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Alternate Technologies offer Wood Treatment Opportunities

Media Release
5 March 2012: For Immediate Release

Alternate Technologies offer Wood Treatment Industry Opportunity
In a recent report on wood preservation, Global Industry Analysts projected that the Global market for wood preservatives is likely to reach US$1.5 billion by 2017. Although major end use applications for wood preservatives are decking and fencing products, the landscape end-use segment is expected to contribute to maximum revenue growth over the next five years.

“As identified in the report, as well as the projected growth of traditional treated wood products, alternate wood products are increasingly making themselves known in the marketplace. Wood Plastic Composites (WPC’s), a mixture of plastics and wood filler designed to look like wood, and modified wood products have in recent years been making significant inroads into traditional treated wood products”, says Forest Industry Engineering Association Director, Brent Apthorp.

To cover some of these significant technology and market trends, Wood Preservation 2012 will run for the timber industry in Rotorua on 16-17 May 2012. “Since the last independent technology update three years ago, the changes have been significant” says Mr Apthorp. “The structure and ownership of the industry is quite different. Changes in new wood treatment formulations, processes and systems, standards, legislation and the increasing competition now being seen with alternate wood products in the marketplace have changed the industry”.

WPC’s and modified wood are now a commercial reality. The WPC industry was valued at US$2.1 billion industry in 2010 and growth has been around 15% compounded each year over the past five years. North America up until now has been the major producer of WPC’s but China is taking a dominant role in production. From just 80,000 tonnes produced in 2006, over 300,000 tonnes of WPC’s were produced in 2010.
Australian and New Zealand WPC sales are still small by comparison but expected to double in the next two years. In a recent article on wood substitutes, it was estimated that 8% of all local authorities across Australia are using WPC’s. One source estimated that demand in Australia could increase at 50% annually.

“The good news though is that these new treatment processes offer traditional wood producers the ability to diversify their manufacturing operations” says FIEA Director Brent Apthorp. “They’re relatively low capital, flexible and highly automated manufacturing operations that are able to complement local wood treatment operations”.

“Wood Preservation 2012 will provide a unique programme for local wood producers to update themselves on new wood treatment technologies, advances in alternative products and outline the industry's response to increasing environmental issues and changes that are occurring now in production, distribution and retailing in Australasia, North America and Europe” says Brent Apthorp.

Full details including the programmes for this latest FIEA technology series can be downloaded from the event website, www.woodpreservationeventscom

- ENDS -

About FIEA

The Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA), a division of Innovatek Ltd, 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 product and process technologies are introduced to New Zealand and Australian companies. Technologies best suited to the size of the industry and to the local wood resource are being identified and "showcased". A regular series of conferences, practical workshops and managed exhibitions are run every year. Forestry and wood product companies, key product suppliers, researchers and technology providers from throughout the world are targeted and involved with these technology events.

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