In 2016 C.F. Nielsen bought the rights from the UK based company New Air, to produce the Shimada Extruder Briquetting Press. But the technology dates even further back to the late 1940’ies.
Pat Donohoe, today an independent consultant in the Timber Industry, left Ireland in 1981 to go visit the original “Shimada” factory in Japan. In Japan there was a great tradition of building screw presses, mainly using the briquettes for heating. Back then Japan had an impressive 100 small factories producing briquettes. In addition to briquetting presses Shimada also produced jet dryers, milling equipment and fixed kilns for making charcoal.
Being an optimistic entrepreneur and seeing a flourishing market for briquettes in the early 1980’ies, Pat Donohoe bought 7 machines and brought them home to Ireland. They called the factory “Callanwood” and the brand name was “Heat logs”. In the beginning the factory produced 20.000 tons briquettes per year. Due to the volume in peat production and cheaper oil prices in the late 1980’ies, the factory was struggling commercially.
In the early 1990’ies the company further developed and started looking into activated carbon, but as they couldn’t get enough funding for the project, they had to end it.
In 1993, Pat Donohoe sold all equipment to South Africa. In a nutshell, Callanwood was 25 years ahead of its time leaving a market open for C.F. Nielsen today.