Beaulieu International Group (B.I.G.) and A&U Energie team up for the energy transition together


B.I.G. powers its Belgian Cushion Vinyl production plant with green energy and reduces CO₂ emissions by more than 88%.

B.I.G. and A&U Energie, both based in Wielsbeke, are convinced of the significance of the energy transition, as well as of the exemplary role to be adopted by the industry. As close neighbors, it is only logical to set up a collaboration when the opportunity arises.  Both companies therefore recently concluded a long-term cooperation agreement for the supply of green heat from A&U Energie's power station to B.I.G., in order to supply its Cushion Vinyl production site in Wielsbeke.

The transition from fossil energy to green steam and the switch to waste gas treatment without direct fossil energy has significant benefits. First of all, the technological switch will reduce the ecological footprint of the Belgian cushion vinyl plant by 88% with regard to heat supply and waste gas treatment compared to current emissions. In addition, the use of steam heating and electrical energy provides improved energy efficiency. Besides, the use of steam systems is known for its safety and reliability, providing a safer and more stable heating solution for the Belgian Cushion Vinyl plant. Finally, the conversion to steam and electric power allows for the use of green electricity in the future, if and when it is available. 

A&U Energie, the joint venture of Aspiravi and Unilin, produces green heat and green electricity from the combustion of non-recyclable waste wood. The green power plant in Wielsbeke was started up in 2020. From the start-up of the plant, green heat in the form of steam is supplied to the nearby companies Unilin, Agristo and breeder Claerhout.  "The expansion of our steam network with the new branch towards B.I.G. is an important step for us in consolidating our own activities in the region, but certainly also important for consolidating the local industry in this region," says Steven Vandenbulcke, Plant Manager of A&U Energie.  "If we want to keep the manufacturing industry in Flanders, it is important to form clusters and start collaborations between different industries."  

A&U Energy is operating about 2 steam grids since 2020. One of these steam grids passes through the B.I.G. site. With a branch to this existing steam grid, green heat will also be supplied to and consumed by B.I.G. from 2025.

"We are delighted with this major step in our sustainability ambition," says Wim Coppens, VP Flooring Solutions. "By switching to local green steam for our thermal heating needs, we are not only reducing our environmental impact, but also improving our operational efficiency. This switch underlines our commitment to responsible business practices and ensuring a sustainable future."

AU and Beaulieu