WoodWeek – 13 June 2018

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Greetings from your WoodWeek news team. In 2017 New Zealand was the main log supplier to China accounting for 26% of total log imports. Imports from New Zealand for the year were 14.36 million cubic metres, a year on year increase of 19%.

In Australia, Lendlease have just announced another tall timber office tower for Barangaroo. The building will be known as Daramu House, which means “tree house” in the aboriginal Sydney Language (also known as Dharug and Eora). This follows the successful completion of International House Sydney also at Barangaroo in 2017.

Two upcoming events are currently offering delegate discounts to reward your early registrations.

In early August FIEA’s Forest Safety & Technology Conference series features some real game-changers in terms of both safety culture and operating technologies that are proving their worth in advancing both safety and productivity in forestry workplaces in both New Zealand and Australia. Both conferences are complemented by interactive workshops by our FIEA participating partners in industry associations. Register now at www.forestsafety.events.

In late August, the tall timber towers you've been hearing about will come alive with both architectural and engineering insights coming onto the stage for Innovatek’s 3rd Annual “Changing Perceptions” building industry conference. This conference series has rapidly attracted a strong audience among building and design professionals in the commercial construction industry. This year, for the very first time, the conference is almost exclusively based on case studies of New Zealand building projects. One of them is a coup by a niche New Zealand structural engineering consulting firm for a USA CLT major building project in the heart of forestry country in Oregon. Register for this conference now at www.connexevents.com/ cpetc2018/.

Also, if you have any colleagues in the food technology industry you’d be well advised to recommend they have a look at registering for our next agri-tech national conference – ProteinTECH – running at the Novotel Auckland Airport Hotel on 24 July. It’s drawing a CEO-level audience as alternative protein business developments in consumer food markets are set to provide both challenges and opportunities for New Zealand’s food producers and exporters. Check out www.proteintech.events and pass it on to your colleagues.

In Australia’s sunshine state, one of the world’s most renowned figures in timber durability and protection, Professor Jeff Morrell of Oregon State University, has been appointed as Director of the National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life for a term of five years.

PF Olsen Ltd has announced who will replace Peter Clark as CEO when he steps down at the end of September. Te Kapunga Dewes will join the Rotorua-based company as CEO. Mr Dewes has a strong background in forestry and wood processing.

Almost finally ... it never rains, it pours, as they say. That goes for news coverage, as well as the rain storms plaguing fragile hill country forests and farms on the East Coast. Today we have extended coverage including the latest updates from news on RNZ from leaders in both government and industry.

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New forestry scholarships launched

A new forestry scholarship has been launched at National Fieldays today by Forestry Ministers Shane Jones and Meka Whaitiri.

The new scholarship aims to grow the capability of the forestry sector and increase the number of women and Maori in the industry.

“The new scholarship – Nga Karapihi Uru Rakau – provides $8,000 a year to Maori and female students enrolling in either a Bachelor of Forestry Science or Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Forest Engineering at the University of Canterbury,” Shane Jones said.

“It also provides a paid internship with Te Uru Rakau (Forestry New Zealand) and other forestry employers.

“Four scholarships will be awarded for the 2019 academic year, and this will increase to a total of 18 over the next three years.

“The One Billion Trees programme is a key focus for this Government and we want to ensure that our young men and women see forestry as a sustainable and exciting career. We need to ensure we have the right skills today and in the future to increase sustainability, productivity and value in the primary industries, and address environmental challenges.

Associate Forestry Minister Meka Whaitiri said the forestry sector provided opportunities for rewarding and lifelong careers.

“The forestry industry is an exciting and evolving and it will need people who can work with robotics, and help develop products and processes to take advantage of engineered timber, new bio-material and bio-energy,” Meka Whaitiri said.

“The sector employs few women and Maori are also under-represented in the professional areas of the industry. I am delighted to be announcing this scholarship programme as it will help us build a highly skilled, safe and higher paid forestry workforce.

