Dongwha Timbers, Australia

Project NAMU in Bombala

NAMU means ”tree” in the Korean language. It is also a name which has been given to a green field project of Dongwha Timbers located in Bombala, Australia (New South Wales).

Dongwha Timbers was established in 1996 and is a privately owned middle-sized Australian manufacturer of timber. The mother company is Dongwha International from South Korea, which has operations spread throughout the Pacific Rim. Previously Dongwha Timbers was known as TASCO (nowadays it is a product brand) and at that time it was established to supply timber to the growing markets in Asia.

The sawmill investment was started in August 2011 and the value is about AUD 74 milj. (56 M€). The project includes a new sawmill, planer and timber treatment plant, as well as associated infrastructure such as boilers and kilns. The plant employs of 90 people and the sawmill is scheduled to be completed at the beginning of this year.

Dongwha Timbers chose to invest in a new sawmill in Bombala as market trends looked favourable there for long term demand. This decision was also influenced by the fact that there was a suitable site for the sawmill in Bombala.

Radiata pine is used as raw-material in the Bombala sawmill, which is acquired from plantation forests in New South Wales, supplied under a 20 year contract by Forests New South Wales. The sawmill project will enable the company’s annual sawing capacity  to increase significantly – from about 100,000 m3 to 300,000 m3 of round logs. Also the amount of treated timber will increase from about 30,000 m3 to 150,000 m3. The sawmill will produce mainly stress graded products for outdoor building. Additional to this the product range will be terrace boards, balustrades, poles and fencing elements – both treated and untreated. Products from the Bombala sawmill will be sold mainly to the Eastern seaboard states of Australia.

 Modern European sawmill technology

The customer chose European sawmill technology for the Bombala sawmill project, as in 1996 the same suppliers had successfully built a sawmill in Geelong (near Melbourne) which the customer found to be a very positive experience. Nordautomation from Finland supplied a complete sawmill infeed to Bombala. The Finnish Veisto in turn supplied a SL250 TRIO sawing line with max. speed of 150 m/min. The supplier for sorting fresh and dry boards was Finnish Kitsell. Logs are debarked with a VK8000HD-Combi-3R debarker supplied by Valon Kone. The machine features a reducing rotor for butt-ends and two Air Seal debarking rotors with  pneumatic tool pressure (Ø 56 cm). The machine also features a new modular 8000HD machine frame which is the biggest in the VK product range.

The customer chose a debarker manufactured by Valon Kone for many different reasons. Dongwha had several years experience of using VK debarkers in Australia and South Korea and this was an important factor, as building and maintaining long-term supplier relationships is important in Dongwha’s corporate culture. In addition, Valon Kone’s other references in Australia (like Hyne, Tumbarumba) convinced the customer that VK can guarantee reliable technology and excellent debarking quality with the required feed speed.

An important selection criterion was also Valon Kone’s long history as a debarker manufacturer. VK’s commitment to develop and improve the rotor debarking technology and a continuous investment in research and development has been significant in terms of the whole sawing industry.

The third important selection criterion was spare parts, maintenance and service. Valon Kone’s local agent Macquarrie Corporation PTY LTD, Melbourne, can offer the customer spare parts service and technical support which are critical factors for the successful operation of the Bombala mill.

Dongwha Timbers has been pleased to continue our long collaboration with Valon Kone. As with any project of this nature, there have been some challenges along the way, however we can all be pleased with the outcome: a state-of-the art mill featuring some of the world’s best sawmilling technology.” – Peter Haintz, Operations Manager, Dongwha Timbers.