Kebony played host to a Flemish government minister during a visit to celebrate the groundbreaking on the construction of its second European factory in the Flanders region of Belgium.
The visit, by Philippe Muyters, Flemish minister for work, economy, innovation and sports, came a year after the Kebony announced that €19.05 million (177.5 million NOK) had been raised to build the new facility, which includes investment from Flemish company PMV.
“This new factory is certainly a welcome addition to the region,” Muyters said. “The creation of new jobs and opportunities for local people, in addition to substantial investment will contribute significantly to a thriving economy, an essential component for this area to grow and strengthen its identity. It is my pleasure to welcome Kebony to Flanders and I wish you every success with this endeavour.”
Work has now begun on the new factory, bringing with it €20 million of investment for the Belgian economy and the creation of 25 local jobs.
Spanning two hectares, the factory will initially produce 20,000m3 of Kebony wood each year, however, if required an additional two hectares of land can be developed, enabling the workforce to double with the potential to increase output to 40,000m3.
The plant is located 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 its new neighbour.
The new factory will be in the vicinity of Kebony’s machining partner, Rudy De Keyser, in Kruibeke. Kebony said it has confirmed agreements already with several wood retail companies through the master importer Martens Hout in Antwerp and Limburg. These retailers include: Vandenbroucke in Beernem, Biemar bois in Soumagne, Carlier bois in Namur, Huart bois in Houdeng-Goegnies, and Hoffman Freres in Luxemburg.
Christian Jebsen, chief executive of Kebony, said: “On behalf of Kebony and our dedicated investors, we are thrilled construction is now underway and look forward to the start of production. With increasing demand for our environmentally friendly, high-performance wood, we can’t wait to see what the future has in store for Kebony.”