Industry of Promising Investments
Every year 20,000-25,000 hectares of new forests is planted in Belarus
Every year 20,000-25,000 hectares of new forests is planted in Belarus
What do you think about the role of the forest industry in the Belarusian economy and how is the industry financed in the present economic situation?
Forests occupy nearly 40% of Belarus’ territory and therefore forest management is important. First, forests provide ecological security and food security. Second, effective exploitation of forest resources is lucrative for the state. In 2010 tax revenues from the forest industry totaled Br317.5 billion while the state budget spent Br225 billion on forest management. This
forestry specialists from many CIS states visit Belarus to learn the best practices of Belarusian specialists. the foreign specialists are interested in Belarusian forest growing techniques in particular and the overall experience of forest industry management. how did the Belarusians manage to keep their forests in order, why does Belarus boast the least number of illegal felling attempts and environmental law violations, what secures steady export growth? these and other questions are answered by Belarusian forestry Minister Mikhail amelyanovich.
year tax revenues will be as high as Br365.4 billion, with state budget appropriations at Br295 billion. Revenues in January-august 2011 exceeded Br345.5 billion, 151.3% as against the same period of last year. The figures testify that the forest industry is a self-supporting, economically effective industry, which is constantly developing.
The share of state budget appropriations in the total cost of forest management gradually decreases. In 2011 the share is as large as 40.5%. In 2015 it is supposed to be about 30%. It will be achieved through larger revenues from forest management and the annual increase in harvested timber prices.
What propels revenues of the industry? Larger exports, domestic timber sales?
Apart from managing forests, enterprises run by the Forestry Ministry pay their way. In JanuaryAugust 2011 the industry’s proceeds from selling products and services amounted to Br699.5 billion, 63% up on January-august 2010. Export revenues totaled Br374.6 billion (79.2% up), domestic sales proceeds Br324.9 billion (50% up).
The growth has been achieved mainly thanks to larger export. Meanwhile, domestic timber sales increased. In January-august 2011 3,780,000 cubic meters of merchantable wood was sold along with 148,300 cubic meters of industrial wood, 101% and 135% as against the same period of last year.
How does the industry attract investments and what are they primarily spent on?
In January-august 2011 the forest industry attracted Br177.2 billion in fixed-capital investments, 35.2% up on the same period of last year. The bulk of the investments (47%, Br83.4 billion) went into forest harvesting development. The main task of forest harvesting enterprises is to satisfy the national demand for raw wood and we are working on it. Exploiting the calculated felling rate in full using modern multi-purpose forest harvesting machines and technologies is another priority of the industry’s development. This is why forest harvesting plays the key role in attracting fixed-capital investments. This year’s target is set at Br100 billion.
As much as 13.8% of the total investments is spent on retooling the forest industry. The money fuels successful modernization of the forest industry, new machines and technologies are introduced, transplant nurseries and seed plantations are developed.
Investments in woodworking amounted to Br16.5 billion, or 9.36% of the total investments. These days the effectiveness of using wood resources and the quality of manufactured products are improved thanks to purchases of new high-tech wood-sawing equipment and woodworking planers, drying facilities, crush mills, equipment to make fuel pellets, peat bricks and coal.
Do forestry enterprises have enough machines? Is retooling of the forest harvesting industry successful?
We are working hard on it. Machines are bought every year. This year forestry enterprises bought 331 forest harvesters. Taking into account prices and operational parameters we prefer buying Belarus-made machines and only the machines, which are not produced domestically, are imported. Those are mainly compact harvesters for improvement thinning and power saws.
At present Belarusian forestry enterprises use 66 harvesters, including 28 imports. The rest have been made by OAO Amkodor. 122 forwarders are used for skid- ding. At present multi-purpose machines are used in 11% of forest harvesting operations. By 2015 the figure will be close to 70%. The forest harvesting industry will use 200 harvesters and 400 forwarders.
In this five-year term the government pays close attention to innovative small-scale power engineering projects such as the transition of compact cogeneration plants to local
alternative fuels. How many projects have been implemented with the aid of forest enterprises and how many are supposed to be implemented this year and this five-year term?
At present forestry enterprises are taking part in six smallscale power engineering projects. Forestry enterprises supply wood fuel to cogeneration plants in Pinsk and Pruzhany, to the Belarusian state district power plant, to com- pact cogeneration plants in Vileika, Zhodino, and Osipovichi.
Since the beginning of the year forestry enterprises have shipped 124,600 cubic meters of wood fuel. Besides, a lot of wood fuel is supplied to boiler houses of the Ministry of Housing and Communal Services and other government agencies. In the current five-year term there are plans to build 161 energy sources powered by local fuels (wood chips, firewood, refuse wood, peat) in various parts of the country. Thus, forestry enterprises have good prospects of increasing the sales of wood fuel.
Are local fuels in demand of housing and community amenities organizations this year?
