Investing 100 million euros in the power plant of the future

Unilin Group and Aspiravi want to invest 100 million euros for green energy and the power plant of the future in Vielsalm

26 April 2021

Green energy producer Aspiravi and Unilin are teaming up to build a third energy plant in Vielsalm that runs on waste wood. The project involves an investment of €100 million.

Next to the plant in Vielsalm, Unilin wants to build a third energy plant together with Aspiravi. The environmental impact study is already underway with a view to obtaining the necessary permits. The plant will combust non-recyclable wood.

Green electricity and green heat

The plan is to supply most of the green electricity to Unilin and export the remainder to the grid. Unilin will consume the green heat via a steam network but this can be expanded with a heating network in the industrial estate itself and to the municipality of Vielsalm. According to the current plans the energy plant will have a thermal capacity of around 100 MW, generating some 22.5 MW in green electricity as well as 15 MW of green heat.

“Once the permits are obtained construction can start in the spring of 2022 so that the plant can be put into service in 2024.” Veronique Hoflack, division president Unilin Panels.

Third energy plant

For Aspiravi and Unilin this is already the third project of this nature. In 2010 the A&S plant was taken into use at the Unilin site in Oostrozebeke, generating the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of 55,000 families. Last year a second plant, A&U, was brought into service at the Wielsbeke site. A&U produces both green heat for Unilin and other neighbouring businesses, and green electricity for 40,000 families.

The plant in Vielsalm will be powered by non-recyclable waste wood and wood dust from the local production of MDF panels. In addition wood residue will be recovered from businesses and container parks in the vicinity, possibly also from across the borders with Germany, the Netherlands and France.