• About
  • Forestry Investment
  • World Forestry Update
  • Archives
  • Categories
  • Moving towards a bio-age

    2010 - 03.11

    Canada’s woes continue as the forestry sector struggles with the sluggish demand, bankruptcies, the closing of plants, job losses across the country and to cap it all off pricing pressure from competitors in developing countries.

    Canada is still feeling the effects of continuous setbacks over the past five years. In particular, the drawn out softwood lumber dispute with the US. The sector is in serious need of a solution so it can return to stability and maintain and support its 270,000 workforce.

    This solution could come in the form of a year long study commissioned by the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC). Called the bio-pathways project it revealed that forestry companies can capitalise on the bio-age by integrating bio-energy production with existing operations.
    “It’s really about the transformation of the sector,” says Catherine Cobden, FPAC’s vice-president of economics and regulatory affairs.

    Headed by Don Roberts the managing director of CIBC world markets in Ottawa, the study pulled together more than 60 industry experts, executives and governments.  It assessed 27 traditional and emerging bio-chemical and bio-energy technologies on an economic, social and environmental level.

    The outcome of the study revealed that forest product producers need to look no further than their existing operations. While producing traditional products forestry companies can convert biomass (wood fibre) into bio-energy and bio-chemicals by integrating with the biotechnology.

    “There are some segments that are always going to be profitable. Lumber is the most obvious one. It will be cyclical in nature, but at the end of the day it will be profitable,” says Cobden, who admits much of the pulp and paper segment needs transformation.

    Due to their chemical base pulp mills have the most significant opportunities in the bio-chemical field. Although in order to take advantage of them saw mills and pulp mills would need to work together.

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

    Your Reply