Read on for other news including Uniteam joins Biesse; Australia’s first CLT plant; IKEA plans new manufacturing in India; Crackdown on illegal timber; Borg bid for Alpine MDF and the Intergrain Timber Vision Awards.

Uniteam joins Biesse Group

Biesse Group has announced its acquisition of 100% of shares in Uniteam SpA. This Venetian industrial company has specialised in the design and manufacture of CNC multi-axis machining centres for wood construction materials, machining of advanced materials and a range of other special applications from automotive to prototyping since 1991. With this acquisition Biesse will further extend its product range, penetrating the highly-strategic industry of timber carpentry (beams and structural façades). Biesse will also draw on the expertise of Uniteam to enhance its range of products and applications for machining plastics and advanced composites.

Australia’s first CLT plant

ABC News reports Albury-Wodonga is set to be home to Australia’s first cross laminated timber (CLT) manufacturing plant. The $25 million XLam operation is expected to create up to 54 jobs when it begins operations, scheduled for 2017. XLam Australia business development manager Rob De Bincrat said Albury-Wodonga stood out as a competitive destination for investment. “The reason for that is location to the Hume Highway and also the ability to source skilled labour for the 54 direct and indirect jobs we’ll require to bring this development to fruition.”  He said the investment would be a major benefit for the border community.

IKEA may set up new manufacturing in India

IKEA has expressed interest in setting up a manufacturing facility in a new Indian cluster in the Kandla Port. According to Minister Nitin Gadkari, IKEA wants to set up the ecosystem and develop a chain of vendors to service the Indian and global market. The shipping ministry is setting up an industrial city of 1,400 acres, of which 450 acres will be reserved for furniture manufacture. The Indian Government is in talks with IKEA to develop the cluster into a world-class export centre. Initial talks with IKEA have been optimistic. (Source: The Times of India) In related news, Chief Executive Jeff Bezos announced Amazon plans to invest an additional $3 billion in India, which is emerging as a critical area of growth for the e-commerce giant.

US cracks down on illegally harvested timber

US Department of Homeland Security has searched the offices of a California based wood importer to see if the company has imported US$3.6 million of illegally harvested logs from Peru.

Peru’s Amazonian tropical forest is second in size to Brazil’s. The country loses approximately 1100 square miles of forest a year, and an estimated 80% of logging in Peru is illegal according to the World Bank. Illegal trade in Peru generated between US$44.5 million and US$72 million annually. In February, wood flooring giant Lumber Liquidators agreed to pay more than US$13 million in criminal fines and forfeitures to resolve a US Department of Justice investigation into the import of wood illegally logged in far eastern Russia. The Justice Department said this was the largest financial penalty for timber trafficking under current conservation law. (Source: Reuters)

Borg bid for Alpine MDF

Alpine MDF Industries in Wangaratta could be sold if an offer from Borg Manufacturing is approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Alpine MDF chief executive officer Graham Church said it was too early to go into details about the proposed sale. “Until such time as the sale is approved by the ACCC we’re really not in a position to make a statement,” he said. “For now it’s just business as usual.”
Borg Manufacturing has manufacturing sites and a warehouse and distribution facility in NSW and is a leading manufacturer of cabinet doors in Australia, with a world-class production facility located in Charmhaven. The ACCC understands that there are only three Australian-based production plants for raw MDF, owned by Borg, Alpine and Laminex. (Source: Timberbiz)

Intergrain Timber Vision Awards

Entries are closing soon for the annual Intergrain Timber Vision Awards, giving architects, landscape architects, interior designers and design professionals only a few more weeks to submit their latest timber projects.

In its seventh consecutive year, the awards program celebrates the innovative use of timber in Architecture and Design, and awards high calibre projects that have used timber in inspiring and creative ways.

This year sees the new Travel Bursary Award that requires an Architectural firm to submit at least four projects completed in the last 10 years that demonstrates their inspiring and innovative use of timber over a number of years. The winners will be announced in August at the Intergrain Timber Vision Awards Breakfast to be held in Melbourne.

Entries close on Sunday 26 June. For more information, to enter the awards, and to view the terms and conditions, visit