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MG Granulés rises with renewed confidence

Founded in 2007, MG Granulés SARL is a quintessential family-run wood pellet business in France. Scenically sited on a wooded hillside, the facility overlooks the rural hamlet of Argenteuil-sur-Armançon. In September 2019, the Morizot family hosted a re-inauguration ceremony to celebrate a new chapter for the company.

Founded in 2007, MG Granulés SARL is a quintessential family-run wood pellet business in France. Scenically sited on a wooded hillside, the facility overlooks the rural hamlet of Argenteuil-sur-Armançon in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region.

It was a poignant ceremony attended by many from the local community as well as clients, financiers, and technology partners. The ceremony was followed by an open house weekend to mark the full resumption of pellet production at the plant since a fire in early February 2018.

Luckily, there were no injuries but the night-time blaze devastated the boiler, dryer, and a front-loader abruptly bringing production at the 5 000 tonne-per-annum facility to a standstill.

We have replaced what was destroyed by the fire: the dryer, the boiler room, and the entire electrical system. Everything was done to be more efficient and to be able to double production, explained a moved Pascal Morizot, founder and co-owner during the ceremony.

Arson suspected

Disturbing in this tranquil setting in the heart of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region is that the fire had been deliberate. According to local police reports, it was one of several cases of arson in the region by a suspected arsonist.

It is not difficult to imagine the anxiety amongst the owners and ten staff as a result of such an event over and above the material and monetary loss. Ensuring that the company’s almost 3 000 or so customers could find alternative pellet supply to tide them over the remaining heating season was just one of a multitude of issues.

It has been difficult since the fire and we had some really big worries. Could we rebuild and restart the business? Would our customers come back if we did? So, this re-inauguration ceremony ahead of the 2019/20 heating season is very important to us to let our customers see for themselves that we are really back in production again and that we have invested for the future, said Jacqueline Morizot, co-owner of the business.

Given the turnout and judging from the warm reception of those in attendance, those worries are over.

Pellet production

Although both criminal and legal proceedings are still ongoing, the insurance company pulled through in a timely fashion providing the financial means for MG Granulés to rebuild the plant and reboot the business.

A proud Team MG Granulés in front of the new dryer from Gerdes GreenSolutions during the re-inauguration ceremony.
“We have had some difficult times but thanks to our son (Rémi, far left) that we found the energy to restart,” said Jacqueline and Pascal Morizot (centre).

Pellet production resumed in July 2019 using dry sawdust as the installation of a new boiler and dryer had yet to be completed. MG Granulés uses residual sawdust and shavings as feedstock sourced from and delivered by local and regional sawmills- and woodworking businesses within a radius of about 100 km of the plant.

To continue reading this article, which appears in the Pellets Special issue of Bioenergy International (no. 2/2020), you need to be a subscriber. Note that as a magazine subscriber you get access to the e-magazine and articles like this before the print edition reaches your desk!

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