Dolphin Bay has extended its African footprint into Rwanda by expanding its relationship with The New Forests Company, East Africa’s leading sustainable value-added wood products business.
Dolphin Bay is supplying wood preservatives to a pole treatment plant established by The New Forests Company which has secured from the Rwanda government a concession agreement to sustainably harvest and replant 10 000 hectares of mature commercial timber species. Dolphin Bay is already supplying wood preservatives to The New Forests Company timber treatment plant in neighbouring Uganda.
Demand for treated timber in Rwanda is expected to increase as its economy continues to show steady development, leading to growth in the construction and infrastructure sectors and creating demand for quality construction lumber and treated transmission poles.
Until now, Rwanda has had to import treated timber. Construction by The New Forests Company of the country’s first timber treatment plant and the ability of Dolphin Bay to supply wood preservatives presents Rwanda with the opportunity to become more self-sufficient and supports the development goals of the Government of Rwanda through local skills development and employment, growing the domestic tax and revenue base, import substitution, export earnings, and community development.
“This provides us with a wonderful opportunity to grow with the Rwanda economy,” says Dolphin Bay MD Bertus Coetzee.
Dolphin Bay and The New Forests Company had to overcome a major logistical challenge to ensure that wood preservatives will reach their destination in landlocked Rwanda.
“It is relatively easy to get our products from our factories in Mossel Bay and Sabie to South African and East African ports,” explains Bertus. “The challenge was to find reliable, cost-effective road transport from Mombasa or Dar es Salaam to Rwanda.
“Dolphin Bay and The New Forests Company worked together to overcome the challenge and we finally found a sustainable solution. However, I think we achieved more than that. By working together to overcome a challenge, we added real value to our relationship and now recognise the importance of collaboration in resolving issues in developing countries and regions.
“The experience has certainly expanded our knowledge of African markets and will help to entrench Dolphin Bay as a reliable supplier on the continent.”
In addition to Rwanda and Uganda, The New Forests Company has operations in Mozambique and Tanzania, and has scored a rating of five stars on the Global Impact Investing Rating System (GIIRS), which assesses the social and environmental impact and practices of companies.
“The New Forests Company has invested substantially in plantations and infrastructure, and is putting back into the communities where they work,” says Bertus. “We believe they are an ethical, fast-growing company and we are proud to be associated with them. Together we have developed a win-win business model.”
“It is a pleasure to engage with a business which understands and aligns itself with our needs as much as Dolphin Bay has – assisting in the advancement of our business model, the development of the markets in which we operate, and providing sustainable business to Dolphin Bay,” says The New Forests Company CEO for Uganda and Rwanda, Dave Hardy. “We look forward to a long and strong relationship with Dolphin Bay.”