Terval SA founded in 1981 and based in the port of Liège in Belgium, is a company specialized in the trading and processing of coal for the western European industrial market. Terval trades about 2mt (million tonnes) of material a year sourced from all around the world. More than 90% of the volume handled by Terval transits by waterway. The rest is divided between the rail- and roadway. The Port of Liège ranks second after Duisburg among European inland ports. Terval’s trimodal terminal can load up 6,000 tonnes and unload up to 12,000 tonnes of dry bulk daily.
For the last several years, European governments and EU commissions have been strengthening their environmental politics, which tends to force the industry to change its way of thinking by disinvesting itself from fossil fuel. A few years ago, we saw many industrials turn to gas due to its low prices and its lower dependency on logistical issues — low water levels on the major rivers of Western Europe for instance. Nevertheless, over the last months, and due also to the Ukraine war and Europe’s desire to become less dependent on Russian gas imports, this trend appears to be reversing and industrials are returning to coal.
Beyond coal and gas market, there is also a willingness from industry to implement biomass in their energy portfolio. It’s a long-term job that requires a lot of time and resources. Terval, via its French subsidiary Bioval, works directly with its current clients — mainly the sugar industry and the dehydration of lucerne crops in France — in the implementation of biomass projectors to convert their furnaces and coal boilers. The objective is to transition to 100% Biomass-to-Energy. With the technology developed by Bioval, Terval can revamp existing installations, thus minimizing CAPEX costs. Furthermore, generally it is possible to increase evaporation capacity for an existing dehydration plant of ca. 30%. With Bioval’s expertise in the combustion of solid fuels, it helps its customers to optimize combustion, which represents in general the highest cost factor to them. Also, many different biomass types can be used.
By choosing the Bioval solution, the customer is able for transition of up to 100% biomass, to increase the plant’s capacity and to optimize its combustion. The objective now for Bioval is to broaden the spectrum of customers as well to extend abroad by recruiting new engineers.
Terval has 24,000m² warehouse space, with 3,200m² dedicated to ±10,000 tonnes of woodpellets storage. Since 2020, Terval has been working with the Danish Company CM Biomass, a major market maker in Europe. It organizes, on their behalf the unloading, storage and reloading of wood pellets for industrial end-users. These pellets are originated from European productions and from abroad. A new warehouse project with 3,200m² is under construction and will offer a capacity of between 10,000–18,000 tonnes for pellets or other biomasses.
Terval also trades torrefied wood pellet quality for the industry. This pellet has a brown colour and is water resistant. Therefore, outside storage without damaging the structure/quality of the product is no problem. The manufacturer of this pellet is using a specific technology of vapocracking allowing an outwards transfer of the lignin inside wood molecules.
It is this outwards transfer of the lignin that will give this hydrophobic property to the pellet. It is a brand-new technology and volumes are quite limited so far, but this product will potentially find its way in the biomass market.
Dry Cargo International