Allied Timbers turns to copper chromium arsenic

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The perennial shortage of preservative chemical creosote, has forced Allied Timbers Zimbabwe to convert its creosote vacuum pressure pole treatment plant at Mtao Forests in Mvuma to a copper chromium arsenic (CCA) plant.

CCA is a chemical wood preservative containing chromium, copper and arsenic. It is used in pressure treated wood to protect it from rotting due to insects and microbial agents.

Allied Timbers chief executive officer, Joseph Kanyekanye said the migration was necessitated by shortage of creosote and advantages of CCA as the most effective preservative for the protection of wood.

The by products we have been using for treatment of poles have not been enough and a number of companies have resorted to introducing CCA for treatment of poles to reduce shortages of poles in the country, said Kanyekanye.

He said the conversions were done towards the end of last year at Mtao where Allied Timbers has its biggest pole plantation.

The company has also carried out a similar conversion at its Botswana treatment plant.

The company conversions follow the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) specifications concerning the treatment of timber with CCA.

Regionally, the South Africa Bureau of Standards (SABS) specifications are predominantly used, he said.

Kanyekanye said after the conversion last year, ATZ immediately commenced CCA operations.

He said CCA was ranked high alongside creosote for performance in high hazardous situations.

CCA treatment is not new. It has been successfully recommended and used internationally as opposed to the heavy smell emitted by creosote, said Kanyekanye.

He said advantages of converting to CCA besides its availability was that it did not emit any smell compatred to creosote.