The “worsening” Novel Caronavirus has forced Rotorua-based leading forest industry strategist Dennis Nielsen to shift his company’s annual China Conference from Shanghai to Melbourne, Australia.

Due to be held in March, Dennis Nielsen’s company DANA Ltd is working overtime to relocate the conference from Shanghai to Melbourne, the company said in a notice.

Rather than focusing solely on the hugely growing Chinese forestry industry, the conference will also take in to account the situation following the Australian bushfires and other issues.

The annual China Woodchip and Biomass Conference attracts attendees from throughout the forestry and forest industry world, including strategists, financiers as well as industry participants.

In a noticed to attendees, Dennis Nielsen says: “We are currently checking with all speakers to see if they are willing to come to Melbourne, and we will update  the programme accordingly - including adding several more Australia specific speakers into a full two-day programme if necessary.”

DANA China Week was to have started in Shanghai with a day-and-a-half conference on the Asia Pacific Woodchip and Biomass Trade on 16 and 17 March.  The following two days would see field trips, including to the Yangtze Basin region to visit the huge new wood import and processing port of Xinminzhou, and nearby major wood and flooring processing plants, and to Taichan Port to see log imports from several countries and sawn timber packets shipped by dozens of Chinese sawmills in a trade which is “rapidly burgeoning to epic proportions”.

A second optional tour was due to take delegates by train to a huge wood receiving and processing plant on the Russia-China border in Heilongjiang province.

The re-scheduled field trips will include a trip to pine and eucalyptus wood processing plants in Mount Gambier, South Australia and “the world’s largest woodchip export plant at Portland, Victoria.

DANA was not able to elaborate on the cost or the like other impacts of the need to move when contacted by The Mud, as the company was flat out making the hurried arrangements necessary for the move.

Virus forces firm to move conference from Shanghai to Melbourne.

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