“Not only will the successful students be gaining the skills we need, but through the programme’s internships they will also gain valuable industry relationships, along with practical job experience,” Meka Whaitiri said.

More information about the scholarships and how to apply here >>

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China: Rise in log imports in 2017

China’s log imports in 2017 totaled 55.43 million cubic metres valued at US$9.927 billion, a year on year increase of 14% in volume and 23% in value. The average price for imported logs was US$179 per cubic metre, a year on year increase of 8%.

Of total log imports, 2017 softwood log imports rose 13% to 38.38 million cubic metres, accounting for 69% of the national total, a 1% decline on 2016 levels. The average price for imported softwood logs in 2017 was US$134 per cubic metre, up 11% on levels in 2016.

New Zealand still the top source of logs - New Zealand was the main log supplier to China in 2017 accounting for 26% of total log imports. Imports from New Zealand totaled 14.36 million cubic metres in 2017, a year on year increase of 19%.

The second ranked supplier of logs was Russia at 11.27 million cubic metres, accounting for about 20% of the national total. In 2017 a year on year increase of just 1% was recorded for log imports from Russia. Average prices for imported logs both from New Zealand and Russia rose 12% and 9% respectively in 2017.

Source: ITTO Tropical Timber Report

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Minister: Floods should be wake-up call

Forestry slash reminder economic boon not without problems - They've been talking about the "wall of wood" for decades in Gisborne. But the wall of timber that wreaked havoc as it washed down the district's hills during bad weather this week, was not what they had in mind.

The forestry slash – scrap timber, branches and off cuts left behind in a felling area – that crashed through houses near Tolaga Bay early Monday morning was a malevolent reminder to locals that any economic boon from forestry will not be cost-free.

At least three houses were lost. Stock was lost. Bridges were damaged, paddocks were drowned in mud and debris and kilometres of fences were damaged. Among the worst affected was the Mitchell family, who were forced to clamber onto their roof as their home began to flood in the early hours of the morning. The house is a write-off, their possessions are gone.

Identity wrapped up in industry - Timber is big business on the North Island's East Coast. The proverbial wall of wood is forecast to hit the region in the next few years, as trees planted by small-scale growers in the 1990s begin to be felled. The volume of logs going through Gisborne's Eastland Port is predicted to double to five million cubic metres annually by 2024.

Studies have found the Gisborne region is where forestry accounts for the greatest share of regional GDP – more than 5 per cent. One in four households has a member whose job is dependent on forestry.

But locals know the damage wrought as a side effect of forestry, but they're reluctant to criticise an industry upon which so many across the district are reliant.

Dana Mitchell and husband Shaun spent many years as forestry contractors and were aware of the criticism.

"I think people need to know a lot of the wood that came down was old and had been cut down before the council clamped down on that sort of thing," she says.

"In the past few years the council has been really good at coming up and checking skids (log processing areas) before and after we've been there to make sure everything was done right."

Forestry Minister Shane Jones is less forgiving and says the damage should be a wake-up call for the industry.

"I think the seriousness of the issue is dawning on the industry, but I would say the industry have enjoyed, along with other primary industries, a laissez-faire environment," he said this week.

He says with more frequent weather events, the challenge for the industry is to change its economic model, which has become "hacking down as many trees in a clear-felling operation as possible" and "hoping and praying" land left behind doesn't slip away.

Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon says while the forestry sector will support what is expected to be a $10m clean up, ratepayers will have to help foot the bill.

District Council contractors and the Transport Agency are also expected to be involved and Task Force Green will support clearing farms.

Foon says the council began looking into the issue of slash in the wake of ex- tropical Cyclone Cook in April last year, and as of May 1, a new National Environment Standard (NES) means stricter planting and fresh water rules.


In later news reporting on RNZ Checkpoint FOA President Peter Weir added new information:

Companies committed to do their fair share - President of the Forest Owners Association Peter Weir expects a raft of changes within the industry, he says, following criticism about the way it handles debris.

