JER/Envirotech Chooses ENTEK
Wood-Plastic Processor Uses ENTEK Extruders for Producing Innovative, 4’ x 8’ Composite Boards
JER/Envirotech, based in Delta, British Columbia, Canada, is a company with a mission: to improve the quality of life for people worldwide by helping to provide quality, affordable housing. The company, founded in 2003, is already making a huge impact by providing its patented wood-plastic composite boards to provide housing throughout much of Asia.
In three short years, JER has gone public (listed as JER on the Toronto Stock Exchange), opened three facilities in Delta, BC, and additional processing plants in Malaysia and the Philippines. Another plant in India is already in the works. The company’s unique composite boards, made out of a combination of plastic (virgin or recycled) and natural fibers (saw dust, rice husk, palm fiber, and banana fiber), are the same size as standard plywood sheets but less costly to produce and far more durable. Embarking on its mission to produce these wood-plastic composite boards, JER partnered with ENTEK and, today, employs ENTEK extruders throughout its operations.
Housing the World
Rely Diego, Executive Chairman and CEO of JER Envirotech, emigrated to Canada from the Philippines in 1996. Having grown up in Asia, he was well aware of the homelessness crisis affecting millions of people. With a degree in Foreign Service from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, and a Certificate in Management from the Department of Trade and Industry in the Philippines, he set out to capitalize on his idea to develop a new type of composite building material that would allow for low-cost, mass-produced boards for constructing modest but solid, high-quality dwellings.
The opportunity was great, and JER tapped into that opportunity in a big way. “There are mass housing projects underway throughout Asia,” Diego said. “We knew if we could develop a low-cost, high-quality composite board that has better properties than plywood, cement panels and other building materials, there would be a huge market for it.”
Better Than Plywood
The JERtech™ Panel Board is the result of three years of development. It features many of the same characteristics as wood, e.g. it can be nailed, painted, and cut the same way. However, JER maintains it is less than half the cost of marine plywood and cement board, lasts at least 50 years, with minimal water absorption, resistant to biological degradation (termite, insects, decay, etc.), and has good dimensional stability. In addition, it is produced with no chemicals and is fully recyclable.
Current uses of the panel board include exterior and interior walls, partitions, ceilings, flush doors, cement forming, furniture, underlayment for flooring applications, substrate for countertops, or any application that requires moisture resistance. JER is working on developing the board for use as roofing material, and plans are underway to build entire houses with JER products. For the JERtech™ Raw Material Compound current uses are for extrusion and injection applications such as automotive parts (steering wheels, headliners, dashboards, door panels, sidings, etc.) and other industrial applications (for fencing, decking, skids and pallets, electrical boxes, sporting paraphernalia, spindles and crown moldings, etc.).
At a recent presentation at the Wood-Plastic and Natural Fiber Composites 2006 Conference in Baltimore, Diego showed a picture of one of the houses being built using JERtech™ boards. “This may not look like a house we would see in North America,” he told the audience, “but to 2/3 of the world, it’s a mansion.” If JER’s first three years are any indication, improving the quality of life for that 2/3 of the world’s population may very well be an attainable goal. ENTEK is proud to be a business partner with JER, and salutes them for their socially responsible actions.