MONTANA mill at Nowa Nowa employs up to 8 people. They produce sawn timber, floor boards, recycle some timber and supply durable timbers for heavy construction like wharves and bridges.
They also have mountains of docked firewood and rely on ‘waste’ to sell as woodchips. They have a Montrose office and mill near Melbourne as well. For their small recycled component they gained a Chain of Custody FSC certificate. But the other wood isn’t certified.
The company is now in strife since the Nippon woodchip mill at Eden has not renewed their woodchip contract for East Gippsland after Dec 2014 and they are desperate to find a new buyer for their waste. This has been essential for the industry in East Gippsland to remain viable. No woodchip market = no industry. Woodchips have been calculated to comprise up to 90% of all timber that is carted out of a clearfelled stand of forest so is regarded as critical for their financial survival. The push for biomass generation is the direct response to this.
Montana has been actively lobbying both state and federal governments to include biomass in the Renewable Energy Target. Reports suggest that the Nowa Nowa site has a permit for a biomass generator although there is no media covering this to date.
Montana is part of the Kinglake Timber group, owned and directed by George Kasikovic. It specialise in reclaimed and recycled timbers from around Victoria and are based in Kinglake, Victoria.
Montana has secured a contract for coupes that VicForests can't economically log, that means surviving forests that are too ‘scruffy’ for decent timber or chips, but possibly beaut for furnace fuel. They say they want to retain some sort of canopy cover – to be the sweetener for env groups and the FSC.
They are asking for green groups to be part of their ‘consultation’ on this planned certification, but unless there is more basic and reliable info forthcoming, no one is in a position to talk to them yet. We have asked for this but have received nothing.