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Latest News

Ghanaian sawmill shows the way forward for sawmilling in Africa

Monday, April 20, 2020

Ghanaian sawmill shows the way forward for sawmilling in Africa

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 selling logs.


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 dry flat

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 factory.”


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 into charcoal.


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 safe.


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.


Final take

Although sawmilling in Africa remains full of challenges, Boison Sawmill proves that Africa can become internationally competitive in the search for best practice sawmilling principles.


A truly inspirational story, Boison Sawmill is a blueprint for sawmilling success in Africa.



Welcome to the Newsroom for Wood-Mizer Africa! 

Here you will discover how Wood-Mizer sawmill owners worldwide are actively growing local economies by processing wood more sustainably and profitably. 

I invite you to contact myself to inquire more about Wood-Mizer or any of these articles. 

Etienne Nagel Wood-Mizer PR journalist Africa Asia
PR Coordinator

Etienne Nagel
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