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Wood Treatment Specialists Converge on Australia and NZ

Wood Treatment Specialists Converge on Australia and New Zealand


Like it or not, thermally and chemically modified wood along with wood plastic composites (WPC’s) are now a commercial reality. They’re already being produced in commercial quantities in both Australia and New Zealand. They’re competing - but can complement - traditional preservative treated wood products in the local market.

Wood Innovations 2014, a technology and market update for local timber treatment and wood manufacturing operations will provide a timely global insight into some of these new technologies. What are they, just how much does it cost to set up one of these manufacturing or treatment operations, what are the market trends and what are the opportunities for local wood producers?

These and other questions are going to be answered by an incredible line-up of local and international specialists presenting at this regions biennial Wood Innovations 2014 event running in Rotorua on 17-18 September.

Some key presenters in modified wood include;

Edward Pratt, Director of Business Development for Accsys Technologies, UK who founded Accsys Technologies (then named Titan Wood) in 2003. Eddie led the development of the business from the acquisition and development of its original intellectual property through to the company’s flotation on the London stock exchange and start-up of its full-scale production plant in 2007. Interest in the Accoya acetylated wood is climbing with sales in New Zealand increasing by over 50 percent last year.

Duncan Mayes, VP R&D & Technology, StoraEnso Oyj, Finland is one of the original developers of the ThermoWood product in Stora Enso. As well developing the technology and markets for thermally modified timber, Duncan has been involved in researching and introducing other leading wood modification technologies.

Tam Tekle, President & CEO, Tekle Technical Services, Canada heads a fibre products development company specialising in the commercialization of natural fibre-based composites, including North America’s only bio-composite fibre mat plant. TTS is also a fibre products development and testing operation as well as a bio-composites incubator operation involved in the commercialization of new products and technologies including; fibre mat, fibre cement, composite panels, structural insulated panel and fibre plastic.

Juan Bravo, International Technical Manager, Plastics Struktol Company of America, USA is providing technical assistance to wood plastic composite (WPC) operations including some of the most sophisticated plants in the world (some of the largest Chinese operations have for example more than 100 extruders operating). World-wide, analysts are forecasting that the global WPC market is expected to grow by around 9 percent over the period 2013-2018 with one of the main drivers being house building and construction. This product increasingly is finding its way into the Australian and New Zealand markets with decking still continuing to be the major WPC product but fencing, railing and other applications are growing.

Hal Hopkins, Technology Manager, Australian Vinyls Corporation (the owner of ModWood Technologies) will provide an insight for local wood treatment companies about some of the recent technical and market innovations being made with composite decking and fencing products in Australasia.

The last independent technology update for wood treatment operations in Australasia was over two years ago. Since the last event ran, changes to the timber treatment industry have been significant. The structure and ownership of the industry is quite different with changes still underway. New wood treatment formulations, processes and systems, standards and new legislation have changed the Australian and New Zealand timber industry landscape.

Timber treatment expertise from around the world will be providing local timber treatment and wood manufacturing operations an update on these changes and their impact on the Australasian market as well as a raft of new developments in other wood treatment technologies.

Full details on the Wood Innovations 2014 event can be found on the event website, www.woodinnovations2014


The Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA), a division of Innovatek Limited, is a unique grouping in Australasia. It's the principal vehicle for technology transfer for forestry and wood products companies. Through a range of independent programmes, new technologies are identified and "showcased” for New Zealand and Australian companies.

FIEA run a regular series of conferences, practical workshops and managed exhibitions every year. Forestry and wood product companies, key product suppliers, researchers and technology providers from throughout the world are targeted and involved with the programmes. In addition to these events, new resources from the technology programmes are also being supplied to New Zealand and Australian companies.

FIEA is now the largest provider of weekly and monthly forest products news in Australasia. For more information visit

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