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Mitsui Bussan Woodchip Oceania

Mitsui has supplied and traded plantation-grown woodchips from Australia since the 1980s. In the 1990s, the company began investing in plantations, and in recent years has expanded into log processing and woodchip-exporting businesses. In 2009, Mitsui consolidated its wholly owned forestry investments into Mitsui Bussan Woodchip Oceania Pty Ltd (MWO).

Mitsui sells woodchips – primarily plantation hardwood woodchips, but also a smaller volume of plantation softwood woodchips – to customers predominantly in Japan, and some in China.

MWO plans to increase its current supply of softwood woodchips from Australia, and attract new customers in China.

MWO employs 10 people in Australia – nine based in Melbourne and one in Portland, Victoria. MWO also indirectly employs around 30 people through its wholly and part-owned subsidiaries. We also employ many contractors and casual staff from the plantation growing, harvesting and haulage industries.

Plantations

MWO has investments in five plantations on the east and west coasts of Australia, totalling more than 33,000 hectares.

Project Bunbury Treefarm Project
Location Bunbury–Margaret River region of Western Australia
Size Approximately 14,000 hectares
Year of establishment 1996
Variety of trees Tasmanian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus)
Ownership Plantation owned by MWO's joint venture with Nippon Paper Group. Planted on freehold and leasehold land
  
Project Bunbury Fibre Plantations
Location Bunbury–Margaret River region of Western Australia
Size Approximately 13,000 hectares
Year of establishment Acquired in 2011
Variety of trees Tasmanian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus)
Ownership Plantation owned by MWO. Planted on leasehold land
  
Project Green Triangle Treefarm Project
Location Portland–Mount Gambier region of Victoria and South Australia
Size Approximately 3,000 hectares
Year of establishment 1999
Variety of trees Tasmanian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus)
Ownership Plantation owned by individual land holders. Log off-take joint venture with Nippon Paper Industries
  
Project Portland Treefarm Project
Location Portland–Mount Gambier region of Victoria and South Australia
Size Approximately 1,500 hectares
Year of establishment 2001
Variety of trees Tasmanian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus)
Ownership Plantation owned by an MWO joint venture with Nippon Paper Industries and Toyota. Planted on leasehold land
  
Project Victorian Treefarm Project
Location Geelong–Beaufort region of Victoria
Size Approximately 2,000 hectares
Year of establishment 1996
Variety of trees Tasmanian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus)
Ownership Plantation owned by an MWO joint venture with Nippon Paper Industries and Midway. Planted on leasehold land
  

Processing and export facility

MWO has investments in two log processing and woodchip exporting businesses located in Victoria and Western Australia.

South West Fibre

South West Fibre is a log processing and woodchip exporting joint venture business between MWO and Midway. Located in Myamyn, Victoria, the plant was built in 2009, and handles 800,000 tonnes of woodchips each year. This facility exports to Japan and China, and its customers include Oji Paper, Nippon Paper and Australian Bluegum Plantations. The Myamyn plant has around 15 employees.

Bunbury Fibre Exports

Bunbury Fibre Exports is a log processing and woodchip exporting business wholly owned by MWO. MWO acquired this plant in 2011. Located in the Bunbury region of Western Australia, this facility handles around 550,000 tonnes of woodchips each year. It exports mainly to Japan; major customers include Mitsubishi Paper Mills, Hokuetsu Paper and Daio Paper. It has around 20 employees.

Mitsui's Forest Stewardship Council certification

In 2011, Mitsui's forestry business Mitsui Bussan Woodchip Oceania received Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for its South West Fibre and Bunbury Fibre Exports processing facilities.

The FSC certifies forest managers, wood processors, wood exporters and wood product manufacturers that comply with its stringent standards, to ensure wood and wood products are produced in an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable way.

Mitsui Bussan Woodchip Oceania sources the majority of its woodchips from FSC-certified plantations.

Verification against the Forest Stewardship Council Controlled Wood standard

Mitsui Bussan Woodchip Oceania intends to assess the woodchip derived from Acacia mangium plantations currently growing on the Tiwi Islands against the FSC requirements for Controlled Wood in accordance with FSC Standard 40-005. In doing so, MWO intends to satisfy itself, an independent auditor and the FSC, that the woodchip being sourced from the Tiwi Islands is not derived from sources which fall into any of the following five categories:

 

1. Illegally harvested wood;

2. Wood harvested in violation of traditional or civil rights;

3. Wood harvested in forests where high conservation values are threatened by management activities;

4. Wood harvested in forest being converted to plantations or non-forest use;

5. Wood from forests in which genetically modified trees are planted.

The FSC Australia national risk assessment has concluded that items 1,2 and 5 above are classified as ‘low risk’. As directed by FSC standard 40-005, Mitsui Bussan Woodchip Oceania has conducted risk assessments for items 3 and 4 and found these to be ‘unspecified risk’. As such, field verification audits shall take place with an independent auditor to verify that woodchip sourced from plantations in Tiwi Islands meets the requirements for FSC Standard 40-005. A field verification audit is planned for the week of April 27th, 2015.

Risk assessments for items 3 and 4 above can be viewed here. Details of High Conservation Values identified by Mitsui can be obtained by contacting Mitsui Bussan Woodchip Oceania’s Development Manager, Lachlan Cook at L.Cook@Mitsui.com.au

Mitsui Bussan Woodchip Oceania welcomes feedback from all interested stakeholders in relation to the FSC Controlled Wood verification program for Tiwi Island plantations. Feedback may be directed to Lachlan Cook at email: L.Cook@Mitsui.com.au or phone: 03 9605 8858.

 

 

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