Tenon Clearwood

The Tenon Clearwood business is owned by the Tenon Clearwood Limited Partnership (TCLP), which is a group of private wealthy NZ and US investors, and Rubicon. Rubicon is the general partner of the TCLP, and in addition Rubicon controls 50% of the TCLP.

Tenon Clearwood is a leading New Zealand manufacturer of radiata pine clearwood products for sale into the US, Europe, Australia, China and New Zealand.

The business comprises a large grade cutting mill in Taupo, New Zealand, with an associated remanufacturing plant, and integrated global sales and marketing activities. The company is responsible for exporting approximately 30% of the total pine products from New Zealand to the US, and is the fifth largest containerised exporter out of New Zealand.  Tenon Clearwood employs approximately 275 full time equivalent staff.

New Zealand’s pruned FSC-certified Radiata resource is relatively unique globally, as the harvested log at maturity contains approximately 5.0-5.5 metres in length of clear (no knots) high quality fibre—this is the genesis of the Tenon Clearwood business name.  Although clear wood represents only 30% of the volume of the log, it typically represents more than 50% of the log’s total value.

At its operations in Taupo, it converts the logs into long length, clear boards and related products.  Initially, Tenon Clearwood converted these logs solely into clear commodity lumber and sold that to the US-based remanufacturers, however, over the past decade the company has developed its own portfolio of customers and markets for finished clear products, to such an extent that today ~85% of its  high-value clear product is sold in its remanufactured (add value) form, with only ~15% being sold as clear lumber.

The US is Tenon Clearwood’s primary export market, being the destination for approximately 75% of all its high-value clear products, where they are sold into the DIY/retail markets via large (‘Big Box’) home centres and to the new home construction market via pro-dealers. Europe’s fast-growing wood modification market is the second major market (25%), where Tenon Clearwood sells direct to the large wood modifiers.

Tenon Clearwood’s Taupo site currently procures approximately 300,000 m3 annually of high quality pruned logs from Central North Island forest owners. Its sawmill is operating only on three shifts, in order to match supply to current demand conditions. On a four-shift basis the site can process 400,000 m3 of logs per annum.