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New modern sawmill if there is enough forest

The South Taranaki town of Waverley in New Zealand could get a big new sawmill if the buyer of its mill can acquire enough forest in the area. Waverley Sawmills was bought by Wade Glass, one of two foundation shareholders in Spectrum Group Ltd. Source: Whanganui Chronicle

The company owns forests, sawmills, logging trucks and a log trading business and has grown from nothing in about six years. Its two focus areas are South Taranaki/Whanganui and Gisborne.

Mr Glass said when he bought the Waverley mill he hired a forestry consultancy to discover the best use for the site, given all the forest that will mature around it in the next 10-12 years.

The consultancy found two options. Mr Glass will not say what they are, but did say they will need a lot of capital spent to build a modern mill on the site. The current mill would have to be “almost levelled” first.

The new mill would be more automated, process bigger volumes and create fewer and more skilled jobs.

The site has two advantages – the forestry surrounding it and the fact that it already has resource consent. The new mill can only happen if Spectrum Group can acquire enough forestry resource in the area to supply it.

“The focus for the rest of this year will be on acquiring further forestry resource in this area,” Mr Glass said. He said he could not talk about the process, because he was bound by a confidentiality agreement.