Australian builders, architects, and specifiers who for nearly nine months have agonised over an ever-widening supply gap in high-strength engineered wood products have found an unforeseen “saviour” – Russia by way of China, according to sources in the timber industry.
The wood product needed to complete thousands of unfinished “top-half” construction projects around the country seem to have found few structural alternatives. The material also known as laminated veneer lumber (LVL), originally developed in Australia in the 1970s is used primarily for structural applications and is comparable in strength to solid timber, concrete and steel.
“And heaven forbid, we were pencilling in steel on our blueprints as a last resort,” the chief executive of a large Sydney construction company confessed. Now some of Australia’s biggest processors of domestic timber are re-configuring their machinery as they switch roles to become net importers, filling once-empty warehouses, it’s claimed, with an endless supply of Chinese engineered wood products.
Controversially, sources say this produce is manufactured from Russian logs.
Source: thefifthestate, Photo: Environmental Investigation Agency