Organizations that provide housing and community amenities get as much wood fuel as they order. Since the beginning of the year they have received 882,200 cubic meters of wood fuel. By 1 September 2011 forestry enterprises had stockpiled 2.9 million cubic meters of wood fuel: firewood, refuse wood, chip fuel, pellets and bricks. Apart from that, households, organizations operated by the Ministry of Housing and Communal Services and other organizations had stockpiled 900,000 cubic meters of timber. Preparations for the 2011-2012 heating season will be carried out as ordered by the government. By 1 October 2011 warehouses of forestry enterprises will have 540,600 cubic meters of wood fuel stockpiled for organizations that provide housing and community amenities.
What investment projects in the woodworking industry will be carried out?
This year 16 projects will be carried out to modernize sawmill equipment, five projects will upgrade shaving machines, another five projects will build new drying facilities. Another 13 projects will modernize woodworking enterprises via purchases of new equipment. Since the beginning of the year investments in woodworking have reached Br15.2 billion.
There are plans to implement 35 investment projects at woodworking enterprises in 2012. Drying facilities to make dried timber will be installed. New drying chambers will be commissioned. New shaving machines will allow manufacturing products with a higher added value. These products will satisfy the demand for construction materials of the local population, public sector organizations, municipal and agricultural enterprises. Forestry enterprises will manufacture floorboards, clapboards, base molding and other molding products. Since home building by individuals is on the rise in the countryside, we are confident that our products will sell.
What is done to restore forests? Is the existing fire prevention system effective?
Every year Belarusian wood growers accomplish forest restoration and forest cultivation plans in full. For instance, this year forest cultivation work has been done on an area of 23,600 hectares, with the target at 21,200 hectares. In the last five years the forest reserve of the Forestry Ministry has achieved a positive trend as far as forest felling and forest planting are concerned. In the period clear felling affected 125,800 hectares while forest restoration was accomplished in 172,100 hectares. Forests were restored in 47,800 hectares of low productivity lands, which are no
longer used for agricultural purposes.
I would like to note that nearly 23% of Belarusian forests are manmade. Thanks to hard work of Belarusian wood growers as many as 20,000-25,000 hectares of new forests is planted in Belarus every year, raising wood availability by about 30.3 million cubic meters. Belarus has 0.8 hectares of forests and over 160 cubic meters of wood reserves per capita, or twice as much as the European average.
We have managed to considerably improve fire protection of forests. Speaking about the readiness of forestry enterprises for this year’s fire-hazardous season, one can note that the readiness level is the highest one in the last few years. While the money spent on buying fire extinguishing means in 2008-2010 was under Br2 billion, over Br5 billion was spent on it in January-august 2011. The physical infrastructure of fire-fighting and chemical stations of forestry enterprises has been considerably enhanced. This year forestry enterprises have bought a large amount of the necessary machines, equipment and tools to prevent and fight forest fires. Existing fireprevention awareness and nature protection signs and posters have been repaired. Fire lines have been built. Practical exercises meant to polish and practice fire detection and fire-fighting skills have been held. The efforts are productive. The number and the area of forest fires have dropped by 36.8% and 67.5% respectively in comparison with 2010.
What projects should be accomplished to improve the industry’s effectiveness and raise proprietary earnings?
Effective forest management depends on the availability and quality of roads to a large extent. A well-developed network of forest roads will allow forestry enterprises to fully secure the calculated felling rate, perform forest restoration in a timely manner, provide the necessary forest care, and effectively fight fires and forest pests. Forest roads also prompt more rapid development of popu- lated localities. In most cases forestry roads are also used as public roads that connect villages.
The construction of forestry roads is financed by the central state budget. Taking into account a 55.6% reduction of finance available for the 2011 national investment program, measures have been taken to seek additional sources of finance to build forestry roads.
Besides, as from 1 January 2012 the Forestry Ministry suggests setting prices for the consequent year by multiplying the existing prices by a coefficient to compensate for the lack of forest roads construction funding. It will allow getting money to build forest roads more smoothly through the year and hit the target of building at least 100 kilometers of roads per annum.
Forest harvesting is the leading
branch of Belarus’ forest
industry. It puts considerable effort
into introducing modern machines, equipment and technologies.
Pictured is the loading and tidying up of forests
in the Osipovichi forestry enterprise,
OAO Ivatsevichidrev is one of Belarus’ largest woodworking enterprises. The advanced physical infrastructure enables the company to make a wide choice of highquality products and export them to 20 countries across the globe
Belarusian forestry enterprises participate in the implementation of six small-scale power engineering projects. A new 4MW boiler house that burns locally available fuels has been built in the town of Malorita, Brest Oblast
The Zhitkovichi forestry enterprise, Gomel Oblast,
has started manufacturing fuel
bricks out of wood shavings using a European
technology. The new products are
exported to the Baltic states
In June 2008 Shklov Newsprint Mill commissioned
a modern timber mill. It manufactures various products
made of round timber, including
The private company Postavsky Mebelny Center (Postavy furniture center), Vitebsk Oblast manufactures over 200,000 bonded pine wood doors. Local products are available for sale in all the regions of Russia as well as Ukraine, Italy, Denmark, and Iraq