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Electric log truck gears up for phase two

31 March 2024

Fenell Forestry will receive an AU$200,000 cash injection from the South Australian state government to commence phase two of an electric log truck trial. The funding for phase two the Fennell Forestry project will examine how heavy vehicle decarbonisation can contribute towards a green circular economy.

It will build on the outcomes of a phase one trial run from last year when Fennell Forestry tested the nation’s first electric heavy vehicle. A further $70,000 in funding will be handed to the South Australian Forest Products Association to develop a State of the Industry Report. The funding announcements followed the release of the South Australian Wood Fibre and Timber Industry Masterplan. The plan aims to provide a vision to further grow and develop the state’s AU$1.4 billion forest and timber industry with three main goals identified aiming to strengthen the industry, domestic manufacturing and infrastructure capability.

These goals include the right resource and capability, a “future focused” workforce and a “clean and green” circular economy. It has been developed by the Forest Industries Advisory Council of South Australia in consultation with the Minister for Forestry Clare Scriven and will be reviewed annually.

This will be done to keep pace with the socioeconomic and environmental changes influencing the industry including international trade, climate change and technological developments. Fennell Forestry Managing Director Wendy Fennell said the region had a great fibre resource in the Green Triangle region. “We are looking forward to working with the government on this,“ she said.

South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas praised Ms Fennell and Fennell Forestry for their vision and risk-taking. “Decarbonising is an important endeavour and I recognise Fennel Forestry for their leadership,“ he said. “Wendy is a demonstration that risks can take off.“

Chair of the South Australian Forest Products Association Governing Council Tammy Auld said the Masterplan has been developed in consultation with stakeholders from the forest and timber industries through the revitalised Forest Industries Advisory Council with an aim to work towards a future where all fibre grown in the region will be locally processed.

“South Australian Forest Products Association (SAFPA) are grateful to the state government, especially the Minister for Forest Industries, Clare Scriven, for listening and working in collaboration with the industry to deliver this Master Plan“, she said.

“We know that if we can process all the fibre grown in the region, we have the ability to create over 20,000 new jobs, ensuring that South Australia has sovereign fibre capacity at the same time as decarbonizing our economy. With projects such as the Fennell Forestry electric log truck, the government isn’t just talking about change, but supporting transformation and innovation within the region”.

“Collaboration has been a key part in the development of this master plan and I look forward to the ongoing partnership with industry through FIAC-SA as the associated projects are implemented to ensure that all South Australians continue to benefit from the sustainable growth and future success of South Australia’s forest industries.”

Other projects identified as priorities through the master plan are expected to be developed and implemented over the coming three years.

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Source: borderwatch

Wendy Fennell outlined to forestry and log haulage companies along with the manufacturers of the electric battery system, Janus Electric, used to convert their diesel prime mover across to electric at last year’s Wood Transport & Logistics 2023 event. This year, Wendy will be presenting again to the industry as part of the upcoming Wood Transport & Logistics 2024 event being held in Rotorua, New Zealand on 22-23 May 2024. She for the first time will be sharing just how the figures from their in-forest and on-road trials with their electric truck are stacking up after 12 months and lessons from the conversion. Last year’s event was a sell-out. Programme details and registration information can be found on the event website.