DANA forestry conference is well timed
NEXT MONTH’S DANA FOREST INDUSTRY Conference in Rotorua is shaping up as one of the most important forest industry events in New Zealand in 2017, according to its convener, DANA Director Dennis Neilson.
“Log exports are humming and there is much more optimism among sawmill owners with the buoyant demand from the building sector, so it’s a good time to take stock and look at what lies ahead for our industry,” says Mr Neilson.
“There’s also the added interest of the election in September, and we have presentations from Ministers and MPs, which will provide special significance.”
This year the annual one-day DANA conference takes place on Tuesday August 22 at the Novotel in central Rotorua.
It will be modelled on the very successful 2014 DANA event, with presentations on international and domestic wood industry topics, plus a panel of five political party forestry spokespersons on the policies of their parties, six weeks out from the General Election, and in addition, presentations by Trade Minister, Todd McLay, Associate Minister for Primary Industries, Louise Upston and Simon Bridges, Minister for Economic Development and Transport.
As a prelude to the conference, a daylong series of visits have been arranged for the Monday (August 21) to key sawmills and forestry organisations, including the newly built Red Stag USNR green sawmill just outside Rotorua, Kiwi Lumber’s specialist pruned log sawmill at Putaruru and nearby Pacific Pine’s new PFS Engineering syngas energy plant for dry kilns. There’ll be a lunch stop at the Putaruru Timber Museum to hear guest speaker Ian Elliot, CEO of Trinity Farms, followed by a visit to the giant Lichfield Fonterra Dairy Factory, then the Waratah manufacturing facility at Tokoroa and ending with a visit to the Hancock Timber Resource Group Tokoroa office for an overview of its operations.
The next day, at the conference, presenters from local and international forestry businesses will cover some key topics.
These will include an outline of Chinese wood panel manufacturer Fenglin’s plans to build a $180 million, 600,000m3 per annum particleboard mill at Kawerau.
Of the Fenglin plan, Mr Neilson says: “This sounds like a lot of PB (an NZ mill makes about 30,000m3 pa) but relative to expansions in China, it’s not. PB industry investment in China in 2016 alone included 45 new plants totalling 8.6 million3 of annual production capacity.
“The Kawerau plant will produce just 7% of even the 2016 single year PB expansions in China. Perhaps a signal of interest for further investments in NZ in future? Maybe we will find out?”
Other presenters include Robert Green, the recently appointed CEO of New Zealand’s largest forest management company, Timberlands; Marty Verry, CEO of Red Stag, Australasia’s largest and most modern sawmill; Gary Caulfield, CEO of Xlam, the first cross laminated timber manufacturer in Australia, which is currently building one of the world’s largest CLT plants across the Tasman; and Andres Katz, Global Chief Economist of US-based timberlands investor, RMS, who will speak on wood market trends and opportunities for NZ forest owners, with particular reference to the China.
Further information on the DANA Forest Industry conference is on www.danaevents.co.nz.