Tasmanian forest management company SFM Environmental Solutions has been successful in obtaining funding for a major new project which will recover specialty timbers underwater, which were submerged during the creation of hydro electric schemes in the past.
SFM General Manager, Darryn Crook said Hydrowood is a highly innovative project, which will utilise specialised equipment to recover underwater standing timber in lakes managed by Hydro Tasmania.
“It will provide access to a unique subset of Tasmania’s highly valued specialty timbers,” Mr Crook said.
“As a Tasmanian company with extensive experience in forest management, harvesting and marketing, this project will allow SFM to expand our current business, whilst creating employment not only in the western region of Tasmania, but statewide.
“The specialist equipment required to recover the timber will also be designed and developed in Tasmania.
“Recovered or salvaged timber is a growing niche industry across the globe and with Tasmania’s unique indigenous timbers this project will allow furniture makers, sawmillers and craftsmen to access exciting new markets.”
SFM commenced a feasibility study in 2012 and with the assistance of historical images, anecdotal evidence and GIS mapping, timber samples were extracted and found to be structurally sound and in commercial volumes.
The feasibility study for the project was assisted by funding from Hydro Tasmania and the Department of State Growth.
Funding for the $5 million project was approved by the Abbot Coalition Government under the Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Package.
The project will create up to 20 full time positions in the construction phase with an additional 40 downstream positions as timber is extracted and processed.
SFM provides forestry management solutions to private, corporate and government entities.
SFM is certified under the Australian Forestry Standard and Forest Stewardship Council schemes.