     

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