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Mr.Ravi Essay

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Ind u s t r y

Bell Loaders

prove their worth for Raiply
Bell 225A Loaders off-loading timber in Raiply‘s yard at their processing plant at Chikangawa, Malawi

Along a cool misty plateau, 75km west of Lake Malawi lies Chikangawa. This is the home of Raiply Malawi, a wood processing company abuzz with excitement.

R

aiply in Malawi is a young company having been established in March 1999 as successor to Viphya Plywood and Allied Industries. The company processes wood and manufactures wooden products from timber obtained from the vast Viphya softwood plantations near to the plant. The company currently enjoys concessionary use of 20 000 of the 54 000 hectares of Malawi state forest in the area. Current monthly

production stands at 9 000 cubic metres of wood. A variety of products are marketed both locally and internationally. These include sawn timber, kiln dried and impregnated timber, plywood and blockboard. Various value-added products such as household furniture, school desks, cornices and skirting are produced as well. Production is highly mechanised and modern technology is used extensively throughout the various processes. It all starts with timber harvesting where trees are felled by Raiply’s employees using power saws. The felled trees are dragged

to infield loading points by John Deere Timberjack skidders. Loading onto horse-and-trailer interlink rigs is by means of Bell 225A Loaders for transport to the plant. Haul distances vary from 15km to 40km. Another set of Bell 225A Loaders unload the timber at the plant. It is the extensive use of Bell’s timber handling equipment which is the cause of excitement within Raiply Malawi’s corridors. They are awaiting the arrival of four additional Bell 225A Loaders as well as two 1866F Tractors and flat-bed non tipping trailers.

bulletin MARCH 2004 22

This investment will enable Raiply to extend it’s harvesting operation to plantations further afield. We asked Thomas Oommen, Financial...

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