In El Tarf, Algeria, assembly is underway on the first continuous wood-based panel plant in North Africa. BIGSTAR subsidiary Panneaux d’Algérie commissioned DIEFFENBACHER to supply the complete MDF plant. The first board will be produced in August 2020.
The complete plant project includes all subsections, ranging from the wood yard through the CPS+ continuous press to the short-cycle laminating line for coating finished boards. Designed for smaller capacities, the plant concept will take advantage of the flexibility of the CPS+ system. DIEFFENBACHER’S flagship press can be an ideal entry-level system for newcomers to the wood-based panel market and an economical alternative for easily replacing older single- or multi-opening presses in existing small-capacity plants.
Guelai Mohamed Chiheb, CEO at BIGSTAR, is pleased with the project’s progress. “The collaboration with DIEFFENBACHER has been excellent right from the start. Our trust in the company, especially its employees, has been one hundred percent confirmed.” Looking ahead to the next few months, he adds: “There is still a lot of work ahead of us, but we can’t wait to start production. With our new DIEFFENBACHER plant, we will be able to offer our customers high-quality MDF boards at fair prices.”
DIEFFENBACHER also impressed Ghamoud, another Algerian company, and Egypt-based Egypt Kuwait Holding subsidiary Nile Wood, with its concepts precisely tailored to the needs of African wood-based panel manufacturers. Ghamoud ordered a complete particleboard plant from DIEFFENBACHER in October 2019. As with BIGSTAR/Panneaux d’Algérie’s plant, the project is being executed together with DIEFFENBACHER’s Chinese subsidiary Shanghai Wood-based Panel Machinery (SWPM). The order from Nile Wood dates from 2018, and the complete MDF plant will be supplied by DIEFFENBACHER’s headquarters in Eppingen. Seventy percent of the raw material that Nile Wood will use for the new line will come from locally grown forestry plantations.
To help overcome the shortage of wood in some regions of Africa, DIEFFENBACHER offers various solutions for using alternative raw materials in panel production. These include rice, sorghum and wheat straw, which would otherwise be largely burned in the fields. As a result, the processing of these materials into panels contributes to environmental and climate protection. Jute and cotton stalks, palm fronds, bamboo and bagasse—a waste product of sugar cane—are other common substitutes for which DIEFFENBACHER provides its customers with plant concepts. In addition, the company develops customized solutions for other fast-growing woods and annual plants.