Malaysian timber giant Samling signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Australian-based Loggo IP Pty Ltd yesterday, expanding mass timber building systems across the Asia-Pacific region.
The partnership will see Samling utilise Loggo’s patented technology to deliver engineered flooring solutions on scale. Demand for timber across the Asia-Pacific is surging, primarily driven by demand for housing across emerging economies, with the MOU an essential step in meeting demand.
Malaysia is looking to engineered wood products, including cross-laminated timber panels and glue-laminated timber beams, to meet the country’s demand for affordable housing, including build-to-rent projects.
According to Patt Thornton, Founder and Managing Director of Loggo, the new partnership will produce engineered wood products for low-set housing, commercial and government buildings, three-storey walk-ups, shop-top housing and mid-rise and multi-residential apartment blocks.
The MOU was signed in Miri, Sarawak, yesterday, with Samling CEO Larence Chia looking to establish a pilot programme before expanding production.
“We will work together on a pilot project in Sarawak using Loggo IP’s patented engineered wood technology focused on a burgeoning forest recovery industry to develop small-diameter true rounds or peeler cores,” according to Lawrence Chia.
For Loggo, the relationship with Samling allows the Australian company to partner with one of the world’s largest integrated timber companies.
“As the world shortage of timber hits home, we are convinced Samling, long respected globally for its high standards of sustainable forest management, can develop these cost-competitive systems across South East Asia and beyond,” Mr Thornton said.
Mr Chia said every year, millions of peeler cores were produced as ‘waste’ from plywood production and were primarily used in low-value recovery options such as packaging and as fuel for thermal energy processes.
In a world ‘first’, Loggo has developed and patented three versatile engineered wood products and columns; each can be made from peeler cores.
“Two of these beams can use Samling’s ply as a web,” Mr Thornton said.
“These low-value plywood by-products are also a green and sustainable way to increase returns.”
The new partnership will see Malaysian planted wood used in the development of high-value engineered wood products, which, according to Hashim Bojet, the former General Manager of Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation, as part of its ‘Sarawak’s ‘Timber 2.0 Strategy.’
“This is aligned with our vision to utilise more planted logs for higher value-added EWPs (Engineered Wood Products),” Mr Bojet said.
“We are confident the MOU will allow Samling to progress from the initial assessment stage to manufacturing these high-quality structural components for local and global markets.”
“This effort fully complements STIDC’s overall EWP vision, which includes Laminated-Veneer Lumber, Glulam and Cross Laminated Timber products.”
The Asia-Pacific floor coverings market is estimated to exceed $US250 billion by 2027. These ‘coverings’, including tiles, boards, carpet and vinyl, will be held structurally by ‘greener’ timber sub-floor frames as the world turns against the highly GHG pollutant concrete and steel industries.
According to Mr Chia, Samling manages more than 1.2 million hectares of forest land and about 190,000 hectares of gross forest plantations across Malaysia – certified by the Malaysian Timber Certification Council and carrying PEFC certification in global markets.
Listed on the Forest 500, the company is a significant player in the global plywood market and has property development interests in Southeast Asia, China, Russia and the USA.
In August, Samling was recognised for its commitment to diversification and value-added manufacturing as part of Sarawak’s ‘Timber 2.0 Strategy.’
The strategy is part of the Malaysian industry’s pivot towards high-value timber production.
It is collaborating with the University of Technology in Sarawak as part of the “Centre of Excellence in Wood Engineered Products for Housing and Construction Utilisation.”
The Centre acts as a “catalyst increasing the participation and engagement of the local timber industry and the local community in the heavy industries downstream timber production.”
Pat Thornton said the Loggo concept developed after better-than-expected extensive testing results at the University of Technology of Sydney (UTS) in 2011.
Loggo IP, as the trading company, was set up to hold and manage intellectual property rights, including patents, trademarks, software, copyrights, plant, machinery and confidential trade arrangements.
“We embarked on a business plan that would research, develop and register many worldwide patents,” Mr Thornton said.
“In 2015, we began applying this principle to peeler cores, recognising Malaysia as the manufacturing hub of Asia with established paths on marketing and timber exports to China, India, Indonesia, and other countries in the region.”
Loggo Pty Ltd is now an ‘industry partner’ with a sizeable grant to the Australian Research Council’s Advance Future Timber Hub at the University of Queensland for further development into the ‘built environment’.