Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers switches to 'Kiland'

Weed infestation: Tasmanian blue gum infestations from burned timber plantations are an emerging weed threat on Kangaroo Island. Seedlings can be seen growing in clearings off Church Road. Photo: Stan Gorton
Weed infestation: Tasmanian blue gum infestations from burned timber plantations are an emerging weed threat on Kangaroo Island. Seedlings can be seen growing in clearings off Church Road. Photo: Stan Gorton

The company formerly known as Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers is switching its name to "Kiland" and is buying back shares from shareholders.

It issued an off-market, buy-back booklet on November 16 that explains the transition and invites Australian residents to sell their shares to Kiland by the December 10 deadline.

"As announced on 11 August 2021, Kiland has adopted an agricultural strategy to remove the treecrop and convert its land for more traditional agricultural use," the booklet stated.

"This reversion strategy will require significantly less capital, and will revert Kiland's 18,696 hectares of high rainfall land to a productive agricultural estate over a shorter period of time."

Nigel Gammon is paying close attention as he has set up a business called Kangaroo Island Industries with the mission of removing remaining timber using pyrolysis to create biochar material to enrich the soil, as well as lignin, used in composite wood products.

He said that in his opinion the Kiland proposal did not make economic sense, as cleaning up timber waste could take five years of constant work and cost hundreds of millions.

He was however ready to implement his clearing plans, if and when he could be compensated by whomever owned the land.

He said contractors had stated it would take $200 million to clear 4.5 million tonnes of timber, but his associates calculate that it would cost at least $300 million to purchase the pyrolysis plant to produce the biochar and lignin plus the harvester will need to purchase additional equipment.

A south coast landowner told him it cost $200,000 to clear and windrow 370 acres of bluegums.

Meanwhile, Mr Gammon said KI residents held valid concerns about what would happen to the remaining timber plantations in regards to fire and biological spread in the interim time frame.

The Islander will continue attempts to contact Kiland for comment.