For Austrian pellet boiler manufacturer ÖkoFEN, the great export success of its wood pellet boiler systems and the doubling of production volumes within only two years make it necessary to expand the company's production site in Niederkappel, Upper Austria. With a total investment of over EUR 7 million, the existing production hall will be extended by 7 000 sqm and thus more than doubled. For the new building, the company opted for a wood-based solution.
Celebrating 30 years in business, 2018 was the most successful year for ÖkoFEN since the company was founded in 1989. In total, more than 7 500 heating systems were delivered and a record turnover of EUR 58 million was achieved. A further increase of more than 40 percent is expected in 2019.
Backed by this positive development, the Austrian company is investing over EUR 7 million in expanding its production site in Niederkappel by 7 000 sqm to a total area of 13 500 sqm. The construction, which has now started, will be completed as early as spring 2020.
A particular focus will be on sustainable and regional construction methods. Analogous to the products from ÖkoFEN, it was obvious for the company that the extension project would also be a carbon dioxide (CO2) saving, sustainable and with a maximum of regional added value.
Sustainability, regionality and CO2 avoidance are of special importance for us, therefore we decided again for the timber construction method, said Stefan Ortner, Managing Director.
Supports regional economy and ecology
As a logical consequence, the decision was made in favour of a wood-based construction solution. Thus, the pellet boiler specialist makes a significant contribution to the regional timber industry in addition to the sustainable aspects.
Due to the bark beetle and weather-related events, large quantities of wood have been produced in the region. The Mühlviertler wood is used in the 90 m extension of the ÖkoFEN hall in the form of laminated timber, solid structural timber, wood-based panels and for the outer facade.
A positive side effect is that the woodchips resulting from the processing of the round wood are processed into pellets.
With the decision to rely on timber construction and regional companies, the construction project makes a noticeable contribution to the local forests and timber industry. Around 1 200 m3 of wood-based building materials will be required for the expansion of the plant. This corresponds to a total demand of around 2 000 m3 of roundwood or around 50 truckloads.
With the amount of wood required, a clear signal is given not only to support the regional economy but also to protect the environment. Around 2 400 tonnes of CO2 will be removed from the atmosphere and “sequestered” in the building as a result of using wood-based construction materials.
Thanks to Austria’s sustainable forest management, it takes about 20 minutes of national forest growth to replace the amount of wood used for the new production hall.