Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts (CHH) has transformed the old sawmill in the small Alpine town of Myrtleford into a state-of-the-art plywood mill to make it more competitive and sustainable.
Having purchased the sawmill and pulp mill at Myrtleford in 1995, CHH decided to invest in a new plywood mill to move to modern day production standards. The new mill will ensure that production of the increasingly popular CHH plywood products is efficient and reduces the demand for offshore demand, giving a boost to the timber industry in Australia.
The upgrade is expected to transform the old Myrtleford mill into perhaps the biggest plywood producer in Australia. While many of the existing sawmill facilities have been retained where they could still be utilised, CHH has been transforming the whole facility drawing on European and Canadian design ideas to construct the new plant.
A new high-speed lathe has been introduced at the plywood mill for the production of thin ribbons of veneer used in the lay-up construction of plywood.
The new plywood plant is designed to offer greater efficiency, with drying processes providing an improved product of consistent specifications.
In addition to ensuring an increased supply to the market in the long term, the plywood mill has also incorporated various environmental improvements for less emissions, lower water use, better air quality and even noise reduction.
Safety is a key consideration at the new plant with the plant’s design providing a safer workplace, with fenced safety zones and automated handling of product where there is any risk.
The commissioning of this world-class plant by CHH is also an investment in the Myrtleford community with a majority of the existing employees being retrained and up-skilled in advanced technologies.
The Honourable Richard Dalla-Riva MLC, Minister for Manufacturing (Victoria), officially opened the completed facility on June 22, 2011. This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry under its Forest Industries Development Fund program, as well as the Victorian Government.
Sustainable managed plantations in the surrounds of the resource-rich region of Myrtleford will supply the logs for the CHH plywood mill. Logs will be sourced with Forest Stewardship Council ‘Chain of Custody’ certification.