Residents in the Gisborne region are calling for the industry to be held accountable after logging debris carried in floodwaters, caused million tonnes of logs and forest debris to be dumped on farms, in rivers and on beaches over the last week.

Flood-hit farmers around Tolaga Bay have demanded an immediate halt to all forestry in the area, until a government inquiry into the industry was carried out. Forest Owners Association president Peter Weir, who is also the environment manager for a Gisborne forestry company, said the debris was from trees harvested five years ago.

More >>

Further information >>

And from this morning's news reports...

Finally, the last word for this week goes to Peter Clark from PF Olsen in their Wood Matters client update

Sources: Stuff News, RNZ & PFOlsen

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New CEO for PF Olsen

Market leading forestry services firm PF Olsen Ltd has announced a replacement CEO for Peter Clark when he steps down at the end of September this year. Te Kapunga Dewes will join the Rotorua-based company as CEO. Mr Dewes has a strong background in forestry and wood processing and for 7 years was the NZ General Manager for Contract Resources, a substantial firm servicing the energy sector. He has a degree in Forestry from Canterbury University, and an MBA with distinction from Waikato University.

PF Olsen has 200 staff and employs hundreds of contractors servicing forest establishment and harvesting operations across Australia and New Zealand.

The company was founded in 1971 by the late Peter Olsen. Peter Clark joined it in 1979 and became CEO in 1999.

Mr Dewes will be just the third CEO in the 47-year history of the firm. He joins at a time when the forest industry is in a growth phase. There is an expanding harvest profile based on extensive plantings during the 1990s and recognition that planting more trees is a cost effective domestic response needed to meet New Zealand’s international climate change commitments.

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Forestry and the ETS

Forestry Improvements for the Emissions Trading Scheme - Forestry Minister Shane Jones and Climate Change Minister James Shaw have released a consultation paper proposing 12 improvements to forestry regulations in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS).

“Expanding the forestry industry’s capacity is essential to the success of the One Billion Trees programme, and ensuring the ETS works better is an integral part of this,” Shane Jones said.

“We have listened to the sector and these improvements are another step towards making investment and participation in forestry easier and cheaper,” Shane Jones said.

“Increased forestry is a vital aspect of New Zealand doing its bit to address climate change,” James Shaw said.

“We’re hoping to make some straight-forward, practical changes soon to improve the ETS for people who plant trees.

“The proposals take into account feedback from the 2015/16 NZ ETS Review, along with insights from the submission of mandatory emissions returns from the 2,300 forestry participants in the scheme.

“We will be coming back to the sector to get their input on more improvements to the ETS later this year, as the Government is very aware we need to address issues that are currently seen as blocks to participation in the scheme,” James Shaw said.

The 12 proposals being consulted on include:
  • Forest owners with 100 hectares or more in the scheme only needing to update their lookup tables once every five years
  • providing more flexibility regarding waivers for owners of over 100 ha around the collection of field data near the end of the five-yearly mandatory emissions returns
  • Closing of an unanticipated loophole related to the deforestation of post-1989 forest, and its subsequent replanting and re-entry into the scheme.

The other nine proposals correct or improve technical issues, or address areas where the regulations aren’t working as intended.

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Lendlease: Second timber tower for Barangaroo

The building will be known as Daramu House, which means “tree house” in the aboriginal Sydney Language (also known as Dharug and Eora). Its construction will follow the successful completion of International House Sydney at Barangaroo in 2017.

Daramu House will be Lendlease’s sixth engineered timber building in Australia, and the third project to have come out of the company’s precision timber manufacturing centre in Eastern Creek, Western Sydney.

The new building, which will be completed in late 2019, fronts Hickson Road and will be an outstanding addition to Barangaroo South’s already thriving mixed-use precinct of restaurants, cafes, shops and services.

Daramu House will consist of more than 10,000 m2 of commercial floor space and approximately 680 m2 of new retail. Building on Barangaroo’s already well-established green credentials, Daramu House will include the use of sustainable timbers, as well as roof-top planting to capture rain, and solar photo-voltaic cells to enable power to the building and the precinct.

