Sawmill Reopening

Prolam re-opens Motueka sawmill in a boost for Nelson’s timber industry

Closed by its original owners in 2017, Prolam has brought an 80-year-old sawmill on Little Sydney Road, Motueka back to life to support the manufacture of our industry-leading structural timber solutions. 

Prolam Managing Director John Woodman says the refurbished and upgraded mill will play a pivotal role in meeting the building industry’s demand for more sustainable, locally made building materials in fast lead-times and at competitive prices.

However, the opportunity to make a positive contribution to the timber processing industry and the local economy was also a major factor in the decision to get the mill back up and running.

“We’ve seen seven or eight mills close across New Zealand in the last 10 years, and when we started working to reinstate the mill in 2021, structural grade timber was in short supply,” John says.

“We source and use select quality New Zealand plantation grown radiata pine in our glulam timber beams, posts and portals and while supply is no longer an issue, our ability to mill a proportion of our own timber gives us greater control over key elements of the manufacturing process.”

The commencement of milling at the Little Sydney Road represents a step-change in Prolam’s production capability. 

“Our investment in new and proven milling technology has enabled us to establish a vertically integrated glulam production facility where we debark logs, mill, kiln dry and treat the timber ready for the lamination process,” John says.

Experienced Sawmill Manager Damon Taggart was brought on board during the project to reinstate the mill. He worked alongside John and New Zealand-based companies Pacific Sawmill Engineering and Tui Technology to plan, design and oversee the mill’s refurbishment, and will now manage operations at the mill.

Prolam glulam timber products are available from timber merchants and wholesalers nationwide. Contact us today if you would like information about becoming a Prolam stockist or need technical advice and support to select and specify the right product for your project.