• Follow us

Appui au développement de la filière bioénergétique à CubaProjet de séchage artificiel de bois d’œuvre au moyen de sous-produits de scierie comme source d’énergie calorifique

Support to the development of the bioenergy sector in CubaProject of wood artificial drying by means of sawmill by-products as heat energy source


The Cuban forest patrimony has a surface of 3 036 000 ha, which represents 22,9 % of the total area of the country. The production forest area is of 881 220 ha. Cuba has more than 650 species, 30 of them having a high commercial valueas sawn wood.In Cuba, sawmills generate more than 100 000 m3 of unused wood wastes, which is today a serious problem of environmental management since a systematic industrial utilization is not established yet. On average, sawmill residues correspond to 50-55 % of the wood volume in logs among which 70-75 % of offcuts, 15-20 % of sawdust, 10 % of barks.

Cubans use the technology of natural drying in the air. However, because of the current demand for construction wood (damages of cyclones) and for veneered wood (expansion of the touristic infrastructure) stocks of wood are almost nonexistent, since they are bought gradually. The technology of artificial drying of wood is missing in Cuba. Used at industrial scale, this technology could however be a solution to the current problematic situations in Cuba.


This project mainly aims at encouraging the utilization of biofuel residues from forest industries as energy source for the artificial drying of sawn wood.

Besides, this project aims at :
- improving and guaranteeing as fast as possible the quality of sawn wood produced by the Cuban forest industry ;
- encouraging the utilization of a residue from forest industry in Cuba, whose process of elimination remains difficult and expensive and therefore avoiding management problems caused by this residue ;
- analysing the economic and technical feasibility of the setting up of artificial drying installations according to Cuban conditions ;
- analysing and determining the process (and programmes) of sawn wood artificial drying from different forest species, in real production conditions ;
- training the production and teaching staff to the running of the installation ;
- developing new markets for Walloon firms supplying the equipment and technology recommended for this project.

Description of tasks

The programme has been divided into two phases : identification/execution.

The identification phase includes an identification mission in Cuba and a mission of Cuban delegates in Belgium :
- taking part in a training to new technologies of wood artificial drying ;
- visiting experimental and industrial installations of wood artificial drying ;
- visiting firms selling or manufacturing drying equipments, boilers, wood preservation installations, sawmills, forest exploitation, workshop, measuring equipment ;
- gathering the elements characterizing sawmill sites in order to define the global technical characteristics of the installation to be set up.

Expected results

In this phase, the expected results are :
- installation of an artificial wood drying supplied by a boiler using sawmill residues ;
- starting up of the boiler and dryer, with inspections and reception tests ;
- training of the scientific staff of the forest industry, research and students of different levels of the forest teaching (workers, technicians, graduates) in Cuba on how to use dryers and boilers ;
- installing the experimental equipment and starting the experimental programme ;
- studying the possibilities of associating different classes having the same requirements as for the sets of wood to be dried, species and different thicknesses, starting from the qualitative and economic aspects ;
- adjustment of a drying testing protocole ;
- determining the drying quality parameters ;
- IIF wishes, after the setting up and starting of the drying unit, to set up a pilot unit of demonstration and research on the technologies of energy utilization of forest industries residues.

Results obtained

Among other things, the achieved results made it possible to :
- to identify and provide an ideal place for the project, considering as a priority the demonstration aspect as well as the research and training aspects ;
- to assess the quantitative and qualitative availability of residues which can be used as energy source for the artificial drying technology ;
- to look for potential sites for the setting up of similar installations on the island and to assess the real availability of residues ;
- to collect the characteristic elements of the chosen site in order to define the global technical characteristics of the installation to set up.

The execution phase remains a project.


DGRI Walloon Region, Forest Research Institute of Havana (IIF), Mountain Agriculture Enterprise Group (GEAM) of the Ministry of Agriculture of Cuba Ministry of Foreign Investments and Economic Cooperation (MINVEC)

CRAW off coordinator

TEMMERMAN Michaël (Attaché scientifique)
Département Génie rural
Chaussée de Namur, 146
B-5030 Gembloux
Téléphone direct :62 71 57
Téléphone département :+ 32(81) 61 25 01
Fax département :+ 32(81) 61 58 47
E-mail :temmerman@cra.wallonie.be


  • SPW - DG Foreign policies
  • Groupe d'Entreprises de l'Agriculture de Montagne (GEAM) - La Havanne
Share this article