GRL Tanzania CEO, Hans Lemm said recently that the company manages its plantations according to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) principles and criteria. All its Uganda plantations are FSC certified and a large part of the Tanzanian and Mozambican plantations.
“When it comes to value-adding, our product line-up includes sawn timber, veneer, pallets, briquettes, charcoal, treated timber, transmission poles and other wood products,” Lemm said in an interview with South African based Woodbiz Africa.
He said currently the company sells most of its products into the rapidly growing East African markets, and exports lumber from Tanzania and Uganda and veneer from Mozambique. “We have sawmilling operations in Uganda and Tanzania and pole plants in all three countries. In addition, the company operates a briquetting plant in Tanzania and a veneer factory in Mozambique,” he said.
The Norwegian company which was established in 1995 and has about 100 private shareholders backed by two European development finance institutions, employees around 900 people directly who include between 500 and 700 contractors in the three countries.
“Green Resources is one of the first companies globally to receive carbon revenue from its plantation forests,” Lemm said adding that Sao Hill Industries is East Africa's largest sawmill and transmission pole treatment plant.
While Sao Hill Industries is East Africa's largest sawmill and transmission pole treatment plant, Green Resources is East Africa's largest vertically integrated forestry and wood processing company with 38,000 hectares of plantations in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda.
“Initially built by Norwegian development aid in the mid-1970s and privatised in the late 90s, the operations have undergone several significant upgrades and capital investment projects. SHI supplies kiln-dried and treated structural timber, pallets, briquettes, and other products to local and international markets,” he added.
The Norwegian company also operates two wood preservation plants for poles and timber treatment and is one of Tanzania's largest transmission and fencing poles producers and is a significant supplier to Tanzania's Rural Electrification Programme. Currently, SHI is the only producer of kiln-dried poles in Tanzania.
GRL Tanzania manages the forestry operations in Tanzania, with approximately 15,300ha of pine and eucalyptus plantations. It sells logs to SHI and private saw millers and wood processors. It also has access to government plantations through long-term off-take agreements.