China builds first pilot CLT plant

By Dora Xue, Canada Wood

We visited a CLT plant in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, the first pilot plant in China.

The Ningbo Sino-Canada Low-Carbon Technology Research Institute is led by CTO Dr Brad J. Wang, former senior scientist at FPInnovations. The plant covers an area of 13,500 m2 in Ningbo and was put into use in November 2015.

As a professor who has been studying the CLT technology for several years, Dr Wang has abundant knowledge of it. He was involved in writing CLT Manufacturing Chapter II of CLT Handbook (both Canadian and USA versions) in June 2012 and 2013. Two years later, Dr Wang led a group back to China and built this first pilot CLT plant to make the first batch of Canadian hemlock CLT.

At the plant, hemlock pieces were glued together with imported glue, then rolled to press process. The operation is strictly in accordance with Canadian manufacturing process. The company holds a patent for its hemlock CLT and bamboo-wood composite CLT in China.

“If we take five per cent market share, the market for prefabricated wood construction will be about CAN$25 Bn annually. There is now a big push in China toward off-site construction. Two standards have been officially published in 2017 related to prefab wood construction,” said Dr Wang.

Apart from construction, CLT can also be used in indoor and outdoor furniture.