Source: Lendlease

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Methyl bromide issues go public

Methyl bromide, an ozone depleting toxic gas harmful to humans, is banned in many countries but New Zealand is using more than ever. In part one of a three-part investigation, Tony Wall speaks to people who've faced pressure to keep quiet about the issue.

Every few minutes, a logging truck rumbles through the gates at the Port of Tauranga. More logs arrive by train.

The wharves at Mount Maunganui are covered in huge stacks - there are so many logs they've had to store them in a yard nearby.

All this wood - 5.5 million tonnes of timber went through the port last year - has brought jobs and industry to the area. It's also brought methyl bromide. Loads of it.

The gas is an extremely effective killer of all organisms and is used in small quantities to fumigate imported fruit, vegetables and other products. But by far the biggest users are timber exporters.

In 2016, 220 tonnes of the toxic, ozone-depleting gas was administered to logs at the Port of Tauranga to kill insects prior to export.

Another 250 tonnes was used at Northport near Whangarei and 70 tonnes at Napier Port - making New Zealand the world's fifth biggest user of methyl bromide and by far the biggest per capita.

Our consumption of the fumigant has rocketed from less than 100 tonnes in the early 2000s to around 600 tonnes today, mirroring a timber boom - log exports have tripled since 2008 and are now worth $2.7 billion.

More >>

Source: Stuff News

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Soil Health Survey

Scion is currently canvassing opinions from a wide range of forest users, from plantation owners through to recreational users and timber/wood processors, on the importance of specific soil ecosystem services. Given the extent of plantation forestry in New Zealand, and therefore the importance of plantation forests in New Zealand’s landscapes, we hope to obtain as many views as possible.

As such, Scion invites you to complete the survey and pass this invitation to others (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Soil_health_in_NZs_planted_forests) who may have an interest or viewpoint.

Because we appreciate the 10 minutes it may take to complete this survey, all who participate can go in a draw to win a $200 gift voucher. The winner of the gift voucher will be randomly selected from those participants who chose to leave a contact.

Please keep in mind this survey and our efforts are focused on soils under plantation forestry and woodlots, not native bush. We are looking for input from forest owners, forest managers, landowners, land managers, timber/wood processers, and recreational forest users (hunters, trampers and fishermen).

If you have any questions about the project or the survey, please contact Mathis Richard, Steve Wakelin, or Graham Coker.

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ANZ Commodity Price Index

The ANZ World Commodity Price Index lifted 1.5% m/m in May, the fifth consecutive rise in 2018. Of the 17 commodities, ten rose, three were unchanged and four declined – the largest contributions came from cheese, skim milk powder and lamb, together making a 1.1%pt contribution to the monthly change.

Prices rose across all broad categories except seafood, which was unchanged. Aluminium prices lifted by most (up 3.2%), finding further support from global trade tensions; horticultural prices (up 2.8%) were a close second.

The NZD depreciated against major trading partners except the GBP. This helped boost NZD returns 5.0% m/m, lifting annual growth to 6.8%.

Source: ANZ

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New Director for National Timber Durability Centre

Director appointed to National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life - One of the world’s most renowned figures in timber durability and protection, Professor Jeff Morrell (pictured) of Oregon State University, has been appointed as Director of the National Centre for Timber Durability and Design Life for a term of five years.

The Centre, which is based at the University of the Sunshine Coast, is a strategic initiative led by FWPA, and is a partnership between industry, academia and government designed to put Australia at the forefront of international best practice. It aims to use evidence-based data, systems and tools to underpin consumer confidence in the performance of timber products.

In particular, the goal over the next five years is to develop a predictive, evidence-based model to enable architects and building specifiers to more easily choose the right timber for the right task, accurately forecasting structural performance and design life.

Professor Morrell is currently a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Wood Science & Engineering at Oregon State University and is a former President of the American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) and the International Research Group on Wood Protection.

