Hydrowood - an opportunity to invest in nature's hidden wealth
Posted 30 May 2023
Tasmanians will be offered the first chance to own a piece of history when innovative underwater harvesting company Hydrowood undertake an equity crowdfunding program later this month.
Forgotten timber salvaged from the deep dark depths of a lake in Tasmania’s wild west… it’s an incredible local story.
Most Tasmanians have heard about Hydrowood. The brainchild of local cofounders Andrew Morgan and David Wise, their ingenious idea was to harvest rare and sought-after timber from Lake Pieman.
It wasn’t easy. Trailblazing never is. But like most Tasmanians starting a business, their motto was: ‘if there isn’t a way, we find a way’.
Unrivalled feats of modern engineering were driven by a bold yet unchartered vision to salvage this timber from the deep. In one of the world’s first underwater forestry operations, a preserved resource was rediscovered.
Fast forward 10 years, and Hydrowood has revolutionised the timber industry, bringing a sustainable and unique reclaimed material to the market, with the Tasmanian timber recognised and widely used throughout Australia and the world.
In the next month, Tasmanians will have the opportunity to invest and own shares in Hydrowood. Investments can start at just $500.
“We want to make Hydrowood accessible to everyone, not just the high-end investors. This is a piece of Tasmanian history and we are excited to share it with locals,” said Andrew Morgan.
The Hydrowood team are working with OnMarket – Australia’s largest equity raising platform. OnMarket, which is overseen by ASIC, allows unlisted companies to raise capital from investors all over Australia, giving investors, large and small, the opportunity to back the companies they believe in.
“We are really pleased to be working with Hydrowood on their equity crowdfunding offer,” said Nick Motteram, Managing Director for OnMarket. “It is great to see Hydrowood undertaking this offer for all the right reasons – to allow their clients and passionate supporters to become shareholders and participate in their future success.”
Why invest in this sustainable product?
“There’s a global shortage of timber with demand set to quadruple by 2050,” said Andrew Morgan.
Australia is a net importer of timber products with a $2 billion trade deficit and the gap is growing. With a reduction in native forestry production and reduced supply due to bushfires and increased demand for decorative timbers, Hydrowood is in a unique position to supply sought-after timbers into the future.
Hydrowood has successfully harvested 6,000m³ from Lake Pieman. There remains in-excess of 60,000m³ to be harvested. The company has undertaken six years of research and development to establish these world leading operations. From barge and excavator design to drying, processing timber and testing the timbers applications, Hydrowood is leading the way in the industry.
An ethical investment
Environmentally, Hydrowood does no harm to the landscape. It is a perfect investment for those investors who wish to strengthen their ESG or Climate Impact portfolios.
“Hydrowood is a zero-carbon product. Increased awareness of climate change and the need for sustainable construction materials is driving demand for timber over and above other materials,” said David Wise.
It is beautiful native timber. It has all the features of old trees no longer harvestable, something plantation timber cannot deliver. Plus, it is harvested from a non-living resource, free from the societal pressures that have made old growth harvesting a thing of the past.
Hydrowood has nurtured relationships with some of Australia’s leading architects who have confirmed their interest in utilising Hydrowood in new-build housing and commercial projects.
As an interior timber product, Hydrowood has been featured in the Lewisham House on Grand Designs, Tasmania’s Parliament Square buildings and Momentum’s Melbourne office, as well as being used for floorboards, bathroom cabinets, and exquisitely designed furniture in Tasmania’s parliamentary offices.
A sound choice
“We are well beyond our proof-of-concept stage having commercialised a range of products that have a high level of awareness in key markets,” said Hydrowood Chairman Paul Viney. “The scaling of the enterprise requires new capital to enable increased harvesting and processing - as well as developing an expanded distribution and sales network."
Many of these species are no longer available in commercial quantities from native forests, making Hydrowood timber the only viable source of supply in any commercial quantity. Hydrowood sawn boards achieve a substantial premium in the marketplace.
“We offer investors the opportunity to bring an overlooked natural resource to life,” said Hydrowood Chairman Paul Viney. “All while reducing the carbon footprint of the forest product’s industry and eliminating harmful methane emissions.”
No other party has the access to submerged timber resources, the necessary expertise in forestry nor the underwater technology and know-how required to harvest from Tasmanian lakes.
“Having de-risked the concept on all levels, we are now wanting to increase our stock levels and increase our supply into an ever-growing market,” said Andrew Morgan. “There are so many opportunities to salvage more timber from Tasmania’s dams, as well as using excess unusable timber to create a potential source of biomass for green energy projects.”
Hydrowood currently has a five-year licence issued by Hydro Tasmania to operate on Lake Pieman. For added resource security, the company is currently negotiating with Hydro Tasmania to extend its current licence to other Tasmanian lakes where studies have estimated that a volume of up to 300,000 cubic metres of wood may be submerged.
This is a rare opportunity to invest in a unique sustainable Tasmanian product. Andrew and David want to share the news with Tasmanians early, giving them the chance to register their EOI first.
“The more Tasmanian investors the better,” said David Wise. “All our equipment except for the excavator was built locally, we employ Tasmanians and both Andrew and I are Tasmanian. We love our island and want locals to be a part of the business.”
The Claire Bennett Agency
0410 763 940
OnMarket EOI page: https://www.onmarket.com.au/offers/hydrowood-eoi/
Hydrowood timber enquiries:
0439 696 053
Discover the fascinating story of Hydrowood.