As reported in our April edition, Tasmania has large hydro dams and lakes with timber still underwater, sitting stagnant and perfectly preserved, just ready for the picking.
Frozen in time, specialty timbers including Huon Pine, Sassafras and Myrtle, as well as Eucalyptus and Blackwood, have lain dormant on some of the dam floors for many years.
As reported earlier this year, the timber was scheduled to be sustainably salvaged by mid-winter, however – that timing has been delayed.
Darryn said the harvest will now commence mid-September, following a stalled delivery of machinery arriving from overseas.
“We currently have the survey vessels out on the lake now doing a 3D survey of the dam, and the harvest boat is ready,” Darryn said.
He explained that the set up will take weeks before the logs will be brought to surface.
“It will take two days to put everything together on Lake Pieman, and then we will have to travel 27 km up the dam to commence harvesting – but first we will need to clean out the bay, which will take a few weeks,” he said.
We can also report that there has been a significant amount of buzz surrounding the product from architects, locally and nationally, as well as some interest from the European high-end boat building market.
Hydrowood has commenced a marketing plan rollout, generating the avenues for how the logs will be sold.
“We have had three major Tasmanian sawmills expressing interest in the Hydrowood logs already, and we are in the final stages of signing up a sawmill as a contractor for the milling of some of the timber,” Darryn said.
He also explained that since the project was publicised earlier this year, SFM has been contacted by the Green Building Council of Australia regarding the product achieving a Green Star rating, due to the sustainable – yet unique – harvesting process.
If you would like learn more about the Hydrowood project, you can read our April cover story here