Timber Processing’s November issue spotlights Mountain Forest Products’ new chip mill and sawmill complex in Clintwood, Virginia. A Georgia operation takes an innovative approach when choosing new equipment and new technology for a worn-out facility. Also, the engineered lumber product, which originated in Australia and flirted with corporate support in the U.S., is back as TimTek.
International Paper has reached an agreement to sell its Masonite businesses to Premdor Inc. of Toronto for $523 million. The deal continues International Paper’s program to sell more than $3 billion in assets that no longer fit the company’s long-term strategy in the wake of acquiring Champion International earlier this year and last year’s merger with Union Camp Corp.
When a company has acquired 150,000 acres in the corner of just one state, it only makes sense to look at how the timber on it is managed. Pittston Coal Co., based in Lebanon, made just such an assessment and found itself in the timber processing business. Mountain Forest Products, owned by Pittston Coal and formed in 1995 to look after the company’s timber resource, is composed of side-by-side chip mill and sawmill facilities and is an impressive site whether one prefers the architecture of mills or God’s mountain handiwork.
Less than two years ago, the Newport Timber wood yard in Riceboro, Ga. was dependent on decades-old equipment, infrastructure and technology. The facility required extensive maintenance, and operators and management constantly struggled against excessive downtime and inconsistent chip quality. Yet today the Riceboro wood yard has been transformed with the installation of a new, innovative Andritz KoneWood treelength wood processing system.
Two years ago, Fulghum Fibres, Inc. teamed up with Potlatch Corp.’s paper mill at Arkansas City to provide 300,000 tons of chips annually. Like many forest products companies, Potlatch’s goal from the onset was to cease manufacturing chips at its lumber facility located not far from here. Fulghum Fibres took the lead in helping Potlatch reach its goal by moving and revamping one of the company’s existing chipping lines.
In the mid-’50s, O.T. Fulghum and Sons Lumber Co. was battling a mild recession. The principals of this family operation in Wadley, Ga. heard that money was being made in the Northwest producing chips from sawmill residue. At that time, hydraulic debarking was the norm. The Fulghums invited some West Coast suppliers down South, and were informed that for $75,000 to $100,000 the sawmill could install this Northwest debarking technology.
The homebuilding and construction industry has in the past relied heavily on sawn softwood structural timbers from resource which grew in abundance in the northern hemispheres of the world. However, due to environmental restrictions, encroachments by civilization, non-forestry practices and public apathy, the seemingly endless supply of cheap, large trees is becoming a thing of the past.
Louisiana-Pacific has started up a composite lumber decking plant here, producing traditional 5⁄4 in. and 2 in. thick decking, plus railing profiles, but out of very non-traditional decking raw materials, namely planer shavings, dry sawdust and recycled plastic (high density polyethylene). The plant runs eight extrusion lines, using licensed technology from Strandex Corp.The plant runs eight extrusion lines, using licensed technology from Strandex Corp.