Local office to manage former Norske forests

SFM managing director Andrew Morgan, left, with director
David Wise.

THE Tasmanian-based company selected to manage the former Norske Skog forest estate in southern Tasmania will open an office in New Norfolk.

The State Government has welcomed the selection of Hobart-based SFM Forest Products to manage the the former Norske Skog forests, now owned by New Forests and dubbed the Lenah Estate.

“As part of the deal, SFM will open a new office in New Norfolk and employ 28 Tasmanians full-time, with more than 100 sub-contracted truck drivers, plant operators and support services providers also employed,” Primary Industries and Water minister Guy Barnett said on Friday.

“Australian-based international forestry investor New Forests purchased the forest assets from Norkse,” he said. “New Forests went through an intensive and competitive tender process, with local Hobart-based company SFM the successful proponent.

“This new agreement will see up to 400,000 tonnes of pine harvested annually, with the majority still going to the Norske Boyer mill. SFM has stated they will look to employ a number of the staff who previously managed the estate.”

Now to be called Lenah Estate Pty Limited, the Tasmanian plantations were bought by Australian-based international forestry investor New Forests from Norske Skog in February this year. “We are delighted to win this contract to manage such an extensive and quality resource that supports the Boyer mill, the Derwent Valley and wider Southern Tasmanian community and local farmers,” SFM managing director Andrew Morgan said on Friday.

“SFM has a strong track record in plantation management, having multiple  management contracts interstate, so to be successful in our home state is very gratifying,” Mr Morgan said. The Lenah Estate land area under management by SFM is approximately 27,150 hectares across south-central Tasmania, predominantly the Derwent Valley.

It includes 50 joint-venture plantation projects with private landowners and Sustainable Timber Tasmania. Some 18,000ha or 97.5% of the 18,500 plantable hectares is radiata pine softwood plantations. Around 350,000-400,000 tonnes will be harvested annually, with the majority going to the Boyer mill. Lenah Estate will replant 500-1000 hectares per year.

SFM will open an office in New Norfolk employing a core team of eight full-time employees, supported by the broader SFM business with more than 20 full-time equivalent employees and more than 100 FTE sub-contracted truck drivers, plant operators and support services.

New Forests operations director Matt Crapp said the company had been attracted to SFM’s proposal due to its commitment to local staffing, its technical capacity and its local knowledge. “New Forests looks forward to working with SFM on the long-term management of the Lenah Estate, including its ongoing supply to the Boyer Mill and our shared intentions that the Estate maintains third-party forest management certification,” he said.

“New Forests aspire to build on the positive relationship that Norske Skog has had with its contractors, joint venture landowners and the general community. We see opportunities for continued investment in this significant plantation asset to enhance its long-term value and have asked SFM to consult widely with stakeholders to develop and refine these plans.”

SFM manages two other plantation projects for New Forests, consisting of both hardwood and softwood species in Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria. Lenah Estate will be a significant addition to the SFM portfolio, which includes harvesting, haulage and export of more than 500,000 tonnes of plantation timber per annum.

Hydrowood – the world-first operation salvaging Tasmanian specialty timbers standing underwater for decades – is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SFM.

SFM is headquartered in Hobart, and has regional offices in Launceston, Mt Gambier in South Australia, and Tauranga in New Zealand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Local Weather

COVID-19 Advice and Links

Latest headlines

Filter by topic

New Norfolk News Archive

RSS Tas articles feed

Logo of New Norfolk and Derwent Valley News

Subscribe to free daily news email

* indicates required
/ ( mm / dd )