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

Cowichan transgender woman hosting Gender Identity Expression Day

“We need to have a public conversation about this.”

Andrea Rondeau column: Chemainus Theatre Festival a unique, surprising venue

Not many towns the size of Chemainus can boast a year-round professional theatre

Sarah Simpson Column: Perfect road trip features flat tire and lost wallet

My husband is a loser. Not a loser in the dead-beat, good-for-nothin’… Continue reading

Are you 55 or older? Try 5 sports for free

June 5 event promotes BC 55+ Games and active living

Outlaws make statement in first spring hockey tourney

2011 team takes bronze in brilliant debut

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Coming up in Cowichan: From bike rodeo to ‘A Word About Consent’, lots on the calendar

Christian Science event coming to Duncan Saturday, May 25 “Breaking News: Freedom… Continue reading

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read