$3 billion worth of tropical hardwoods to be harvested

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Forum topic by shipwright posted 12-15-2010 08:05 PM 1624 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12-15-2010 08:05 PM

This article showed up in my local paper this morning. A Vancouver Island company is about to begin harvesting about $3 billion worth of hardwoods (38 species) from the bottom of Lake Volta in Ghana. The project will take an estimated 25 years. This has been in the works for some time but it is actually about to begin now.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

9 replies so far

View DrDirt's profile


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#1 posted 12-15-2010 08:07 PM

Great venture – I’m all for ‘recycled’ wood versus needing to get in heavy equipent, cut new and replant.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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#2 posted 12-15-2010 08:37 PM

I just hope that they really have done the appropriate checks here.
On the one hand we have the Ghana authorities. Having lived in Ghana (and traveled on the lake) I know how easy it is to get “approval” for just about anything, so I’m not sure they have their hearts in the right place.
On the other hand we have, as far as I can tell, a company created especially for this purpose. We all know what their motive is.
So who is the independent arbiter of environmental impact here?
Brilliant idea if it really is sound and it’s all been thought through – but wouldn’t it be ironic if they discovered that all those trees were somehow making Lake Volta watertight and now it starts leaking? lol

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

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#3 posted 12-15-2010 08:37 PM

its great they can do it
not so long ago there was a blog about a compagny thats save trees from the bottom of an american river
they had discovered how many there was in the diffence between the nr of trees send down the river
from the cutting place and how many there was shiped out of the old mahogny trees

thank´s for the artickle Poul


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2475 posts in 2819 days

#4 posted 12-15-2010 09:17 PM

Nice Story !

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

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4389 posts in 3521 days

#5 posted 12-16-2010 12:54 AM

Of course the company that is proposing this is thinking that they know what the wood is worth dried out per Board Foot, and think that the cost of paying a crew of divers and boat deckhands to get the logs off the bottom of the lake, they expect to be sold for more than it cost to get them out of the yes they intend to profit from that venture.
It is a 25 year plan since the lake is 3200 square miles (more than 7000 sq Km)
This activity is needed in many man made lakes, where a dam has flooded a former river valley. as water levels vary the old trees seasonally are problems for navigation at low water levels, and some occasionally pop to the surface when the roots have loosened up before the log is saturated. These then float down to the dam – and potentially into the hydroelectric turbines

I think it is great that they are going to go and set up a business and hire 450 people to run the operation + lumbermill and Kiln and market the lumber that otherwise would simple decay. This is a little different than the “Preserved” logs in deep cold water like the great lakes or buried logs in New Zealand. Here the water is (mostly) shallow and warm year round, so all the wood is going to simply rot. – - that would be a real waste, because we would leave that to rot, and in the mean time continue to deforest the region to sell those logs.
I like this plan much better.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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#6 posted 12-16-2010 01:05 AM

Hmmmm, wonder what the crocodile population is at Lake Volta.
Edit: Just did a Bing search and found the lake has crocodiles and hippos. Hippos are the most dangerous as they have real bad tempers. The good news is that they won’t eat you. They wouldn’t pay enough to get me in the water.

View shipwright's profile


7707 posts in 2576 days

#7 posted 12-16-2010 01:14 AM

Dave, if you research the project or Triton Logging you will see that the actual harvesting crew is one “pilot” operating a sophisticated, specially adapted excavator-like machine from a barge on the surface. Most of the employment is in the handling, milling and marketing once the trees are harvested. To your point of navigation problems, there has been tragic loss of life on the lake apparently due to overloaded boats striking the trees. It’s one of the big reasons the Ghana gov’t is going ahead with the project.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

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#8 posted 12-16-2010 01:18 AM

Thanks Paul – A saw the craft is piloted – but somewhere somebody is attaching lines and getting it to shore – - at any rate the technology sounds cool – and 450 people is a bunch of jobs processing a resource that was going to go to waste.
Thanks for posting the story – - I knew of the navigation issues from other hydroelectric projects I had been involved with when i worked for the corps of engineers

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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#9 posted 12-16-2010 05:47 AM

interesting stuff! I am sure this is not the only place in the world where this would be a viable venture…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

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