The 20-year contract for timber supply to Blue Ridge Hardwoods came to an end last year. Now negotiations are almost final that will see Allied Natural Wood Exports (ANWE) take on the contract with Forestry Corporation in New South Wales. Source: Timberbiz
According to Forestry Corporation, at the end of the contract with Blue Ridge Hardwoods a new approach to processing the timber resource was needed as the timber available from the Eden forests in the future would be very different to that supplied in the past.
The changing timber resource was largely due to the effects of substantial wildfires in the 1980s. The forests that regenerated following the fires have smaller more uniform diameter trees than the large mixed size trees harvested from the forests over the last 20 years.
New equipment is needed to process this new resource.
In 2017, Blue Ridge Hardwoods was provided an exclusive opportunity to submit a processing proposal to the Forestry Corporation for the future regrowth sawlog resource.
However, a suitable processing and business proposal was not put forward, so Forestry Corporation undertook an open commercial process to seek interest from industry in processing the Eden resource into the future.
During the commercial process, of which Blue Ridge Hardwoods were a part, Allied Natural Wood Exports (ANWE) presented an option which was judged to have better outcomes for the timber resource and commercial return to the State of NSW, as well as continued employment of local labour.
Negotiations to finalise this new contract with ANWE are nearing completion and will see significant new investment in processing in the Eden region and new local employment opportunities.
Blue Ridge Hardwoods has agreed to a 12-month supply agreement as part of a transition for the local industry and the NSW Government has committed significant support for any Blue Ridge Hardwoods’ workers affected by the change.