In April last year NIPPON announced it would not renew the woodchip licences after December 2014. VicForests has not been able to find another customer for its booty.
Nippon owns the chipmill and export facilities at Eden in NSW where millions of tonnes of EG forests have been shredded and shipped for over 40 years. This has been at great cost to tax payers through direct subsidies the chipmill and industry has received from governments.
Even with these ‘welfare packages’, the economics of selling woodchips has been declining over the years as eucalypt plantations have come on stream in countries closer to the Asian markets. The consumer and environmental campaigns have also forced many paper companies to look for more ethically obtained wood pulp.