SE Pine’s investment in new treatment is paying off.

SE Pine’s focus on constant improvement of their processes and production of quality product shows through in its latest investment: a new LOSP treatment plant in South Dandenong. In typical SE Pine fashion, it uses the latest technology to deliver efficient treatment and a great final product.

It’s an obvious evolution for the company that began in Mt Gambier in the mid 1980s. Mark and Andy Forster started with mobile ‘spot’ mills, processing break trees for landscaping products. In the mid ’90s Mark and wife Karen bought a block of land nearby and built a mill that started producing palings, sleepers and premium boards. Over time, they have expanded and invested in the mill with a supply of high-quality large-diameter Mt Gambier pine. Two years ago, a new and more efficient mill was built next door with two sets of twin band break down saws leading into a multi-rip, which all have scanning capabilities. The mill produces a high-quality board and post which makes the perfect feed stock for the company’s Dandenong South site, which the Forster brothers bought in 2006. The Dandenong site started as a fencing supply yard with its own CCA pressure plant, which they also used for custom treating.

Plans for the LOSP plant started when it became clear that the company needed to produce LOSP-treated products in-house rather than treating it externally. The team took guidance from the company’s chemical supplier, Koppers Performance Chemicals, in their research.

The plant was supplied by IWT late last year. It was made in Italy to a compact design with the 1.8m-diameter and 8m-long steel cylinder nestled below the operating storage vessel, with the bulk storage vessel situated outside the main factory. This arrangement results in a small footprint which was an essential requirement in the restricted factory area.

The infeed is also compact, meaning that the plant is loaded from one side and one end. Output is still high thanks to the speed of the plant, and a second shift can meet any future demands. Plant automation was supplied by Koppers PC and the opportunity was taken to update automation in the existing CCA plant as well.

“Koppers has been supportive through the whole process, whether in design, installing their terrific automation system and assisting with sorting the new plant,” said Andy.

Since the plant came on line, the demand for H3 LOSP has exceeded SE Pines’ expectations. Over the course of this year, it has grown to around 80% of production, with the remainder CCA. The current buoyant market conditions mean further expansion is already being considered.

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