Sue Neales ,  Mercury

EXPORTS of raw woodchips will not cease once the proposed new $1.4 billion pulp mill on the Tamar River near Launceston cranks up.

Gunns logs and sells fewer than 3.8 million tonnes of woodchips annually. But by 2018, the amount of timber being turned into woodchips to supply both raw exports and the new pulp mill is projected by Gunns to be almost double that amount, at 7 million tonnes a year.

Public expectation has been that the pulp mill, with its value-adding processing of woodchips into pulp, will replace the need for continuing low-value woodchip exports from Tasmania’s ports. But Gunns regional manager Bryan Hayes told a meeting of logging contractors in Launceston last week … (that)  Gunns’ ability to finance the $1.4 billion pulp mill “in its own right” would depend on the company continuing parallel large-scale raw woodchip exports. This shock admission reveals the timber giant intends to operate this two-pronged chip policy until at least 2025.

The revelation is contrary to public claims made regularly by Gunns, the State Government and pulp mill advocates that the new mill will be a value-adding replacement for the low-value woodchip export industry.

Read more here
And: Hunt for new woodchip markets