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Recent industry news from Japan Lumber Journal regular article, “News in Brief”

Chugoku Electric Power Co., Inc. (Hiroshima City) and Air Water Inc. (Osaka City) are moving ahead with plans to build an electric power plant using both biomass and coal at the Hofu Factory of Air Water Inc. located in Hofu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Both companies are targeting fiscal 2018 as the start of business operations and have decided to conduct environmental impact assessment reports based on the Yamaguchi Prefecture Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance. By establishing biomass power generation, the project is moving ahead in order to spread the use of renewable energy, promote the region by effectively using the forest resources in Yamaguchi Prefecture, and contribute to the business of the factory by using the vacant land and securing a power source. The power output will be about 100,000 kilowatts, and the fuel will be 250,000 tons of coal annually, 40,000 tons of biomass made from unused wood and bamboo, and imported palm kernel shell fuel (fuel made from coconut shells) and wood pellets. The wood and bamboo are scheduled to be supplied by the Yamaguchi Prefecture Forestry Cooperative.

Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd. (Tokyo) announced that beginning in early 2015, it will participate in a multipurpose development project (tentatively named Summer Hill Project) in a suburban area of Sydney, Australia in collaboration with a local real estate investment and management company, Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd. (Osaka City), and Cosmos Initia Co., Ltd. (Tokyo), which is a company in Daiwa House Group. Sumitomo Forestry is setting up this overseas business as one pillar for its business growth overseas and is aiming to expand its housing business and to expand operations of housing-related businesses including real estate development. It has already established a medium density fiberboard manufacturing and sales company in Australia in August 2002. Also in 2008, it established ties with a major housing manufacturer in Australia, and through the consolidated subsidiary, about 2,000 homes are supplied annually. On a site of about 15,000m², which is about the same size as Yokohama Stadium, the Summer Hill Project is scheduled to develop and sell 300 units of condominiums and terrace houses built-for-sale, offices, and retail and commercial space.

Mitsui Home Co., Ltd. (Tokyo) announced that it has established a subsidiary company in California. The subsidiary company is financed 100% by Mitsui Homes Canada Inc. located in British Columbia, Canada. The company will supply building materials to the construction sites of low to mid-rise condominiums constructed of wood, which are already being developed in Canada, nursing facilities for seniors, and education facilities on the west coast region of America, and it will develop and expand the business as a “production builder” that undertakes construction work up to the completion of framework while cooperating with local companies. In its mid to long term business plan, Mitsui Home will work to expand its overseas business domain, and it will strengthen and expand its business with the 2x4 construction method for condominiums and for the non-housing field such as facilities for the elderly and educational facilities in America, where a market recovery is expected.


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