This piece was written and provided by FTMA Silver Sponsor, Australian Panel Products.

We would like to update you on developments at our Oberon NSW and Mt Gambier SA sites, both of which should be of interest to fabricators.

At Oberon in 2020 we began using recycled timber content in our particleboard production at a modest level, but after significant capital investment in 2021 the consumption of recycled material has really gathered momentum in first few months of 2022. We are currently averaging around 35% recycled wood in our mix, but by the end of 2022 we hope to double this to around 70%. These volumes represent hundreds of semi-loads of wood diverted from landfill every month. And 1,000-2,000 tons of Co2 emissions from landfills saved each month.

And importantly, we are moving this percentage up gradually to ensure we can maintain the physical properties required, especially for our EWPAA certified Structaflor range.

Our Oberon site has also completed a major solar panel installation, making it the largest rooftop solar panel system in Australia. With electricity prices already moving up substantially, and expected to keep rising over the next 12 months, these solar panels will mitigate at least some of the expected energy cost increases.

On the Mt Gambier front, we also have exciting news. Groundworks have begun for the construction of our new particleboard factory which will eventually replace the 2 ageing sites in Mt Gambier – Lakeside and White Ave. The new site construction will not impact the ongoing production at the existing Mt Gambier sites, and is expected to be completed sometime in 2024. The factory will then manufacture a significant volume of Structaflor, to serve the VIC/TAS/SA markets, as well as particleboard for the cabinet making industry.

Furthermore, the new factory will also be fed with a significant volume of recycled wood, meaning that we can extend the recycled wood collection program into both VIC and SA.

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