$16million dollar upgrade to produce more timber using less energy at Jubilee Sawmill

OneFortyOne has further strengthened its commitment to the Green Triangle region with a $16 million dollar capital investment at the Jubilee Sawmill.

The first of two new Continuous Drying Kilns (CDK) was launched last week, replacing old batch kilns with a more efficient and environmentally conscious biomass fuelled system.

OneFortyOne Jubilee Sawmill General Manager Paul Hartung said the kilns will produce higher-grade timber, with less energy and less downtime.

“As the name suggests, the Continuous Drying Kilns operate nonstop, moving product through continuously and maintaining and ideal temperature,” Paul said.

“The efficient design is powered by biomass, using sawdust and wood waste, and shares heat between two chambers with no need to turn the kiln off.

“There’s no cooling down and reheating like in the old batch kilns– meaning more product processed with less energy.

“Timber is a renewable resource and when combined with efficient manufacturing, we’re producing sustainable, planet friendly wood products.”

The launch of the new CDK coincided with a massive milestone for Kilns Manager Roger Davis, who celebrated 50 years of service at the Jubilee site.

Kilns Manager Roger Davis and Jubilee Sawmill General Manager Paul Hartung in front of the new Continuous Drying Kiln at the Jubilee site in Mount Gambier

Starting out as a timber stacker back in 1971, Roger has held several positions since, from machinist and forklift driver, through to shift leader and drymill supervisor, and wanted to see the first CDK completed and online before retiring.

Paul said the old batch kilns on site are regarded as some of the highest performing batch kilns that Windsor Engineering have installed around the world, which is a credit to Roger’s leadership.

“I’m thrilled that Roger was able to do the honours of launching the new CDK,” Paul said.

“Roger’s commitment and dedication is unparalleled, and I wish to thank him for all he has contributed to this mill and to his colleagues.”

The second continuous drying kiln is currently under construction and on track for completion by Christmas 2021.

Fast facts

  • The first of two Continuous Drying Kilns (CDK) officially opened on Tuesday 30 March 2021.
  • The construction of the second kiln is set for completion by Christmas 2021.
  • The $16 million dollar project, at OneFortyOne’s Jubilee Sawmill site located in Mt Gambier, South Australia, has the capacity to dry 240,000 cubic metres of timber per year non-stop per CDK. The second kiln will double this capacity.
  • The retired batch kilns operated for 10 years, with a total drying time of 332,000 hours and produced 4 million cubic metres of dried timber.
  • The new kilns work more efficiently and will dry 30% more timber using 25% less energy.
  • The new CDK is 81 metres long, 7.7 metres high and 10.3 metres wide.
  • The CDKs are energy neutral as they are fuelled by biomass, sawdust and wood waste.
  • As a guide each piece of timber will take about 27 hours inside the kiln.
  • In March 2020, the New Zealand based project team had been on-site at the Jubilee Sawmill preparing for construction, but the introduction of travel restrictions meant the team had to abruptly pack up and return home.
  • The construction team put in more than 2,000 hours of work for the 1st CDK to be completed.

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