austria / germany

The future has begun

Article by Gerd Ebner (translated by Eva Guzely) | 14.05.2020 - 11:38

In December 2019, we published a survey with the pragmatic title “New construction revival”. At the time, Holzkurier’s editorial team found nine projects in this wider region.

Only a few weeks later, some other projects were announced. And then came COVID-19. In the table below, you can now find 27 projects, the majority of which have been confirmed by the companies. Start dates are partly postponed due to difficult travel conditions. Nonetheless, there is practically no company which canceled expansion plans.

Two future-oriented projects

Two projects set themselves apart from all others: Binderholz’s two components productions for system solutions (“B-Solution”) and Gropyus (see article “Completely rethought constructions”). Both want to succeed with the approach that timber constructions do not just offer advantages in terms of sustainability and energy efficiency but can also have success in competition with solid constructions thanks to lower costs. This year, Gropyus wants to carry out already ten projects. None of them will be smaller than 10,000 m² and all of them will be four to eight-story buildings in big cities.

B-Solution is going to be located at Binderholz’s site in Hallein. From there, components including all installations are to be delivered to construction sites – on a scale which is going to make B-Solution a relevant player in the construction sector.

Ensuring supply through new constructions

Processing companies wanting to ensure and optimize their sawn timber supply is another current phenomenon. New constructions of GELO Timber, Handlos (see article “Special sawmill”) and Best Wood Schneider (see “Schneider to build a sawmill and CLT production”) fall into this category. All three companies are apparently concerned about their sawn timber supply, all three also plan to expand their product range and quantities, all three share the wish for customized raw goods which arrive just in time.

Approaches to a solution vary. GELO carries out the project together with glulam producer Holzwerke Bullinger of Neuruppin. GELO Timber is the name of the new plant for small-diameter wood in Wunsiedel for nearly € 40 million which is to start at the end of 2020. The plant’s operators expect a higher accumulation of small-diameter log wood in the region due to climate change.

One sawmill for everything

“Perfectly fitting sawn timber” is the first argument put forward by Herbert Handlos when Holzkurier asked him about the new sawmill in Summerau. The sawmill, which has yet to be built, is going to have a cutting capacity of up to 120,000 m³ a year in a one-shift operation. With “diameters of up to 1 m” as well as “cutting of softwood and hardwood” it should be very flexible.

Schneider plans to build a universal sawmill with an annual capacity of 200,000 m³ which is to supply the 100,000 m³ CLT production which is also new. Best Wood Schneider would thus have an overall annual capacity of 120,000 m³ of CLT.

Nine CLT projects to come


Expansions of sawmills and CLT productions as well as other processing capacities from 2020 to 2022

Until the COVID-19 pandemic had emerged, machine suppliers reported “weekly requests for new CLT construction projects”. According to Holzkurier’s survey, nine new productions are definitely planned. Among them, one can find newcomers (such as ante-holz, Pfeifer Holz, Gebrüder Theurl or Ziegler group with Tecsol) and companies which are expanding their existing capacities (Best Wood Schneider; KLH II; Mayr-Melnhof Holz; Hasslacher Norica Timber with Nordlam; Stora Enso).

A CLT production exclusively for fir wood is still in the project phase. Also, for more than 15 years, there have been plans for a production of pine CLT in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – however, nothing has happened so far.

Of course, investments are being made in other processing segments and sawmills as well (see table). In sawmills, the sometimes decade-old profiling lines are often replaced with new ones.

Expansions of sawmills, CLT productions and processing capacities DE/AT/CZ | 2020 bis 2022
New constructions, changes, modernizations, projects and unconfirmed plans
Company Site Type and capacity Notes
ante-holz Bromskirchen/DE CLT production; capacity: 30,000 m³/y started in 2019
ante-holz/HBS Berga Berga/DE CLT production; planned capacity: 80,000 m³/y (1st phase of expansion) planned start in 2021
Best Wood Schneider Meßkirch/DE sawmill, estimated cutting: 350,000 m³/y;
planned CLT production: 100,000 m³/y
production start at the end of 2021
Binderholz Hallein/AT component production for system solutions planned start in 2020
Eschelmüller Holz Rothfarn/AT expansion of KVH and laminated timber beam production started in 2019
GELO Timber Wunsiedel/DE sawmill, planned cutting: 350,000 m³/y start in December 2020
Gropyus Richen/DE formerly Mayr-Melnhof; takeover by Bernd Oswald at the beginning of 2020; currently no expansion planned see article “Completely rethought constructions
Handlos Holzwerke Summerau/AT sawmill, possible cutting: 120,000 m³/y in a one-shift operation see article “Special sawmill
Hasslacher Preding Holzindustrie Preding/AT sawmill, one-shift capacity: 500,000 m³/y two-shift operation started 
(800,000 m³ planned cutting in 2020); 128 m in length
Klenk Holz (Teil von Binderholz) Oberrot/DE sawmill, planned cutting: 1million m³/y start in Q4 2020
KLH Wiesenau/AT CLT production; planned capacity: 150,000 m³/y planned start in 2020
Labe Wood Steti/CZ sawmill; cutting capacity: 1 million m³/y see article “New big sawmill started up”; started on 25 March 2020
Lignopan Holzwerke Pfarrkirchen/DE expansion of KVH production ––
Mayr-Melnhof Holz Leoben/AT CLT production, capacity of up to 140,000 m³/y see article “€ 130 million for another CLT plant
Mercer Stendal/DE sawmill, capacity unknown announced
Mercer Timber Products Saalburg/DE high-performance planing line for export markets ––
Nordlam Magdeburg/DE CLT production, up to 50,000 m³/y see article “Entering the Champions League within two decades
Pfeifer Holz Kundl/AT sawmill, capacity unknown reconstruction starting in 2020
Pfeifer Holz Schlitz/DE CLT production; planned capacity: 100,000 m³/y started in 2020
Rettenmeier Holding Wilburgstetten/DE sawmill, one-shift capacity: 500,000 m³/y; pellets start of the sawing line in Q1 2021
Rettenmeier Holding Hirschberg/DE glulam production; planned capacity: 60,000 m³/y planned start in 2021
Rettenmeier Holding Ramstein/DE pellet production; planned capacity: 120,000 t/y planned start in 2021
Stora Enso Zdirec/CZ CLT production; currently feasibility study;
possible capacity: 120,000 m³/y
see article “Expanding the solid wood product range
Stora Enso Ybbs/AT glulam; possible capacity: 60,000 m³/y see article “Expanding the solid wood product range
Brüder Theurl Steinfeld/AT CLT production; planned capacity: 100,000 m³/y start in June 2020
TLH / Rieder-Gruppe Silz/AT € 7.5 million investment planned  
Ziegler (Tecsol) Hermsdorf/DE glulam/ CLT production; planned expansion after the takeover ––