Timber Processing’s July/August issue features the Annual Buying Guide. Forestry and energy industries come together in north Florida, and the result is the world’s largest wood fuel pellet plant. Scanner producer JoeScan brings experience and new products to the sawmill industry. Also, Roseburg’s lumber output at its Dillard, Oregon mill last year was tops in the nation, surpassing seemingly perennial number one Hampton-Willamina.
A federal bankruptcy judge ruled that Pacific Lumber Co. (PALCO), the nation’s leading redwood lumber producer in Scotia, Calif., will be taken over by a $525 million joint venture of Mendocino Redwood Co. (owned by San Francisco’s Fisher family) and an East Coast hedge fund. The judge rejected as “unrealistic” plans to liquidate Pacific Lumber’s 210,000 acres of redwood timberlands and the historic Humboldt County mill town of Scotia.
Globalization of the forest products industry and the integration of economies around the world are ongoing issues. These dynamics—when decisions made and demand created halfway across the globe lead to new products and plants in North America—are readily apparent at the new Green Circle Bio Energy wood fuel pellet plant in the north Florida Panhandle.
For hundreds of years, inventors have set out to build a better mousetrap. But the fact is, in the old days there were really only so many ways to catch a mouse. These days, the age of high technology has broadened the possibilities for entrepreneurs almost immeasurably. For a generation of innovative thinkers who grew up with computers, it’s been a matter of matching the brilliant idea with the right technology—and, sometimes, waiting for the technology to catch up to the idea.
U.S. softwood lumber production was 35.2 billion BF in 2007, off 13% from its 2005 high, according to Western Wood Products Assn. Based on our tabulated capacity of 43.7 billion feet, that means the industry utilized 80% of its potential. The utilization rate of our top 200 U.S. producers for 2007 was at a similar 83% while among all our respondents it was 82%.
As the North American economy continues to weaken and predictions of recession loom, along with rising corporate default rates, most distressed U.S.-based companies may not immediately be thinking of contingency scenarios in Canada. They should. That’s because their own fate may be tied more closely than they know to the insolvency of a major Canadian supplier or customer.
It came as something as a surprise to Roger Burke and Alan Bishop when their company, Solar Dryers Australia (SDA) of New South Wales, received a call from ABC TV. The “New Inventors” show wanted to know more about the Solar Hybrid kilns developed by SDA. The word “new” was not quite accurate as SDA has been building this range of solar/gas, pure gas kilns and heat treatment units for eight years.