Forestry Economic value
Forestry in Norway is one of the country’s largest export commodities, the scale of importance to the nation can be seen if you consider just a few facts.
In 1995 the total forestry industry was worth around
With over 55% of this figure generated from exports, this is one of the prime sources of income for the Norwegian economy. Over thirty thousand people (30,000) are employed in the forestry sector, with many of those living in remote rural districts where there is little to no other type of employment. Nearly all of the lumber used in the timber industry comes from renewable forests which are replanted soon after harvesting has taken place.
Timber and forest related products equate to around twelve percent of Norwegian product exports. It is a very close second to only the fishing industry, but is a lot larger than both the aluminium and the natural gas industries. The timber industry also is more than double the size than Norway’s high tech industry.
The old matured forests produce approximately eleven and half million cubic metres of timber annually. Methods of felling and transportation have changed dramatically over the last few years, increasingly mechanisation is playing a greater role and this is helping to make the forests much more productive. Over thirty percent of all forests are still worked on by there owners, winter months are the when most of the felling and transporting of timber is conducted, this is mainly due to the fact that it is always easier to cut a tree in winter as opposed to summer.
Secondary forest industries
The wood industry has many products, these are usually split into two categories, lumber production producing,sawn timbers and solid wood products, and then the pulp and paper industry which make use of the wood fibre. This industry produces items such as paper, cardboard etc.
The main type of trees grown Norwegian forests are Coniferous example the pine family of trees, these trees are not only very strong and grow very fast but they also produce long fibre time timber. This long fibre timber is perfect for both the sawn timber, solid woods market but also the paper and pulp industries as well.
Wood Producing Industry
About fifty two percent of the Norwegian round wood logs harvested is consumed by sawmills. Approximately two hundred and twenty 225 sawmills are operating in Norway on an industrial scale.
From as early as the start of the 16th century, Norway has been exporting vast amounts of sawn lumber. After the Second World War, domestic consumption of sawn timber increased and now accounts for the greatest portion of consumption of sawn timber.
Most of the sawn lumber has been utilised nationally. Two the largest building projects in Norway used up large amounts of Norwegian timber, The roof of the Olympic Viking Ship Hall in Hamar, and the construction of the new Oslo Airport, In 2011 the wood processing industry used approximately 5.3 million cubic metres of wood.
The Pulp and Paper Industry
Of all the forest-based products, paper based products seem to have the highest value for export. Board and paper products are being produced on 36 different machines in Norway. Chemical pulp and is being produced at 17 various production units.
Each year, a million tons of newsprint was exported. Additional production of other grades of paper increased and exceeded over 725,000 tons in 1998. The majority of the exports though were exported to Western Europe. Packing paper and various other types of board had amounted to the measure of 435,000 tons and wood pulp and chemical pulp amounted to 625,000 tons.
The exportation value of the paper and pulp industry amounted to 13,500 million in total. Production for the Norwegian market amounted to 3,100 million.
The paper and pulp industries used a total of 8.2 million cubic metres in 1998 including the imported volume of 2.8 million cubic metres. An additional 245,000 tons of recycled paper were used. The paper and pulp industries employed a total of 9,500 people.
100 years ago, wood was the dominate source of energy used in Norway. Oil and electricity were still the major resource of energy and the firewood usage was only 8% of the volume being used over 100 years ago. Forest may have played an increasing factor as a supply of energy. Electricity shortages and km2 taxes on the use of oil have led to renewed interest in the use of bio-energy. The pulp and paper industries were by far the largest producer of bio-energy within Norway.
The forest industry has been a major user of transportation services. The transportation of wood and forestry products was for 15% of the entire road transportation of goods and 36 % of the railroad infrastructure transportation of goods in Norway. Each year roughly 17 million tons of forest products were transported by road, rail and also by sea. The average distance for every ton of completed and finished forest product was 4,200 km.