Balsa Laminates & Composites
Due to its ideal climate, Ecuador produces over 90% of the world's balsa supply. Largely, this product is sent to manufacturers all over the world to be used in wind turbine blades.
TO REINFORCE THE MISSION...
...towards community development and conservation, Ecomadera diversified its efforts to include balsa production. This began in the beginning of 2009 and by the end of 2010 the monthly production had quadrupled. By 2014, an average of 200,000 board feet in laminated balsa blocks were being shipped per month. This generated $2 million in revenue and supported 60 full time jobs for the community of Cristóbal Colón in Ecuador. Due to market demand, balsa production has now expanded by 25% while new plantations are continuing to be established.
Remaining true to the mission, the plantations are developed on previously degraded land, either owned by Ecomadera or contracted from local families. In addition to providing materials for green energy, balsa trees are extremely renewable as they can be harvested at 5 to 6 years of age.
As experimentation continues with secondary products (such as industrial composites, model wood, surf boards, wall paneling, etc.), new nursery practices are constantly being developed for a higher quality product. Over the next 5 years, there will be 600 to 800 hectares of sustainably managed plantations established.