Samling and Loggo IP sign MoU on engineered wood product building system

Gathering for the signing of the MOU between the Samling Group of Companies and New South Wales-based Loggo IP: In the centre, Pat Thornton, founder of Loggo; Datu Bojet, representing STIDC; and Samling CEO Lawrence Chia, along with Malaysian timber industry stakeholders (Image: Samling)

Samling Timber Group Malaysia has announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Sarawak with Loggo IP, an Australian developer of competitive engineered wood systems.

Loggo, based in Wollongong, New South Wales, will use Malaysian planted wood species such as acacia and eucalyptus for building systems aimed at housing, commercial and government buildings, three-storey walk-ups, shop-top housing and mid-rise and multi-residential apartments blocks.

The MOU was signed in Miri, Sarawak, by Samling CEO Lawrence Chia and Pat Thornton, founder and managing director of Loggo.

“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,” Chia said.

Thornton added: “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 Chia said every year millions of peeler cores were produced as ‘waste’ from plywood production and were mostly used in low-value recovery options such as packaging and as fuel for thermal energy processes.

In what is said to be a world’s “first”, Loggo has developed and patented three versatile engineered wood products as well as columns and each can be made from peeler cores.

According to Thornton, two of these beams can use Samling’s ply as a web. “These low-value plywood by-products are also a green and sustainable way to increase returns,” he said.

In witnessing the MoU signing, Hashim Bojet, the former general manager of the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC), said the corporation was encouraged that an industry player was taking sustainable initiatives to develop engineered wood products using planted wood in Sarawak.

“This is aligned with our vision to utilise more planted logs for higher value-added engineered wood products,” Bojet said.“We are confident the MOU will allow Samling to progress from the initial stage of assessment to manufacturing these high-quality structural components, first for local and then global markets.

“This effort is fully complementary with STIDC’s overall engineered wood products vision which includes laminated veneer lumber (LVL), glue-laminated timber (glulam) and cross-laminated timber (CLT) products.”

Asia-Pacific floor ‘coverings’ market alone is estimated to exceed US$250bn by 2027. These ‘coverings’ such as tiles, boards, carpet and vinyls will be held structurally by greener timber sub-floor frames as the world turns against the highly GHG pollutant concrete and steel industries.

Samling, under its sustainable forests mandate, manages around 1.2 million hectares of forest land and 190,250 hectares of gross forest plantations across Malaysia.

Operating for more than 50 years, Samling is one of Malaysia’s largest timber companies, processing its own logs into sawn wood, plywood and veneers in an integrated, upstream and downstream operation.

The group has obtained forest management certificates for three of its Forest Management Units (FMUs), as well as four Licences for Planted Forests, all under the Malaysian Timber Certification Council’s Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme which is endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

Thornton said the Loggo concept was 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, plans, machinery and confidential trade arrangements.

“We embarked on a business plan that would research, develop and register a plethora of worldwide patents,” 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 is now an ‘industry partner’ with a sizeable grant from the Australian Research Council’s Advance Future Timber Hub at the University of Queensland for further development into the built environment.