A propsal for a new “mega-mill” has been floated at the ForestWood 2012 national conference.
Richard Phillips, of North Carolina State University, made the case for a one million tonne per annum integrated pulp mill built to also house integrated biomass and biofuel production cells.
John Stulen, chief executive of the Forest Industry Contractors Association said the plan was controversial but had genuine potential.
"Traditionally our forest products industry has held a strong preference for short-term sales outside of their larger long-term supply contracts to local wood users,” said Stulen.
However, "the refreshing part of the single action plan is that, in the context of the overall current industry reality, it is quite feasible. The prospect that it could produce extra sales of $6 billion, over a log export growth strategy, is downright exciting."
FICA says a mega-mill would a stabilising influence for the industry but would require some deeply committed leadership from both industry and government.
But this could result in growth in export markets willing to pay the going price, it said.