Going the whole log – Laminex Toolara

We believe that every centimetre of every log has potential. So, we respect every tree. After all, they’ve spent 30-40 years in the plantation growing straight, strong and tall.

We call this our “whole of log philosophy”, and it results in quality product for our customers and partners.

A tour of Laminex’s Toolara Queensland plant shows just what you can do with the smallest piece of timber.

If you didn’t know, Laminex has two plants at Gympie; A particle board plant at Monkland, in the outer suburbs, and an MDF plant 30kms out of town in the pine forest at Toolara.

We toured the Toolara MDF plant with Laminex Manufacturing Operations Manager, Scott Beckett. Scott is a passionate manufacturing professional with global experience. He’s keen for all forest products businesses to swap ideas and work together – to improve our products – and for the benefit of our environment.

Laminex Toolara consumes around 250,000 tonnes of our woodchips per year. Sent by B-Double trucks from our Tuan Mill, this represents approximately 50% of their total wood supply that also includes whole logs from the surrounding pine forests. Buying woodchips from us means less energy and time consumed at Laminex.

In very simple terms, the MDF production starts with mixing finely-pulped wood with resin and wax. This mix is then extruded in to a 250mm high “mattress”. The mattress then travels through a series of heated rollers that progressively compact, then dry, the sheets into thicknesses of between 3-32 mm.

Protective, cosmetic finishes are then “ironed on”, like a t-shirt transfer. You’ll see Laminex Toolara’s product in kitchens, bathrooms and on desktops nationally, in Asia and the USA.

Very little is wasted at the Toolara site. Water catchment and treatment means rainfall is captured and re-used over and over. Timber dockings are collected for re-use.

The business is now running a concept & feasibility study for a large cogeneration plant for Toolara. The plant will potentially be fuelled by 100,000 tonnes of bio mass – branches and material currently left behind after harvest on the forest floor. Energy with lower CO2 emissions? We like the sound of that. It really is using the whole of the log.

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