Forestry

Coconut and other non-traditional forest resources for the manufacture of Engineered Wood Products

Image
Coconut trees
Project code
FST/2019/128
Program
Budget
AUD 2,780,000
Research program manager
Dr Nora Devoe
Project leader
Dr Rob McGavin, Queensland Department of Agriculture & Fisheries
Duration:
FEB 2021
2021
JAN 2026
Project status
Legally committed/Active
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Overview

This project aims to deliver and validate wood processing technologies to transform coconut and other currently low-value forest resources into high-value engineered wood products suitable for local and international markets. 

By providing new, profitable outlets for low-value log products, we can increase the returns from these materials to farmers, timber growers and processors, contribute to the renewal of the coconut estate, and expand employment and trade.

This project will build upon FST/2009/062, which enabled rotary peeling, and through experimentation, will identify suitable veneer grade sorting, drying, gluing, pressing and finishing methods for coconut-based engineered wood products. Which production processes/combinations will result in products that profitably meet market demands is currently unknown, but the research team and industry partners have the required experience and knowledge to enable the complete manufacturing process to be developed. 

Project outcomes

  • Determining the availability, accessibility and community readiness to supply non-traditional forest resources including senile coconut palms and other small-diameter forest resources (e.g., thinnings).
  • Establishing efficient conversion and profitable product manufacturing protocols aligned with market expectations.
  • Identifing product and market opportunities that will provide economic and social benefit throughout the value chain and for the wider community, linking farmers to manufacturers and manufacturers to markets in efficient and equitable value chains.
  • Examining the potential for and promote gender-balanced participation in the Fiji forest products industry in the context of increasing the skilled labour pool to direct and staff new EWP manufacture.