Xylopia Equipment, a Liberian owned company near the Bong Mines Bridge on the Bushrod Island, has begun bringing in modern wood processing equipment.
The machine known as the “Wood Mizer,” saws wood in an easy manner with low risk; unlike other existing equipment currently being used.
The Wood Mizer is a heavy yet portable piece of equipment on which a log is placed where the wood is sawed through the control of an operator.
Heavy wood processing equipment used in the past was usually owned by multilateral companies that operated saw mills. In the case of the Wood Mizer, it is possible to be owned by an individual or a business as is the case with regular chain saws.
Speaking at the launch of the equipment at the Xylopia business center on January 31, Mr. Frantz Sawyer, who partners with the company, acknowledged that Wood Mizer produces equipment for the world’s most reliable sawmills.
According to Mr. Sawyer, the equipment comes with accessories that make its operation easy at sawmill.
In his brief speech during the launching witnessed by Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Commerce & Industry Minister Axel Addy, Forestry Development Authority (FDA) Managing Director Harrison Karnwea, Stella Maris Polytechnic OSF Sister Mary Lauren-Brown, Chamber of Commerce President, Francis A. Dennis and other invited guests, Mr. Sawyer recalled the administration of President Sirleaf reviewed the Forestry Law of Liberia in order to strengthen value addition that would reduce the export of round logs.
He added the review serves as a reminder that it did not make sense to produce round logs for export while importing construction materials and furniture for use in schools, offices, and other places.
He stressed that Xylopia thought of the need for wood processing in dealing high quality and efficient Wood Mizer Equipment. Equally so, WoodMizer, having produced one of the best pieces of equipment for lumber, decided to bring it to the Liberian market to make sawing wood easier.
He assured Government and the business community that their products meet all Liberian business criteria, and that they meet quality standards that sawmill operators can rely on to give them the needed services.
Mr. Sawyer also acknowledged that they were deeply involved with the Forestry Training School in Bomi County and training young Liberians to operate the machines. This knowledge would prepare them for job opportunities with companies operating in the Forestry Sector.
Vice President Joseph Boakai in his remarks stressed that under no condition can the impact of the economy be felt if Liberian owned businesses are not prioritized.
He described the venture of bringing the Wood Mizer equipment to Liberia by some Liberians as a ‘welcoming’ and commended the group for engaging in such a business initiative.
Vice President Boakai also indicated that wood is exported from Liberia, but the products are not produced here; something he hoped a Liberian owned company would engage in to make forest resources more beneficial to Liberians.
He expressed hope that the business would extend to producing timber products on the market to reduce their prices.
Identifying customers with the financial potency to purchase goods and services is one marketing strategy that entrepreneurs carry out if they can be successful in their undertaking.
Johnee Hammond, the General Manager of Xylopia, said in an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer, before establishing the business in Liberia they did their feasibility studies and found out that there are potential Liberian customers to purchase the machine.
Ms Hammond said depending on the type of machine the prices range from US$15,000 to US$16,000; amounts she believes Liberians who have been identified as clients can afford to pay for the machines.
Meanwhile, prior to the arrival of WoodMizer equipment to Liberia, local lumberjacks relied heavily on hand and chainsaws to cut timber.
The chainsaw (power saw) is used to cut down trees with the operator sawing at the same spot with a chain motor powered blade.
It puts the operator and those assisting him at a high risk of being injured when not handled with care.
With the hand saw, operators are usually two, one on the ground while another stands on top of the log they lay on a scaffold to saw.
The risk is also high for the operator below; because if he is not adequately protected he could develop an eye problem from sawdust that may drop in his eye. Both operators could also be badly harmed when the scaffold breaks.