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  • Archive for September, 2009

    Teak offers highest yields for timber investors

    2009 - 09.11


    Timber investments are some of the safest and steadiest available, with teak in particular offering one of the best values and highest yields in the timber sector, according to a Panama-based expert with 25 years of experience in the timber investment industry.

    Jeff Duda notes that timber “protects an investor” during times of inflation, and he points out that teak forms a niche segment of the timber industry which is managed by small, privately-owned organisations rather than bigger institutional operators.

    Writing in NuWire Investor, the president and managing director of Panama Teak Forestry advises anyone considering a timber investment to investigate the data a given company uses to calculate return on investment.

    “Such data may include price per unit and growth rate,” he observes.

    “Teak is a commercial wood, which means the price per unit is pretty well fixed at different sizes and ages of the stand, and at different points of being processed,” he continues.

    Potential timber investors are warned against companies which claim to be able to grow trees “faster than anyone has ever grown a teak tree over the past 1,000 years”, as they are likely to disappoint over time.

    Duda recommends using a growth rate of 10 to 12 cubic meters per year for teak, concluding that a final harvest yield of 200 to 220 cubic meters per hectare after an average of 25 years is “a good conservative estimate”.

    The Timber Investment Blog is sponsored by Greenwood Management. For more information on investing in Forestry please click here

    Eucalyptus success prompts new forestry investment project

    2009 - 09.09

    A productive eucalyptus plantation collaboration has prompted a leading agricultural biotechnology firm to enter a new agreement with the Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF).

    FuturaGene, which develops eco-friendly solutions to enhance yields and improve the processability of plants for forestry, biofuels, biopower and agriculture, will develop poplar – used for plywood, veneer and structural timber – with increased yield and processability for the Chinese domestic market.

    The plans follow the agreement, in May this year, between Oregon State University and FuturaGene unit CBD Technologies to produce a proprietary eucalyptus clone and a eucalyptus transformation protocol.

    For the latest project, Futuragene will provide proprietary genes and technical assistance to CAF with the aim of improving yield, drought and salt tolerance of short-rotation poplar for the biofuel and biomass markets.

    Dr Stanley Hirsch, FuturaGene’s chief executive, commented that the agreement is “strategically important” to his organisation’s global initiatives in the crop’s development for biopower and biofuel production.

    “We are delighted to be extending our relationship with CAF following the productive start to our initial eucalyptus-focused collaboration agreement,” he added.

    The first agreement between FuturaGene and CAF, signed in 2007, aimed to improve the yield, processability and disease resistance of eucalyptus trees.

    Future hybrids will doubtless provde increase yields to forestry investors and therefore better returns on their investments in forestry,   whilst also protecting the natural forest by virtue of the increased timber that can be harvested from the forestry plantations.

    The Timber Investment Blog is sponsored by Greenwood Management. For more information on investing in Forestry please click here

    Wood biomass plant in Wales officially opened

    2009 - 09.02

    The timber investment sector has welcomed the opening of the first commercial-scale wood biomass plant in Wales.

    Located in Port Talbot, the £33 million Western Wood Energy Plant has sustained a number of jobs in the local timber and engineering businesses through fuel supply and maintenance activities.

    The wood biomass plant is believed to generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 31,000 homes every year, with the majority of wood sourced locally from Welsh forests and byproducts from timber industries.

    Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan, who officially opened the plant, commented that the flagship project has been recognised as “one of the best performing biomass sites in the UK”, providing sustainable benefits to the local economy.

    “The Assembly Government is actively working on ways to increase use of bio-energy and the sustainable supply of biomass for energy generation,” he added.

    Morgan also explained that the plant’s combustion process will prevent 47,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted, a quantity which would be produced by an equivalent fossil fuel power station.

    Earlier this year, the Welsh government announced plans to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and generate a fifth of its energy from biomass sources by 2020.

    The Timber Investment Blog is sponsored by Greenwood Management. For more information on investing in Forestry please click here