New Siempelkamp plant in Egypt that processes rice straws begin assembly

WOTECH site at Idku (Image: Siempelkamp)

A new Siempelkamp medium-density fibreboard (MDF) plant has begun assembling in Egypt, ordered by Egyptian manufacturer Wood Technology Company (WOTECH).

WOTECH, founded from companies in the Egyptian oil and gas industry, is positioning itself in the areas of environmental protection and resource efficiency with the new Siempelkamp plant at the Idku location near Alexandria.

The new plant will process rice straws, and is considered a significant step in the Egypt’s government initiative to use rice straw in a value-adding, CO2-reducing and sustainable way.

The Siempelkamp Group is responsible for the overall planning and will provide the scope of supply. Starting with the rice straw supply, this includes the secondary size-reduction, separation, conveyors, dosing units, refiner, dryer, energy plant, gluing, and sifter. The forming and press line is supplied with an 8-feet x 48.7m ContiRoll. The scope of the order also includes a cooling and stacking line, a sanding line, and a packaging line.

“In the context of the pandemic-related impediments, we succeeded together with WOTECH in safely planning the MDF plant, partly via digital media, which we used significantly for planning and plant design. Since Q3 2021, personal contacts on site have been possible again, and we welcome the start of assembly, which could also take place on 7 Jan 2022 due to the pandemic,” said Roland Peltzer, senior project manager at Siempelkamp.

Start-up is scheduled for the end of 2022. The new plant is designed for an annual production of 205,000m³, the board spectrum covering 3-40mm. By using the annual plant rice straw, it opens up new perspectives for a raw material that would otherwise be incinerated as a waste product. It also closes the gaps caused by insufficient local wood resources. The panels produced primarily benefit the furniture industry in the local or Arab region.

The “green product” of the rice-straw panel also meets demand fed by changing consumer awareness, as described by Jürgen Philipps, spokesperson for the management board of Siempelkamp Maschinen- und Anlagenbau: “These boards meet the demands of today’s generations, who are increasingly sensitive to environmental protection and sustainability in their purchasing behavior. Produced without formaldehyde and in a resource-efficient way, the board made of rice straw reduces CO2 emissions and thus, combined with Siempelkamp’s mature technology, is an ideal alternative to boards made of classic wood resources.”