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The desire for diversification, both on a horizontal and a vertical scale, was behind our orientation towards the energy sector. Prior to carrying out the expansion project at the Burtonville site, the sawmill was limited to the first transformation of the wood, i.e. the transformation of round timber into rough sawn lumber.

The increase in the added value of our products as well as the expansion of our markets has required additional transformation processes for the sawn lumber. Each surface transformation calls for a prior drying process. This process involves significant energy consumption.

An optimisation of costs was imposed to take into account the sustainable management of the energy supply, outside of the use of fossil fuels. We have naturally opted for the energy recovery of the sawmill’s low quality by-products as the primary energy in the cogeneration process, thereby generating two secondary energies, electrical and thermal, in the form of steam. Moreover, the timber’s high quality by-products, namely the sawdust and wood chips, are also used for the much cheaper production of pellets due to the energy provided by the cogeneration plant. We are currently instigating an all-encompassing energy and material flow concept.
- See the Energy-Concept diagram


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Vision :

Our action principle involves

the optimum use of possible synergies
between the energy and material circuits.

Our vision is also based on the fact that the member States, having ratified the
Kyoto protocol, require significant economic and industrial partners,
in order to comply with the environmental commitments that they have
undertaken, at the least cost.

In this context, we make our contribution by way of the implementation of a
cogeneration unit and the production of pellets.


The timber by-products (bark and cross-cuts) are used in the cogeneration unit for producing thermal and electric energy, which is neutral in terms of CO2 emissions.

The facilities work in accordance with the mechanical/thermal coupling principle. The combustion heat is used for the production of steam at high pressure, which is itself used for producing electric energy via an electricity turbine and generator.

The green electricity produced is consumed on site and the surplus is injected into the distribution network leading to emission certificates that are more commonly referred to as “green certificates”.

The pellet production unit is powered by the sawdust and wood chips from our sawmill. The pressing of the pellets requires the milling of these tailings and drying at predefined dryness rates. These pre-treated materials are stored in silos before being transported to 4 production lines without the addition of any additives. The pellets have a high heating value and provide a substitute to fossil fuels, generating a reduction in C02 emissions.


Other energy-related concepts and projects are currently under development, in particular concerning the combination of wood biomass cogeneration with a biofuel production unit.


® Parc d'Activités Economiques de Burtonville, Route de la Forêt n° 1 • B-6690 VIELSALM • T +32 [0]80 29 10 20 • F +32 [0]80 21 43 78 • E-mail : info@ibv-cie.be