Mitsui & Co., Ltd. ("Mitsui",head office: Tokyo, Japan, President and CEO: Masami Iijima,) has acquired all shares in Hansol PI Pty Ltd. ("HPI"), which processes and exports woodchips in Western Australia, and Great Southern Timber Holdings Pty Limited ("GSTH"), which is involved in forestry projects, through its Melbourne-based Australian subsidiary Mitsui Bussan Woodchip Oceania Pty. Ltd. ("MWO"). As a result of this transaction, Mitsui has created the framework for its own value chain business covering all stages from forest planting to woodchip processing and exporting.
HPI is a woodchip processing and exporting company headquartered in Perth, the capital of Western Australia. It has earned an excellent international reputation as a producer of FSC-certified (*) woodchips, which it supplies to several paper manufacturers in Japan from its processing plant in Bunbury, about 200 kilometers south of Perth. GSTH is developing an FSC-certified eucalyptus plantation on approximately 14,000 hectares of land at Bunbury.
Mitsui owns a woodchip processing and exporting joint venture in partnership with an Australian company at Portland, Victoria. The acquisition of HPI and GSTH will further strengthen its business base in Australia, which is the world's biggest supplier of woodchips.
Demand for woodchips, which are made from renewable forestry resources, is expected to expand in the future because of the growth of Asian economies, and because of the increasing use of woodchips as an environment-friendly biomass material.
Through this business, Mitsui aims to help the paper manufacturing industry, especially in Japan, to maintain reliable access to resources, by making Australia, the world's leading supplier of woodchips, its base for the supply of environment-friendly paper manufacturing materials.
* Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
The FSC is an international not-for-profit organization. It was established in 1993 by environmental organizations, companies involved in the timber business and other groups, to administer a forest certification program based on uniform international standards. The forest certification program was established with the aim of promoting forest management methods that meet the interests of society and are economically sustainable. Certification is carried out by independent, third-party organizations, which use reliable systems to ascertain whether forests are managed and harvested in ways that reflect the needs of the environment and local communities. Timber and timber products from certified forests are widely distributed in the market bearing the FSC logo. Since consumers who purchase these environment-friendly products contribute indirectly to forest conservation, the system unites all stakeholders, from forest managers to consumers of timber and timber products, into a structure that promotes the conservation and use of sustainable forests throughout the world. (Translated excerpt from the FSC Japan website).
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