Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Green Steel

Steel survives timber?

A worry for the future of Steel?

TIMBER company Gunns Ltd has entered voluntary administration, blaming the refusal of its banks to allow it to keep the proceeds of asset sales to keep the company afloat.
Read the full article here "Gunns enters voluntary administration". Timber - a basic competitor of steel in the construction industry - but who's next? Even though Gunns are into the woodchip industry and the Greens in Tasmania virtually forced the closure of this iconic company. Jobs and export revenue gone from Tassie.
Gunns woodchip plant.
So lets looks at steel manufacturing in Australia - just about finished - given some relief by government but eventually it will cease to exist within 5 years as an industry. The rollforming industry will continue as they can import coil from overseas just as BlueScope is doing now under the brand of "Made by BlueScope" - but where is it made. Buy Australian - I don't think so.

Gunns is an iconic Australian company built up in Tasmanian and now closed which is a result of the new GREEN pressure being exerted on all manufacturing. How long do we LEAD the world by being GREEN? Will $23 per tonne of CO2 emissions that the government collect really solve the alleged dangerous Global Warming? What are they spending it on? Well timber is not one of these as Musselroe Wind Farm (why call it a farm?) is all steel and concrete. See the video here:
Musselroe Wind Farm First Concrete Pour. And yet they call this GREEN - 1,000 cubic meters of concrete and 500 plus tonnes of steel each turbine - not counting the transmission lines, control centres, roads, manufacturing plants and maintenance facilities? All to produce 82 Mwh if you're lucky! Check out the cost of a new coal fired power station that can actually deliver baseload power 24/7 to rollformers and steel works. Windmills can't do this yet this wind farm has decimated hundreds of square kilometers of beautiful natural wilderness.

No timber to build, no woodchip for papers, no tissues, no toilet paper etc - but the steel rollformers may survive this madness currently being proposed by these nuts in Canberra and Tasmania.

The biggest campaign was run by the group Get Up - and this is one of their ads:

Anti timber campaign by Get up?
This campaign started many years ago and involved millions in advertising in International and local papers (printed on paper supplied by Gunns) to close this company. For the steel industry - I don't know the solution as you need huge amounts of energy to produce our building products (including cement and timber) yet it seems the GREENS will gain their desire of a timber, steel and concrete free world?
What is the future of the manufacturing industry in the next 5, 10 or even 50 years?


  1. mining boom has finished for a very long time.
    will be like this for a few years yet as the good times are over and manufacturing will go back to supply for construction mainly and lots of closures on the way. change of government next year will aid housing and construction industry but slow initially. lots of imports will come until AUD drops against US$

  2. I spoke to somebody yesterday about this, and the only way some of the timber mills in Tas (and Truss/Frame manufacturers) were making any money was by selling their offcuts back to Gunns for pulp. No money in the timber they are selling, only the scrap!

    This closure will have far more reaching effects that first thought.

    1. Since 2005, with the mining industry expansion to meet demand, Australia became a construction site with every area involved in this boom! It was a construction boom in reality - and most were earning a good dollar (and spending heaps) - but the GFC started and then the slow downturn to now! No new construction frenzy. Gunns is an indicator of this - also others factors were in play politically against this company.

      The new norm is now - and will stay for some time. The only new construction is in LNG and completion of existing projects. The money has stopped flowing.

      Even Andrew Forrest of FMG has asked staff to bring their own cutlery to work. Staff barbecues cancelled and no colour printing unless necessary.

      Back to reality - cancellation of corporate boxes at the football, credit cards returned, cattle class for air travel and many other cuts.

      But also the government spending has to stop, on these mad schemes promised every day.

      How will all this affect the current status of rollformers in Australia. Lean and mean is the norm.

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