He has extensive standards development experience through his involvement in AWPA and currently chairs the Committee on Treatment Standards for Utility Poles, which has seen him work with a variety of treaters on quality control, particularly with difficult-to-treat species.

Although based in his home country of the USA for most of his career, Professor Morrell has spent a number of years working in Australia on sabbatical, where his important work around wood durability and protection has seen him become a well-known and respected figure within both the local and international industries, and the local research community.

Professor Morrell said: “I am looking forward to working with the recently-appointed industry steering committee and with students, who will become future leaders in Australian Forestry. My goal is to ensure that Australian industry has access to the world’s leading research and best practice, and to build links between industry, academia and customers.”

Managing Director of FWPA, Ric Sinclair, said he was delighted to welcome an expert of Professor Morrell’s caliber.

“Jeff has a long held interest in Australia’s forest and wood industry, and it is exciting to hear his enthusiasm for maximising the many opportunities that exist here. We believe he is the perfect fit for the role, having spent extended periods of time working within and familiarising himself with the Australian industry, while also bringing a fresh perspective thanks to his vast international experience and impressive body of work,” he said.

“With our industry steering committee now established and this appointment, the Centre is in the strongest position to deliver the best possible outcomes for our industry both domestically and on the world stage.”

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Carbon Match Update

NZUs Update - NZUs have been sold down to $20.65 over the last week, with buyers seemingly a little less eager and volumes emerging. Carbon Match seems to have had both reasonable support and reasonable supply at the $20.65 level over the last few days.

Last week brought the launch by Climate Change Minister James Shaw of consultation on the Zero Carbon Bill. The Bill is intended to create certainty, by setting a new long term target, by having carbon budgets as stepping stones towards the achievement of that long-term target and by the establishment of a politically independent Climate Change Committee.

As always the most interesting stuff lies in the small print - it hasn't yet been decided what exactly the "net zero" means. Minister Shaw has said he expects "feisty debate" to ensue on the matter, which has pretty big implications for whether or not New Zealand has seen peak cow.

The consultation document asks New Zealanders whether they think "net zero" should mean:

1) net-zero carbon dioxide only – and not other gases;

2) net-zero long-lived gases, like carbon dioxide, and stabilised short-lived gases, like methane; or

3) net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases.

This is the billion dollar (per annum...roughly, and counting..) question and it hangs heavily, particularly over those in the land-based sectors.

The back story to this is that methane from livestock, is a flow, not a stock. As Vic University Professor Dave Frame explained on Radio NZ earlier today, it doesn't persist and accumulate in the atmosphere nearly the way CO2 does.

That's not to say that leaving (biological emissions from) farming out as per option 1 is a good idea - it's not says Frame, because if methane emissions rise overall that's bad for the climate and wouldn't be fair.

In collaborative research published by Frame, Adrian Macey and others in Nature earlier this week, the authors note that using conventional Global Warming Potentials (GWPs) to convert short-lived climate pollutants like methane to “CO2-equivalent” emissions misrepresents their impact on global temperature. The team of researchers propose an alternative approach.

Such an approach might underpin something like option 2 which could be consistent with a policy stabilising our short lived emissions from methane and eliminating our long-lived emissions. And a policy somewhere between 2 and 3 could also be created, whereby the carbon budget is shared and methane emissions are gently declined over time but CO2 and other long-lived emissions are reduced much faster. It's a cold wet weekend for many of us - have a listen.

Coming back to the Zero Carbon consultation, we have until 5pm July 19 to submit online in a survey format and the underlying discussion document is linked here.

Carbon Match - is open between 1pm-5pm.
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Climate change law: Input sought

New Zealanders are invited to help decide new climate change law - The next major step to reduce New Zealand’s emissions and build our resilience to climate change is underway, Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced late last week.

The Minister has launched a six week public consultation on the Zero Carbon Bill.

It will involve discussing important questions such as:
  • Should a new emissions reduction target for 2050 treat all gases that cause climate change the same, or should we take a different approach to different gases depending on whether they cause short-term or long-term warming?
  • How do we ensure settings laid down in law provide the necessary certainty to business and communities?
  • What’s the right balance of power between the Independent Climate Change Commission and the government of the day?
  • And how should we manage the impacts of climate change and develop a plan to adapt?

