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.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VicPD asks for help finding owner of recovered camera

Camera contained images of a family celebrating a wedding

More than 600 items donated to the homeless occupants of Topaz Park

Newly established Neighbourhood Response Team helps coordinate collection

Investigators seek witnesses in death of Langford woman Angela Dalman

Police seek out dash cam footage, home security videos and neighbourhood witnesses

Greater Victoria sheriffs, local business deliver food to those struggling with mental health

More than $900 worth of groceries were delivered to members of the Connections Place Society

Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, fear it’s a mistake

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

COVID-19 self-isolation plan or quarantine, returning B.C. residents told

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

VIDEO: More than 85 people displaced by Campbell River apartment fire

Traffic is being diverted around Dogwood Street and 9th Avenue

Thieves steal $5,000 worth of cigarettes and candy from semi trailer in Nanaimo

Culprits hit truckload in shipping company storage yard on Old Victoria Road on Monday

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Sanders drops 2020 bid, leaving Biden as likely nominee

Sanders plans to talk to his supporters later Wednesday

Most Read