Premier Christy Clark today announced that the largest shipment of mass timber from British Columbia to India is en route.
The shipment also includes lumber and will be used in the first major commercial wood demonstration project to showcase B.C. forest products in India.
As India’s economy grows, traditional wood supply cannot meet increasing demand. As a leading supplier of sustainable forest products, British Columbia is seen as an attractive long-term supplier. Support for the project is being provided by the Government of B.C.’s market development agency for forest products, Forestry Innovation Investment (FII), through its India office.
The wood products will be used to construct a facility housing several design workshops at India’s Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University located in Ahmedabad, Gujurat State and will serve as a showcase to help grow awareness and demand in India for B.C. wood products.
Incorporating wood, concrete and steel, the project will not only inspire the school’s students who work and design with wood, but will also be a model of sustainable architecture and environmental responsibility for the Indian design community. By introducing Canadian wood species through special projects and course curriculum, the university sees the project as providing a long-term opportunity for collaboration with British Columbia and Canada.
In addition to the glue-laminated arches for the roof assembly supplied by Penticton-based Structurlam, other B.C. wood products, including those made of hemlock, Douglas fir and yellow cedar, are being used extensively throughout the project in a range of interior and exterior applications. These products are being supplied by Surrey’s Coast Clear Wood and through a donation of lumber from the Coast Forest Products Association.
During an October 2016 trade mission to India, Finance Minister Michael de Jong visited the CEPT University campus to support a partnership between the Province and the University. In November, FII India entered into an agreement to support the extensive use of B.C. forest products in the project.
Under the agreement, the Province will invest approximately $100,000 to share the costs, with CEPT, of the B.C. wood used in the project and to cover import duties for B.C. products not currently available in India. Industry will donate an additional $11,000 worth of B.C. lumber already in India.
This demonstration project is a direct result of the Province’s accelerated market development efforts in India. In addition to pursuing product trials and other high-profile commercialization projects, the strategy for growing demand for B.C. wood products in India includes collaboratively promoting the Canadian wood brand with Natural Resources Canada and industry through Canada Wood.
Building international markets for B.C.’s natural resources is a component of the BC Jobs Plan. Maintaining and expanding markets, including strengthening key Asian markets, supports the Province’s goal of a diverse, globally competitive forest industry, as outlined in Strong Past, Bright Future: A Competiveness Agenda for B.C.’s Forest Sector.
Premier Christy Clark –
“Today’s announcement marks a significant advancement for B.C.’s market development strategy for wood products in India, one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Partnerships that help build demand in India will ensure that forestry – the province’s largest manufacturing industry and number one exporter – continues to play a key role in our economy, now and in the future.”
Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism (on trade diversification) –
“The Province and the forest industry continue to diversify markets for B.C. forest products, with a particular focus on fast-growing markets in Asia. Supporting the adoption of B.C. wood products and species is part of our long-term strategy in India that will lead to new opportunities for B.C. businesses.”
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (on B.C.’s competitive forest industry) –
“B.C. is recognized as a world leader in the production of quality wood products from sustainably managed forests. Strengthening key Asian markets by demonstrating the suitability of B.C. wood species and advancing a strong Canadian wood brand will support the Province’s goal of a diverse, globally competitive forest industry.”
Michael de Jong, Minister of Finance (on investments) –
“India is an economy that is growing quickly and represents an important opportunity for many of British Columbia’s export industries, including forestry. Finding new markets for our exports is crucial to maintaining B.C.’s strong and growing economy.”
Tom Sundher, president of Coast Clear Wood (on opportunities for B.C. businesses) –
“The Sundher Group has been selling lumber into the India market for over 15 years; however it’s only been in the last three years that we’ve seen tremendous progress as a result of the Government of B.C.’s market development activities. We see this first shipment of glue laminated beams as a sign of growth opportunities for B.C. forest products into the India market.”
Bill Downing, president of Structurlam (on opportunities for B.C. businesses) –
“Structurlam’s highly skilled team is dedicated to changing the way we build in North America and around the world. Entering the Indian market is an exciting milestone. As demand continues to grow for our innovative products, we’re pleased that we’ve been able to expand our team and in turn create new jobs for British Columbians. Our products are being selected for a growing number of projects around the globe and as such we are looking forward to creating even more opportunities for British Columbians in the mass timber industry.”
CEPT Workshops Facility
- The 900 square-metre facility was designed by architect Gurdev Singh of Aakar Design Consultants.
- The facility will be dedicated to instruction and learning in architectural design, furniture design, woodworking, metal work and modelling.
- The hybrid structure (which will be built with wood, concrete and steel) will include three pavilions incorporating different workshops.
- Thirty-three exposed glulam arches will extend from one end of each pavilion to the other.
- Other B.C. wood species will be used in various applications including hemlock for exposed ceiling battens, yellow cedar for door frames, and Douglas fir for roof purlins, gable ends, fascias, doors and partitions.
- The shipment includes 32 square metres of glue-laminated timber and solid wood from B.C.
- The project is currently under construction and is scheduled for completion later this year.
- The total cost of the project is $800,000.
- B.C. exports over 90% of all forest products.
- In 2015, B.C. exported $12.9 billion in forest products (lumber, pulp and paper and other wood products).
- The B.C. forest sector employs more than 65,000 British Columbians and supports over 7,000 businesses.
- In 2015, wood product exports totalled $12.9 billion, representing 36% of B.C.’s total exports.
- B.C. has more third-party forest certification than any jurisdiction in the world, except for Canada as a whole.
- Wood products from the province’s sustainably managed forests help tackle climate change by being a renewable building material and a means to store carbon.
Forestry Innovation Investment is the Province’s market development agency for forest products. For more information visit: www.bcfii.ca