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Segezha Forest Industry takes charge over project to develop seed plantation centers for growing containerized tree seedlings

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Segezha Forest Industry takes charge over project to develop seed plantation centers for growing containerized tree seedlings

February 25, 2020 - 07:10
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MOSCOW, Feb. 13, 2020 (Press Release) -Segezha Forest Industry Group (part of Sistema JSFC) has started work on the project to develop seed plantation centers that will grow containerized tree seedlings (CTSs).

For information, CTSs have a number of advantages. The seedlings are grown in special containers filled with soil; 100% of these seedlings adapt well after planting, are convenient in transportation; their roots are never damaged, so they adapt quickly and start growing.

Segezha Group acquired the rights to use and develop the first seed plantation and breeding center in an auction announced by the Forestry Department of Kostroma Region in November 2019.

The seed plantation complex in Sharya (Kostroma Region) was recognized unfinished, and the work on it was suspended in 2012. Now it has been officially transferred to JSC Kipelovo LCS (asset of Segezha Group in Vologda Region). The Department can only transfer the tree nursery into use if at least RUB 50 million is invested in launching the ready facility into operation, developing it further and growing planting material. Segezha Group has assessed the cost of reconstruction and completion of construction, as well as investments into developing the facility at more than RUB 70 million.

The company needs at least 1.5 million containerized tree seedlings of certain types of trees to be grown in Kostroma Region every year, given that the wood harvesting activities are on the rise due to the need to secure shipments of raw materials for the new plywood mill of the company (being built in Galich PSEDA). The planting materials are also needed in other regions of the company’s operation - in Vologda and Kirov Regions.

According to the road map, after the pilot forest nursery in Sharya is launched, by 2023 it is expected to produce the first 4 million seedlings. According to Konstantin Kirillov, Director for Wood Harvesting, Wood Resource Division of Segezha Group, the first seed plantation and breeding centers to grow 2 million seedlings of common pine, and 2 million seedlings of European spruce every year. In the future plans are to increase the number of seedlings grown at the nursery to 6–8 million. These seedlings will be used in the reforestation program (to balance the logging areas and restored forest areas), as well as will be sold within the region due to the deficit of planting material.

“The issue of growing planting material has been long overdue for a large company like Segezha Group,” said Evgeny Batalov, Vice President of the Company and head of the “Forest Resources and Wood Processing” Division. “We have made our choice, and to balance the areas that we harvested with the areas that we have worked to restore, we plan to participate in the process of creating or reconstructing forest nurseries not only in Kostroma Region, but in Krasnoyarsk Krai and other regions of operation, which experience shortage of containerized tree seedlings.”

According to the data provided by the Russian Committee for Forest Industry, starting on January 1, 2022 companies renting forest sections in Russia will need to transfer to 100% use of containerized tree seedlings (CTSs) in their reforestation and compensation programs. The demand for CTS seedlings started growing after adoption of the Order of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of Russia, dated March 25, 2019 No. 188, “On Approval of Reforestation Rules...” According to the Committee, by 2024 the additional demand for CTS planting material will amount to some 200 million trees; to meet that demand some 10–15 seed plantation centers will need to be set up across Russia.

The issue of modernizing the greenhouses and seed plantation and breeding centers in order to increase the volume of grown CTS planting material was discussed on September 19, 2019 during the meeting of the working group of the State Council of Russia on Ecology and Natural Resources. The working group has recommended to develop a target state program to develop the program of creating seed plantation and breeding centers in Russia with corresponding financing and mechanisms of public-private partnership and municipal-private partnership.