Radial Lumber, which declares to be the only industrial radial sawmill on the planet, is opening in Yarram in south-eastern Victoria. The $5 million mill will employ 20 individuals and at first produce 12,000 cubic metres of lumber a year. Radial Wood owner and handling director Chris McEvoy stated the innovation used at the mill was the very first of its kind and established in an area in Gippsland.
“The majority of wood mills generally get a round log and cut it up into a square, then cut boards off from that,” he stated. “Exactly what we do is we get a log and we cut it up basically like a cake. “We cut it into wedges then we cut those wedges into boards and it essentially deals with the growth stresses in the logs offering you a far more steady product.”
Radial lumber popular with designers
While Australia’s biggest wood sawmill in Heyfield deals with closure less than 100 kilometres from the brand-new mill, Mr McEvoy stated the need for radial lumber was growing. He stated the wood was favoured by designers for decking, developing architectural trusses from engineered timber and external cladding.
“Radial lumber remains in big need in Melbourne and with modern-design structures there’s a huge call from young designers to use lumber and use a great deal of wood externally – which is exactly what we specialise in,” Mr McEvoy stated. “We have had the marketplace for a long time, it’s been broadening and we made a mindful choice 4, 5 years ago that we have to develop a brand new mill to handle the increased need.
“We provide a lot interstate but it is generally the Melbourne market where young designers enjoy the sustainability of lumber.”
Mill to depend on plantation in future
Radial Wood has protected a 10-year deal with VicForests but plants to rely entirely on plantation wood within 20 years. Mr McEvoy stated this was how he saw the future of the wood market and the future of other fields that rely on wood supply like landscape contractors that build retaining walls for their job. “Even Heyfield came out and stated to the federal government that if they weren’t getting their resources right, what they needed to do was to have the capability to buy plantations and then require the capability to retool the sawmill,” he stated.
“We saw this possibly occurring 12 years earlier which is why we began buying plantations and after that over the last 2, 3 years focusing on the brand-new sawmill. “We have seen this establishing over a time period and have actually taken a long-lasting view that this is the way for the wood market in the future.”
Plantation lumber provided from 2025
Heartwood Plantations will supply the mill from 2025 with 4 various kinds of eucalypt trees and eventually supply wood directly to the service industry for services such as landscaping. “We’re most likely working to having something like 20,000 tonnes a year in due course that we can gather and most likely half of that will wind up at the sawmill,” Heartwood Plantations basic supervisor Jon Lambert stated. “We have actually got 1,500 hectares in the ground at the moment and we have another 1,500 hectares that will be slowly re-planted.”
Mr Lambert stated the lumber market had to focus on high-value items like laminated structural timber beams, frames and products to stay competitive. ” I do believe the future of the market is to concentrate on high-end, value-added things due to the fact that our expenses to manage, to run as well as consider our labour expenses suggests that it’s rather pricey to do management. “We have got to focus on high-value items otherwise it’s extremely tough to compete.”