A Tamworth sawmill is going green, and automatic as part of a $100,000 upgrade of the city's only softwood sawmill.
Tamworth Treated Timbers Manager David Wynn said the private sawmill would move away from the old ACQ treatment.
ACQ is a water-based timber treatment that uses copper to protect timber from fungi, but can leave a strange green tinge to the wood.
Their new chemical MicroPro is the way of the future, he said.
Because it requires less chemical, they'll also use less power, and therefore spend less money.
Mr Wynn said the upgrade would be good for the environment and good for the bottom line.
Uses less chemical into the environment has got to be better for everybody.David Wynn
"Uses less chemical into the environment has got to be better for everybody," he said.
"There's no comparison, [the environment] has to be looked after.
"We're a business that takes product from our forests through to people's backyards and back into our forests with national parks, so that whole chain has to be environmentally friendly."
The new chemical will also give them the ability to do new and different colours, including dark or light shades of brown and a natural pine colour.
As part of the upgrade, the Kootingal plant is also going fully-automatic, so they can control it from a laptop in the office rather than having to monitor the plant all the time it's running.
That shift will save the plant two wages, but the industry as a whole should actually grow as a result.
"We were going to have to put on an extra two people, this will eliminate two people," Mr Wynn said.
"What that does is that transfers the wages from us to our supplier mill. As we ramp up our demand they will need to ramp up their labour to meet the demand."
Transport companies will also pick up more business, he said.
The company started thinking about the upgrade in January, 2021, made a decision to do it in June.
The chemical upgrade should be ready to start trials in January with full commercialisation about four to six week after that.
The plant will be fully-automatic by the second half of 2021.
"We're in front of a lot of other people. We're at the forefront of the industry," Mr Wynn said.
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