VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, at the request of the South
Australian State Government, studied the condition of the forest sector
industries in the Green Triangle region and examined the added value that may
be achievable through high technology production.
VTT proposed seven pathways to raise short-term local production value and
establish specialised biorefinery business in the longer term.
The South Australian government invited VTT to identify ways of increasing the
productivity of the region's forest and sawmill industry, and to promote
co-operation among the region's businesses. After a year of research, VTT has
now published its report, recommending seven future pathways for the region.
Three have a time horizon of around 3–5 years, the remainder extending beyond
The means proposed for raising short-term productivity are more efficient use
of timber resources, increased production value for the construction industry,
and tapping into opportunities offered by fibre raw material and industrial
side streams. According to VTT, the X-ray scanning of timber could increase
yield volume by 5 per cent, equivalent to extra annual sales revenue of AUD 70
million for large sawmills. Scanning is used to analyse the inner structure of
the timber and identify optimal use.
Implementation of VTT's long-term recommendations requires the construction of
new biorefineries for manufacturing highly refined products, such as absorbing
materials and membranes, cellulose-based textiles, bio-based chemicals and
polymers, as well as nanocellulose.
Tom Kenyon, South Australia's Minister for Manufacturing, Innovation and
Trade, commended VTT's contribution: "VTT Technical Research Centre is a world
leader in translating research into tangible business opportunities and I
thank them for their detailed work which provides a report setting an agenda
for the next 5–-10 years and beyond."
The two-stage study was co-funded by the State Government and Federal
South Australia boasts remarkable forestry resources: more than 340,000
hectares of plantation forest. These consist primarily of pine and eucalyptus.
The sawmill industry provides work for around 35 per cent of the population in
South Australia's Green Triangle region.
Report on the Internet: http://www.dmitre.sa.gov.au/manufacturing_works/programs_and_initiatives/cellulose_fibre_chain_initiative
waiting to be exported in the Portland dock.