18 September, 2018
Tanalised® C Adds Value to Komaza's Farmer-Grown Timber in Kenya
Lonza Wood Protection South Africa has installed
and commissioned the first Tanalised® wood preservative treatment plant along the Kenyan coast, which will
pave the way for Komaza to build a portfolio of high value wood products from
its farmer-grown timber, and open doors to new local and global export markets.
Komaza is the brainchild of Tevis Howard, who in his position as Founder
and CEO, has invested the past 10 years into unlocking the potential of small-scale
farmers with the vision of solving Africa's wood supply crisis. With booming
populations and accelerating economies, more wood is being consumed than what
is grown. Wood prices are climbing, surging deforestation is an environmental concern
and with land becoming scarce, expansion of large plantation forestry cannot
Howard believes that collectively small farmers in Kenya have the land
and labour resources to plant billions of trees and has therefore invested in
supporting these farmers across the forestry value chain, from seedlings to
sawmills. Two-million trees have already been planted with nearly fourteen-thousand
farmers, making Komaza Kenya's largest commercial tree planter.
Up until now, Komaza has bought the timber from the farmers and marketed
it as untreated material. But this is set to change with the commissioning of
the first Tanalith® C treatment
plant in August at Komaza's head office in the small coastal town of Kilifi,
approximately 60km north of Mombasa.
After evaluating various options when procuring the treatment plant,
Howard explains why they chose Lonza: "Tanalith® preservative is a well-known brand associated with quality and
therefore we felt it would be advantageous for Komaza to show its customers
that it treats its wood with a respected product by a globally recognized manufacturer
of wood preservatives".
This development marks the first phase to serving industrial wood
markets. Furthermore, it delivers on
Komaza's promise to the farmers and community to develop the processing side of
the business with the vision of developing a sawn timber market that will
service other parts of Kenya as well.
Currently, the Kenyan coast is virtually an untreated market where the
use of mangrove trees and sisal are common. However, mangrove timber is not
sustainable and sisal, while used for constructing Makuti roofs (a kind of
thatch), is not a strong timber and needs to be replaced approximately every
To combat the problem, Komaza plants two carefully selected species that
are best suited to the high-risk environmental conditions of the Kenyan coast -
grandis X camaldulensis and Melia volkensii. These yield a variety of valuable
wood products such as building poles, fence posts, roofing rafters, high-end
furniture and housing fixtures.
Daryll Ehrke, Export Manager of Lonza South
Africa, said he is very confident that Tanalith® C will meet and exceed
the expectations of Komaza: "Tanalith® C wood preservative has
been relied upon for more than 60 years. It is ideal for use in high hazard
situations where a high degree of resistance to decay and termites is required,
and where treated wood products must have the highest levels of durability.
Matteo Contardo, the Komaza Project Manager who managed the programme
from initial design and research through to implementation, felt that in
addition to its easy-to-learn operational characteristics, Tanalith® C wood
preservative made perfect sense for them given the strong match with supply and
"Boosting the lifetime of a pole up to 10 times with Tanalith® C wood preservative, will make Komaza a leader in
supplying quality long-life products. Moreover, as a company deeply committed
to sustainability, we believe in delivering durable products, thereby maximizing
the value of the natural resources we grow," said Contardo.
Howard commended Lonza on their technical support
and high-level intelligence on the wood market saying, "Lonza not only provided
a plant and the chemical to run it, but also a solid relationship to help our
company grow and increase our market shares. Their full scope of support,
beyond simply acting as a supplier, is very valuable to early-stage growing
companies like Komaza. As a young player entering an established and complex
industry like forestry, Lonza's help is very valuable and we are grateful to
have partnered with them".
shares Komaza's vision to solving the wood crisis in Africa and ensuring that
wood remains the product of choice, while simultaneously supporting the local
communities. We are very excited to be a part of this venture by being able to
add value to the treatment and processing side of Komaza's business and we look
forward to fostering this relationship by building strong confidence in Tanalised® wood preservative treatment," concluded JJ du
Plessis, Senior Business Manager of Lonza South Africa.
Source: Lonza Wood Protection