MLR Forestal’s sawmill processes trees felled by Eta and Iota
MLR Forestal’s sawmill has a lot of activity. There are dozens of workers, machines, noise, and lots of wood. A wood that, however, should not be there as it is the result of the scourge of hurricanes Eta and Iota. These cyclones hit the area in November 2020, knocking down 25,000 cubic meters of teak wood that must now be processed.
This wood comes from the forest plantations that MLR has established since 2013 in areas that were degraded in the region. The company’s operations do not affect natural forests.
Yader Rodríguez is the head of the sawmill and of the eighty people who work in it. In a tour, he shows the collection center where the wood that is transferred from the field is received and stored, the equipment where the material is processed and the drying area.
The transformation of wood
Rodríguez explained that “right now since we have enough orders, what we do is split the wood on two sides, then it is taken to the machines and we take out the finished product, in pieces.”
In this area there are five teams that facilitate and streamline tasks. Two of them are exclusively in charge of converting the wood into boards of different sizes that will later be exported.
“We have the capacity to process 40 cubic meters per day. We work 24 hours, in three eight-hour shifts, every other week, we go out on Friday and rest on Saturday and Sunday. Before, we only had one sawmill, but due to the hurricanes (Eta and Iota), this other had to be built ”, said the manager.
The origin of the workload
In January 2021, Félix Jaime Silva, MLR’s head of forestry, estimated that gathering the felled wood would take all of 2021, however, “it will take this year and a good part of the next because we have barely collected three or four thousand cubic meters. The complicated thing is that there are going to be areas where you are only going to get ten cubic meters and another ten and so on,” he explained.
The mission of the team led by Silva is to obtain 2.3 meter logs, cut them to the dimensions requested by the sawmill, pack them and then load them onto trucks. The goal is to deliver 80 cubic meters per day to the sawmill.