Article by Rich Donnell
Editor-in-Chief
You may be aware that Timber Processing magazine is closely affiliated with Panel World and Wood Bioenergy magazines. While TP obviously covers the lumber industry, PW focuses on panels and engineered wood products, and WBE reports on industrial wood pellets and biomass procurement. They have one thing in common—they’re all wood-related. So naturally some of the coverage in one magazine spills over into one of the other magazines or both.
I realize everybody’s time is precious these days—thank goodness—but there are two upcoming events that may have some interest for you.
On April 11-12, the fifth Wood Bioenergy Conference & Expo will be held at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia. This event will feature 30 speakers and 60 equipment and technology exhibitors in the Grand Ballroom North of the hotel.
It marks the 10th anniversary of the startup of the first large scale industrial wood pellet plant in 2008, by Fram Renewable Fuels in Georgia. There are now about 20 or so of these plants in the Southern U.S. that are manufacturing and exporting wood pellets to overseas electricity producers.
Several of the leading officials from several of the wood pellet companies will be addressing the future of the industry, forest sustainability, the biomass supply chain and other topics.
If you want to get up to date on this industry, which has been happening all around you, here’s your chance.
In the same location, on April 13-14, will be the sixth Panel & Engineered Lumber International Conference & Expo. Some 40 speakers and 80 technology exhibitors will be on hand. This event, held every other year, started in 2008, so it is celebrating a 10th anniversary as well.
Like the title says, “engineered lumber” is one of the major focal points of this conference. While you’ve been running hard to produce lumber for traditional markets, you’ve most likely heard of developments going on with a product called cross laminated timber. This product, which originated in Europe, is now finding its way into some multi-story structures in the U.S. Regulatory bodies are hard at work giving definition to CLT application. Concrete groups are becoming concerned about losing market share to CLT.
CLT is made from gluing and pressing layers of solid sawn lumber, with each layer composed of multiple pieces of dimension lumber side by side, and each layer oriented in the other direction from the layer above and below it. It is somewhat like glulam, except glulam layers are all oriented in the same direction.
Of course if it really gets going, it represents a new market for lumber producers such as yourself. While a couple of plants are making CLT in the Northwest, a new one is being built in Dothan, Ala. by International Beams.
The second day of the conference in Atlanta will have a session with five speakers addressing developments in CLT. It might be worth your while.
Registration for one or both of the conferences includes access to all of the speaking sessions, the exhibitor floor and multiple food functions. You can also register for just one day.
The web sites are: www.bioenergyshow.com and www.pelice-expo.com.
We hope to see you there.