Wood residues Bolivia and Cameroon

Roots, branches en bark. Fifty to sixty percent of every felled tree is usually turned to waste - it's really the inside that matters production-wise. FSC certification teaches saw mills to reverse that line of thinking. Zebra put pen to paper and designed a saw mill concept that turns residues to energy - currently waiting for sufficient investors in both Bolivia and Cameroon.

The criteria of FSC certification are becoming ever more strict. Treating the rainforest with respect used to be enough; today the FSC demands companies take treatment of their waste flows into account as well. Zebra visited saw mills in Bolivia and Cameroon to find a solution to excessive wood residues. We discovered that the biomass firing installation we designed for the palm oil industry could well be applied to the timber industry. And so it was done.

Better for the environment

By firing wood residues at the mill, enough energy is generated to power not just the mills, but their surrounding villages as well. The heat from the firing chamber is used to dry the fresh cut timber. Conventional drying involves shipping the logs to The Netherlands (!) just to have them dried. Drying on-site also makes the wood lighter: less transportation costs and less carbon emissions.

Business plan

For both saw mills we calculated precisely the expected costs and revenues. A thorough business plan explains how to go about building the solution, how to operate it and how to maintain. At present, the plan remains just that - a plan - but we are waiting for investors to help make it reality