News: New $20 million WA Export Woodchip Terminal

Leading plantation forestry companies Timbercorp Limited and Integrated Tree Cropping Limited (ITC) today launched their $20 million export woodchip facility at Albany in Western Australia. The Albany Chip Terminal – built, owned and operated by the Timbercorp/ITC joint venture, Plantation Pulpwood Terminals Pty Ltd (PPT) – has the capacity to export one million tonnes of eucalypt woodchips a year from the companies’ plantations in the Great Southern region of WA.

The terminal significantly enhances Australia’s export capability in eucalypt wood fibre. Exports through the facility to Japanese pulp and paper manufacturers will be worth up to $2 billion over the next decade. Timbercorp, ITC and their joint venture marketing company, Plantation Pulpwood Exports (PPE), have woodchip supply agreements with major Japanese trading houses, Marubeni and Sojitz which, in turn, have supply arrangements with Oji Paper and Nippon Paper Industries.

PPE markets export woodchips from ITC and Timbercorp’s combined 210,000 hectares of plantation in WA, in the Green Triangle of south-west Victoria and south-east South Australia. In addition, ITC has an expanding plantation base in Queensland.

ITC chief executive, James Neville Smith, said the Albany port investment shows ITC’s commitment to developing strategic infrastructure to underpin its plantation business across Australia. Woodchip shipments started from Albany last July, with PPT using a temporary unloading and screening plant while the new facility was built. There have been five shipments since July, totalling 208,000 tonnes of high quality eucalypt woodchip, with more than 1 million tonnes to be shipped annually within two to three years.