Non-pulp Utilization of Above-ground Biomass of Mixed-species Forests of Small Trees
Keywords:Low-grade hardwoods, small hardwoods, harvesting, utilization, flakeboard, feasibility study, decorative plywood, fabricated joists
This solution proposes to rehabilitate annually—by clear felling, site preparation, and planting—25,000 acres of level to rolling land averaging about 490 cubic feet per acre of stemwood in small hardwood trees 5 inches in diameter at breast height (dbh) and larger, and of many species, plus an equal volume of above-ground biomass in stembark and tops, and in trees smaller than 5 inches in dbh. By usual utilization procedures, such wood is an unmerchantable residue from the harvest of merchantable southern pines.
On an annual basis, 398,265 tons (oven-dry basis) of such wood and bark will be harvested and converted in an energy self-sufficient plant to the following: 208,688 tons of structural flakeboard sheathing and decking (sold at $200/ton), 16,298 tons of decorative hardwood plywood ($400/ton), and 20,191 tons of long fabricated joists with parallel-laminated veneer flanges and flakeboard webs ($600/ton), for a total product yield of about 60%—all on a dry-weight basis.
Following are projected operating results and other essential data for a three-shift operation:
Capital investment, including working capital $50,000,000
Operating costs, annual $40,000,000
Sales, annual $60,371,400
Net profit, annual (before income taxes) $20,371,400
Return on sales 33.7%
Return on investment 40.7%
Number of mill employees (harvesting and planting are contracted) 250
Electrical energy purchased annually 0 kWh
Diesel fuel and propane for front-end loaders and lift trucks (oil equivalent) 150,000 gallons
Wood residues burned annually (oven-dry-weight basis), all available from mill residues 168,186 tons
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