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SPE Chipmill Geelong Victoria Australia Log stocks Pinus Radiata and 125' radial log crane

Who are Softwood Plantation Exporters?

Softwood Plantation Exporters (SPE) is an Australian owned Company, located in Victoria, formed to process and ship softwood woodchip for export sale. SPE is a partnership between Hancock Victorian Plantations (HVP), and Associated Kiln Driers (AKD Softwoods). HVP manages 250,000 ha of softwood and hardwood plantations in Victoria with an annual harvest volume of above 3,000,000 cubic metres while AKD’s sawmills and plants process over 550,000 cubic metres of softwood sawlog and treated timber.

SPE was formed during 1996 to find additional markets for sawmill chip and forest thinning. A major feature is that the supply of softwood chip is from the owners' plantations and sawmills. Supply is guaranteed on a long-term basis from directly owned logs and chip, with additional supply potential available from other sources.

Chip exported through SPE is predominantly Pinus Radiata with current volume consisting of 70% from sawmill chip and 30% chip produced from forest thinning. The uniformly high quality Radiata chip makes the product an ideal feedstock for a variety of uses. Traditional end use is bleached kraft pulp and thermal mechanical pulp.

Pinus Radiata woodchips are also suitable feedstock for the new and emerging Bioenergy sector. Softwood woodchips can be used as feedstock for Bioenergy, Biofuels, Biochar or similar projects.

SPE is Australian owned and is able to supply customers’ softwood chip requirements across Asia.

SPE is serious about the environment and sources raw materials from sustainably managed forests. SPE is able to provide materials with certification to customers if required.

Pinus Radiata Chips is High Quality

The Chipmill comprises a 125-foot radial crane & drum debarker with associated screening, rechipping and conveying systems. Maximum chip mill capacity is 450,000-500,000 green metric tonnes (GMT) pa. Chip produced is high quality. Shipments are guaranteed to meet customers’ exacting chip specifications.

Low bark content assists in achieving high pulp yield with little waste or pulp discolouration. The low bark content reduces the ash output when used as feedstock for Bioenergy.

Pinus Radiata chip used in bleached and un-bleached Kraft pulp lines provides high burst and tear strength. High pulp brightness is also a characteristic. Overall, the high proportion of sawmill chip combined with average chip age provides for good pulp characteristics and yield.

Storage and Loading Arrangements

SPE loads from modern purpose built facilities at Port of Geelong, Victoria. The chipmill is connected by conveyor to undercover chip stockpile. High-speed conveyor connects the stockpile to wharf for shiploading. Loading features:

  • Travelling shiploader with vertical boom allowing hatch changes in 20 minutes while vessel is stationary. Because of this there is reduced chance of vessel loading being interrupted by weather during loading.
  • Loading rates. Loading of 14,000 GMT per day are achieved with average loading rates over entire shipments of 750 GMT per hour. This allows for fast turnaround and considerable savings on travel time and voyage cost.
Chip Specifications From SPE

This above chip specification can be adjusted to suit customer specification. Chip is delivered on a green basis and shipped as Green Metric Tonne (GMT) One green metric tonne (GMT) of wood is 1000kg Chip is sold on a “Bone Dry Metric Tonne” (BDMT) basis, which is defined as follows:

Average Dry fibre content of Pinus Radiata is 46%

1 Green Metric Tonne = 0.460 BDMT

Dry Fibre range variation each year between 44.5% and 48.5% dependent on seasonal conditions and fibre source.

SPE chip is tested at SPE’s laboratory during loading. Tests are performed on chip size and dry fibre according to TAPPI standards by fully trained and accredited staff. Testing facilities are available for customer inspection as required.

Cost comparison between chip supply and roundlog

There are a number of advantages of chip supply to end users of the fibre. Delivery of direct chip shipments without the need for further processing from logs is a considerable cost saving. With appropriate chip handling and transport, delivered costs of chip are more competitive than log;

  1. Chips are cheaper to transport than logs as they are easier to load and unload.
  2. There is no conversion loss of log to chip.
  3. Chip quality and specifications can be more readily controlled for buyer’s requirements. This assists in even quality paper production.
  4. Chips are sold on a bone dry metric tonne (BDMT) basis. Water content of the chip has no impact on price. The end user is paying for usable dry fibre.
For further information
John DeLorenzo

E-mail: john@spemanagement.com.au
Ph: +61 3 5272 2966
Fax: +61 3 5272 2943
Mobile: + 61 419 102 990