DIEFFENBACHER to supply world’s first plant for the production of MDF from date palm fronds to Egypt

News Wood-Based Panels

Collaboration with National Service Projects Organization (NSPO) and WESER Industrie- und Anlagentechnik GmbH

German companies WESER Industrie- und Anlagentechnik GmbH, an engineering, procurement and construction specialist, and DIEFFENBACHER, a leading manufacturer of press systems and complete production plants for the wood-based panels industry, are collaborating with the Egyptian EPC contractor MT Mixers to supply a unique, innovative and eco-friendly plant for the manufacture of high- and medium-density fiberboard (HDF/MDF) from date palm fronds to Egypt’s National Service Projects Organization (NSPO). The facility is being built in the Toshka region and is scheduled to produce its first board in the fall of 2025.

WESER is acting as general contractor for the turnkey project, which will cover an area of 400,000 m². The DIEFFENBACHER scope of supply for the complete plant project starts with a MAIER chipping line consisting of a MAIER Drum Chipper with extra-large infeed cross-section specially designed for high-volume material, a feeding belt conveyor, a vibration dosing table and an integrated MAIER Rechipper. It also includes chip cleaning, the refiner, dryer and air grader, glue preparation and dosing, the forming line and forming station, a CPS+ continuous press with Press Emission Control System, the raw board handling and the sanding line, strapping line and pneumatic systems. Additionally, DIEFFENBACHER will take care of the plant’s automation and electrics.

The contract also includes a 29 MW energy system consisting of a solid- fuel fired steam boiler and a thermal oil heater. “This is the first time since the acquisition of the former BERTSCHenergy in January 2023 that we have integrated a DIEFFENBACHER Energy solution into a project of our Wood business unit,” explains Stefan Zipf, head of the Wood business unit at DIEFFENBACHER. “Our Austrian and German energy experts from Bludenz and Eppingen have worked closely together to provide NSPO with a customized solution perfectly suited to the special requirements of burning palm waste.”

Adjacent to a 40,000-acre date farm, the new plant will use date palm fronds to produce around 125,000 m³ of MDF/HDF per year. “This will make the factory a one-of-kind in the world,” says WESER’s managing director Ahmed Amrou. “Usually, palm fronds are considered farm waste. In this case, however, instead of wood, which is hard to get in this region anyway, they will be used to produce high-quality MDF/HDF boards that can be utilized for flooring or by the furniture industry, for example. The production facility is a valuable contribution to more sustainable farming in the area,” he adds.

In addition, the plant will create around 500 new jobs and is expected to boost the local economy in the Toshka region. Following the signing of the contract between NSPO, WESER and DIEFFENBACHER, work on the construction site in Egypt began in April 2023.