Production resumes at Border Timbers

Staff Reportwer
Border Timbers Limited, a subsidiary of Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE)-listed Radar Holdings Limited, has re-commenced production at its pole treatment facility which was gutted by fire last month.
In a statement, the board said production at the plant had improved creating "scope to increase supply into the market".
"Ongoing investment is being undertaken to further increase capacity in line with market opportunities."
The Border Timbers board said after the fire, Wattle Company and Hunyani Forests had helped ensure it met its critical orders.

Border Timbers Limited has, over the past decade or more, battled arson fires and illegal settlement on its plantations.

The fire that gutted its plant started outside the company's boundary at Mutare industrial facility and spread to the plant, destroying parts of the pole treatment plant and some stock.
A road in the middle of the stockyard designed as a firebreak had limited the loss to only one section.
But the electrical reticulation system, plumbing system and one treating cylinder had been affected.
Management had assured investors that the loss was covered by an insurance policy.
Over the years, Border Timbers has fought hard-to-win battles against arson fires, and last year, it reportedly lost a significant portion of its plantation to an inferno. This has become a material concern to shareholders.
In a statement accompanying last year's full year results to June 30, 2010, the company's board said Border Timbers had lost 67 hectares of planted area due to arson fire.
"While the area damaged is significantly lower than that of prior years' fire seasons, it should be noted that the fundamental cause of these fires is yet to be addressed," said Border Timbers.
Former board chairperson, Phillip Chipudla, who retired in August 2009 after 10 years at the helm of the board, had noted that the problem of arson fires would remain unresolved unless the issue of illegal settlers in the Chimanimani areas was resolved.
"It is disheartening to note that illegal settler activity has continued unabated at most of the company's forest estates. Management has continued to engage the authorities to try and resolve the issue of illegal settlers but this has not yielded any results," the company had indicated.
Border Timbers has lost on average 700 hectares of planted area annually through arson fires, caused by illegal settlers on its properties.
Border Timbers was incorporated in 1979 through an amalgamation of three companies namely Border Eastern Forest Estates, Renfee Timbers (Pvt) Limited and Forestry Management Services.
Forestry Management Services had taken over plantations that were first established in Imbeza by the British South African Police (BSAP) Company in 1924.The BSAP increased plantings substantially in 1946 after the Second World War to include the Chimanimani area. Since 1979 Border Timbers has grown the plantation size to the current around 48 000 hectares. Of the 48 000 hectares of land, approximately 28 000 hectares is under plantation and the remaining 20 000 hectares are reserved for open area management - conservation, river & streams, heritage sites, roads and access routes.
Of the 28 000 hectares of plantable area, 82 percent is under softwood production. The balance is primarily Eucalyptus grandis and E. cloeziana on both a sawlog and pole rotation. The company has three divisions which are the Forestry, Sawmilling and Manufacturing divisions. The forestry division manages a total of five estates: Tilbury, Charter and Sawerombe in Chimanimani area to the south of Mutare town and Imbeza and Sheba to the north in the Pennalonga area. Logs harvested by the division are processed at the three sawmills namely, Charter, Tilbury and Sheba.

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