Closure of Triabunna mill cost Forestry Tasmania AU$25M in 2011-12, says state agency's chief as 18,000 tonnes of softwood pulp logs, 9,000 tonnes of hardwood logs that would otherwise have been chipped, are loaded for shipment to China

HOBART, Australia , December 4, 2012 (press release) – Forestry Tasmania will begin loading approximately 18,000 tonnes of softwood pulp logs and 9,000 tonnes of hardwood logs for China this week.

The ship, the Danship Bulker, will continue loading in Hobart for several days and will supply both export peeler logs and pulp logs for the Chinese market.

Managing Director Bob Gordon said the export of pulp grade logs was a necessary response to the ongoing closure of the Triabunna mill.

“Under previous operating conditions the hardwood logs would have been exported as woodchips through Triabunna, but this most basic form of value adding has been closed down indefinitely.

“In 2011/12, the closure of Triabunna cost Forestry Tasmania $25 million – that’s half a million dollars a week.

“The absence of a suitable export facility in southern Tasmania continues to cause significant difficulties for the industry; however, this shipment is a good indication that the demand for Tasmanian timber in the Chinese market remains strong.”

Mr Gordon said the load consisted of almost 9,000 tonnes of hardwood peeler logs that would most likely be used to manufacture engineered wood products such as laminated veneer lumber (LVL). None of these logs are a suitable quality for Ta Ann.

“It is a heartening sign for the long term future of the industry to see innovative products being developed that will meet existing markets both nationally and internationally.”

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