First Oji Lao sawmill opens
The Oji Lao Plantation Forest Co. Ltd undertook to spend US$1 million to establish the company's first sawmill in the country, in Khammuan province.
The sawmill was opened ready for operation on Tuesday after the seven months of construction, from February to August this year, ended.
The opening ceremony was attended by provincial Governor Mr Khambay Damlath along with provincial officials from relevant sectors and company representatives.
Oji Group started to operate its business in Laos in 2005 and over the last 10 years the company has been receiving good cooperation from the Lao government, especially from the provincial authorities and local farmers, Oji Green Resort President Mr Fujiwarra said at the ceremony.
The sawmill will process eucalyptus wood and Mai Ka Thin for sale to the domestic market and for export.
The company is currently just producing plywood, charcoal and furniture to sell within the domestic market according to their representatives.
The wood products, esp ecially the plywood, are not yet sufficient to meet the high demand of the domestic market.
The company has 23,000 hectares of eucalyptus and Mai Ka Thin in Khammuan and Borikhamxay provinces.
This year they plan to cut 30,000 cubic metres of trees to su pply to manufacturers, 50,000 cubic metres next year and 150,000 cubic metres in 2016.
The company cannot expand into more areas to g row the trees as their land concession is limited but they will replant where they have felled the trees to maintain sustainability.
Growing the company's trees for ten years helped to create many jobs for local people to improve their living conditions and reduce poverty in the area.
To create further expansion of the business in the future, the company plans to build different processing factories such as for paper, plywood and furniture.
However, they are still struggling with transportation fees which are high compared to the rest of the region.