“The Zero Carbon Bill is about providing stability and predictability, by setting out a clear path and a plan to upgrade our economy and help ensure a stable climate for the future,” says James Shaw.

“Over the weeks ahead we want to hear people’s views on what the Zero Carbon Bill should do to help New Zealanders reach a low emissions future.

“The impacts of climate change are already real with more damage caused by storms, droughts, coastal and river floods, which don’t just affect property but also have impacts on where and how New Zealanders live and work.

“Making a plan and taking common sense action now will help avoid sudden changes in the future. That’s why we want an independent Climate Change Commission to take a long term view as we plan our economic transition.

“The economic analysis we’ve done shows that our economy can continue to grow as we reduce emissions and underlines the importance of innovation and planting trees.

“We know that taking action sooner will reduce costs in the long term, and also that action to reduce our impact on the climate will lead to less traffic congestion, cleaner water, and cleaner air.

“This is New Zealand’s chance to upgrade our economy. Businesses across many sectors, from energy generation to manufacturing to agriculture, are already taking action or committing to action.

“We can develop new jobs in areas like forestry, alternative energy, electric vehicles, agricultural research and more so we can take advantage of the change.

“We have looked at what’s worked overseas, in places like the UK, and we’ve listened to experts in New Zealand, like the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment and the Productivity Commission, and now it’s time for all Kiwis to have their say.

“There’s no doubt that the change we need to make is significant but planning ahead gives us the best chance of maximising the opportunities and minimising the impacts of change so our transition is just and fair for people.

“A strong 2050 emissions reduction target will show the world we mean what we say and give us a moral mandate to encourage other bigger countries to do their bit too.”

Consultation will run for six weeks from 7 June through to 19 July.

For more information please see the Ministry for the Environment website www.mfe.govt.nz

For more information on the Zero Carbon Bill consultation and for the dates of public meetings and hui around the country visit ourclimateyoursay.nz

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Buy and Sell

... and finally ...

A woman is sitting at her recently deceased husband’s funeral. A man leans in to her and asks, “Do you mind if I say a word?”

“No, go right ahead”, she replies.

The man stands, clears his throat, says “Plethora”, and sits back down.

“Thanks”, said the woman, “that means a lot”.


In a small business office they have an answering machine that instructs callers to leave their name and address, and to spell any difficult words.

Early one Monday the secretary was reviewing the weekend messages and she heard an enthusiastic young woman recite her name and address and then confidently offer, "My difficult word is reconciliation. R-E-C-O-N-C-I-L-I-A-T-I-O-N."


Murphy showed up at Mass one Sunday and the priest almost fell down when he saw him. He'd never been to church in his life. After Mass, the priest caught up with him & said, "Murphy, I am so glad ya decided to come to Mass. What made ya come?"

Murphy said, "I got to be honest with you Father, a while back, I misplaced me hat and I really, really love that hat. I know that McGlynn had a hat just like mine and I knew he came to church every Sunday. I also knew that he had to take off his hat during Mass and figured he would leave it in the back of the church. So, I was going to leave after Communion and steal McGlynn's hat."

The priest said, "Well, Murphy, I notice that ya didn't steal McGlynn's hat. What changed your mind?"

Murphy replied, "Well, after I heard your sermon on the 10 Commandments I decided that I didn't need to steal McGlynn's hat after all."

With a tear in his eye the priest gave Murphy a big smile and said; "After I talked about 'Thou Shalt Not Steal' ya decided you would rather do without your hat than burn in hell, eh?"

Murphy slowly shook his head. "No, Father, after ya talked about 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery' I remembered where I left me hat."

That's all for this week's wood news.

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John Stulen
Innovatek Limited
PO Box 1230
Rotorua, New Zealand
Mob: +64 27 275 8011
Web: www.woodweek.com

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