Monday, April 20, 2020
Boison Sawmill in the
Western region of Ghana headed up by charismatic and astute MD John Boison is
certain about one thing.
It has no interest in
It stands for the direct
opposite. It produces sawn timber of the highest quality that is in such demand
that markets in the US, Europe, Africa and Asia are prepared to pay a premium
for its sawn timber.
Mr John Boison, Managing Director of Boison Sawmill
“We compete for market
share with the best sawmills in the world, and we almost always win because of
the quality that we produce,” John Boison continues.
The sawmilling sector in
Africa has traditionally suffered from some weaknesses.
A willingness to sell logs
instead of adding value, limited or dated sawmilling infrastructure, sawmilling
and drying skills that are lacking, and an idea that sawmillers in Africa can
never compete internationally, are some of the most important.
Kiln facilities and drying standard at Boison Sawmill compare with the best in the world. Accurate sawmilling and expert drying practices are the basis of the sawmill’s success.
Boison Sawmill has not
only solved these problems but have gone on to address issues like wastage,
workers safety and well-being and sustainability to name a few.
Cut straight and
Boison Sawmill’s two
Wood-Mizer LT40 sawmills when it started in 2008 quickly doubled to six LT40’s
and four EG200 edgers.
This, John Boison says,
laid the foundation for their success.
The final product is shipped around the world.
“Exports markets want
accurately sawn timber that can be used in manufacturing straight away. With
Wood-Mizer we cut straight, and then we dry our timber flat and to the required
moisture levels with little or no surface preparation needed once it arrives at
The wastage from the
sawmill is low with sideboards resawn into high-value boards that are also used
in the company’s tongue and groove plant where components for ceiling, doors
and windows are manufactured. The remaining waste from the sawmill is turned
Waste from the sawmill is turned into charcoal that adds to the bottom-line.
The company’s tongue and groove plant where components for ceiling, doors and windows are manufactured.
Current output from the
mill stands at 200 m³/day with the majority of the output going to export
markets and the rest remaining for local use.
Inhouse blade maintenance
is a focus at Boison Sawmill. ‘’The only way to ensure the accuracy and quality
of cut we need to remain competitive is with in-house blade resharpening using
our Wood-Mizer blade maintenance equipment,” John continues.
More focus areas
Regular maintenance of
sawmills after shift boost productivity further.
Each sawmill is cleaned
and greased for the next shift. Each sawmill crew is also trained to clean
debris off all logs before cutting starts to ensure longer blade life.
Wood-Mizer’s dealer in
Ghana, Gyadosaboc Limited is a close partner in Boison Sawmill’s success with a
branch of the company near the sawmill ensuring regular pre-emptive maintenance
calls from company technicians to limit breakdowns.
Staff well-being is high on the agenda, the company’s canteen facilities and clean piped water servicing the area contributing to high moral.
Staff safety and well-being
also receive regular attention. Personal Protective Equipment prevents injury
during work with monthly and weekly safety briefings ensuring that staff remain
A staff canteen where
meals are served to all employees also doubles as a briefing room for safety
briefings, company updates and company functions.
Sustainability is also
high on the sawmill’s agenda, the company owning large tracts of farmland where
species like Afram, Cedrela, Mohagany and teak are replanted to ensure a ready
source of timber into the future.
Although sawmilling in
Africa remains full of challenges, Boison Sawmill proves that Africa can become
internationally competitive in the search for best practice sawmilling
A truly inspirational story,
Boison Sawmill is a blueprint for sawmilling success in Africa.
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