New Energy villas is a new development in Jiangsu province

B.C. wood moves up China’s value chain

Forest Minister Steve Thomson's annual trade mission visits resort community in Jiangsu province using wood frame construction

When B.C.’s wood products trade mission visited Nanjing, China five years ago, government and industry representatives watched lumber being hauled by labourers with ropes onto the roofs of a vast expanse of concrete apartment buildings.

Trusses were built using hammers and handsaws, to replace thousands of roofs damaged by the deadly 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Builders were pleased with the new method, which replaced angle iron pulled up to the roofs and welded into trusses.

When B.C.’s annual delegation returned to Nanjing this Thanksgiving weekend for its annual Asia sales trip, Forests Minister Steve Thomson said the roof reconstruction work continues. But now wood construction has become more sophisticated in Jiangsu Province, a centre of electronics and other industries whose gross domestic product is half as much as all of Canada.

“They’re doing residential properties, they’re also doing recreational properties, the villas, planned communities,” Thomson said in a phone interview from Nanjing Oct. 11.

Thomson also met with executives of Sinar Mas, the Indonesian conglomerate that has invested heavily in B.C.’s wood pulp industry through its Richmond-based subsidiary Paper Excellence.

The B.C. delegation toured the world’s largest paper mill, which uses all of the production from Mackenzie Pulp in northern B.C. and most of Howe Sound Pulp and Paper. Paper Excellence also owns the pulp mill in Skookumchuck in the Kootenays, and this spring it purchased the former Tembec pulp mill in Chetwynd that has been shut down since 2012.

The annual lumber trade mission is required by B.C. legislation. Thomson said the next stop in Beijing is for his first meetings with national-level Chinese officials, before the group heads to Tokyo and Seoul, South Korea.

Lumber purchases to China have risen steadily in the past decade, with sales surpassing the U.S. for the first time in 2011.

 

Just Posted

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

How the provincial budget will play out in northwestern B.C.

Price of gasoline to rise and expect MSP premiums to disppear

Snow bikers have a lucky escape on Claque Mountain

Their experience highlights the importance of being properly prepared in the backcountry

Access to naloxone kits made easier

They’re now available from pharmacies

Airport registers modest passenger increase

Manager anticipates further growth in 2018 as expansion project nears completion

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Two Haida men detained for crossing U.S.-Canada border

Edenshaw and Frisby travelled from Alaska to Prince Rupert for the All Native Basketball Tournament

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

B.C. teacher suspended over allegedly using N-word in worksheets

Trafalgar Elementary teacher under investigation by Vancouver School Board

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

BC BUDGET: New money helps seniors’ care shortage

Job stability for care aides key to recruitment, union leader says

Mixed messages on B.C.’s efforts to cool hot housing market

Economist says undersupply of homes in Metro Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna will keep prices high

Foot found near Victoria belonged to missing Washington man

Coroner says no foul play suspected in death of 79-year-old Stanley Okumoto

Most Read