From left to right: Roald Borré, from PMV, Bruno Van den Branden, CEO of Kebony, Ingrid Schulerud, Norwegian Ambassador in Belgium and Philippe Muyters, Flemish Minister for Employment, Economy, Innovation and Sports
Leader in sustainable wood production opens new factory in Flanders, Belgium
Sustainability pioneer Kebony has opened their new factory, signalling their intention for domestic and international expansion. The launch of the factory in Belgium marks the beginning of an exciting chapter for the company, who are best known for producing an environmentally-friendly enhanced wood of superior quality thanks to its patented technology. The new production site was officially opened yesterday evening by Philippe Muyters, Flemish Minister for Work, Economy, Innovation and Sports at the company’s celebratory launch event.
Kebony has experienced continued annual growth with international sales rising by an average of 30% year on year for the last seven years. In order to meet the increased demand, the new factory has been opened to enable Kebony to double its current annual production capacity to 20,000m³ of Kebony Clear wood. Kebony’s original factory in Norway will continue to specialise in the production of Kebony Character wood whilst maintaining its status as the company’s Research and Technology hub.
Situated in the heart of Europe, the new factory is ideally located to benefit from a variety of European connections. The close proximity to the port of Antwerp will allow the export of Kebony products to European and oversea markets like the USA to become more efficient and cost-effective. The new plant lies in the vicinity of Kebony’s machining partner, Rudy De Keyser, in Kruibeke, supplier of FA, TFC in Geel and next to the site of the chemical company LANXESS, at the Scheldt Chemical and Industrial Park (ScCIP) in Kallo, which will deliver utilities and site services to the new factory.
Construction of the facility was delivered within budget, with funding supplied by European investors including the Flemish investment company PMV and SFPI-FPIM. With limited additional investment, the new facility in Flanders would have the potential to quadruple its current production to approximately 80,000 m³ of Kebony wood. The factory will support Kebony’s plans to accelerate sales in the coming years and will act as a catalyst for significant international expansion in key central European markets like Germany or France.
Developed in Norway, the patented Kebony technology, which has taken years of research and development, enhances the properties of sustainable softwood with a bio-based liquid. The process permanently modifies the wood cell walls giving Kebony premium, hardwood characteristics, resulting in significantly improved durability and structural stability. Recognised as a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum and seven times listed as a Global Cleantech 100, Kebony has been embraced by international architects, designers and developers.
Commenting on the launch of the factory, Flemish Minister for Employment, Economy, Innovation and Sport, Philippe Muyters said, “I was delighted to be chosen as a Guest of Honour at the official launch of Kebony’s factory in Belgium yesterday evening. The creation of new jobs and opportunities for local people, in addition to substantial investment will contribute significantly to a thriving economy in the region. It is my pleasure to welcome Kebony to Flanders and I wish the company every success with this endeavour.”
Bruno Van den Branden, CEO at Kebony added, “The opening of our second factory is a momentous occasion in Kebony’s history and will be vital to our continued growth for many years to come. We are delighted to be in a position where we can significantly increase our production capacity of environmentally-friendly products, which will only serve to help us to continue positively influencing the sustainable construction industry worldwide.”
Photos: Jack Tillmans