Tracy Goss, General Manager Kaituna Sawmill said this trial has been three years in the making. “It is part of our growth strategy and an exciting opportunity for us to diversify our wood residues market,” said Tracy.
“The woodchip is a by-product generated during timber production. In the South Island, woodchip is primarily used for making MDF (medium-density fibreboard) and utilised in biofuel and wood energy markets which we support our partners with. This new export initiative complements our existing market in New Zealand, and we now have access to a growth market in Japan.
“The first loads of wood chip were delivered into Port Marlborough last week, and we will deliver from Kaituna to the port every day until November, where it will then get shipped off to Japan,” Tracy said.
Rhys Welbourn, Port Marlborough CEO said the diversification of the port’s forestry industry offering was important for Marlborough. “Port Marlborough supports and facilitates a number of Marlborough’s key industries, and we want to create and deliver long-term value to our customers through integrated services. This is exciting opportunity for us to diversify our wood export offering, and to develop our commercial partnerships with industry leaders OneFortyOne.
Marusumi Whangarei Co has been exporting both softwood and hardwood chip from Marsden point since 1995, predominantly to its parent company Marusumi Paper Co. Ltd, and other end users in Japan and China. The first load is expected to depart Picton in November by sea and will be sent to Japan for use in paper production.