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Finnish Fix for forest fire prevention

Finland-based forest machine equipment developer Fixteri Group Oy has successfully demonstrated the "advanced supply chain" of biomass raw material in Spain. In addition to a productivity leap, of special interest was the solution offered by Fixteri for thinning of fire-prone forest areas.

A forwarded load of Fixteri small-diameter roundwood bundles in Catalonia, Spain with Vesa Kärkkäinen (left) Forest-Linna, Juha Tapanen and Dr Minna Lappalainen, Fixteri at the demonstration day (photo courtesy Fixteri Group).

Over a hundred forest and bioenergy experts from as far as Brazil as well as Spanish local authorities attended the recent harvesting demonstration show hosted by Fixteri in Catalonia, Spain.

According to the company, international interest in its unique technology has picked up in Europe, Latin America, and Asia as the solution is global – it works as well in the snowy forests of Finland as in chestnut forests on the Iberian Peninsula, and wide plantations of the Southern Hemisphere.

Fixteri’s capability for effective thinning and removal of small diameter wood is of particular interest for Catalonian authorities, as the unthinned forest is exposed to forest fires especially in the dry climate of Southern Europe.

We were excited to understand that Fixteri provides so many advantages here in Catalonia as well as back home in Brazil. Fixteri’s potential to prevent forest fires has been well demonstrated and not only that, it’s clear that the leap in productivity offered by Fixteri is massive and valuable in all circumstances, said Lucas Cavalcanti, CEO of Grupo Semil, the largest wood harvesting company in Brazil with a fleet of 150 machines.

The harvesting demonstration show covered forest thinning and bundle processing to storage and chipping of the wood material, and continuation of logistics to a bioenergy facility. Also, the speed of which the forwarding of the bundles and the chipping of them came as a surprise to many.

Since last November we have tested Fixteri in Catalonian chestnut and pinewood forests and Lignia Biomassa has supplied woodchips as biomass to a French power plant. It’s magnificent to witness that Fixteri works here just as smoothly as back home in Central Finland said Dr Minna Lappalainen, Chairman of the Board of the Fixteri Group.

Increased use of forest biomass is likely to drive innovation in the harvesting and logistics chain, such as this Fixteri biomass bundler for utilising pre-commercial thinnings.

Both fire prevention and increased use of forest biomass are likely to drive innovation in the harvesting and logistics chain, such as this Fixteri biomass bundler for utilising pre-commercial thinning.

The Fixteri bundler is used as an attachment to forestry machinery for the collection of small-diameter roundwood and forest residues for energy purposes. It collects and bundles small trees more cost-effectively than any other technology and its better efficiency in thinning and regeneration felling has been proven in several Finnish and international studies.

We believe the harvesting show proved to those present how small diameter wood can be utilised sustainably and productively. At the same time, Fixteri is an excellent tool to prevent forest fires. It’s good to go forward from here, said Lappalainen.

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