Ahead of their time

30 years ago four young engineers decided to protect the environment. To do so, they founded the Loreki company in Itxassou in the Basque region of France.

January 11, 2016

They started out shredding and composting forestry waste to make substrate, bark and organic soil improvers for the local market. That was a very new line of business in 1985. Although technically speaking the process worked well, it wasn’t economically viable - they were simply too far ahead of their time.

A new attempt

In 1993, they tried again. Separate collection of green cuttings had been introduced in their area, and landfilling of organics had been prohibited, creating the perfect conditions for their core business. In 1995 Loreki started providing shredding and screening services.

An extensive machine park
Currently Loreki has ten mobile high-performance machines, which process about 200,000 tonnes of material a year. One of them is a Crambo 5000 on tracks, used for shredding rootstocks and green cuttings. “The Crambo has low wear and consumption. It can chew up practically anything, it’s not sensitive to contraries, it’s quiet and it produces a small amount of fines. That makes it very useful in preparing material for industrial heating and power plants,” says Fernand Perret, who has run Loreki since 1985. “85 tonnes an hour is entirely normal for it,” he adds.
An Axtor 6010, also on tracks, chips trunks, clean rootstocks and green cuttings. “With 600 hp and the tracked chassis we can also use it off-road,” explains Perret, noting, “we use it to make fuel for smaller power plants, where the grain is important. Thanks to the three different screen baskets we can do pretty much anything.”

The multitalented Multistar L3
Two Multistar L3 star screens with integrated wind sifting turn out clean biofuel at high rates, cleaning it of overs, unders and contraries. They also prep structure material for co-composting sewage sludge, organic waste and anaerobic digestion residues.
“The two L3s are also very important for a new application, screening mulch from fresh green cuttings. It is in high demand as a ground cover instead of straw,” says Perret.

Big investments
Loreki has accumulated a fleet of mobile machines to serve the growing number of industrial and municipal cogeneration plants. The company delivers energy in different forms - as chips, shredded rootstocks, and biomass from green cuttings. With the completion of a new plant and with the purchase of new machines, Loreki spent 3.2 million euros in 2015. The company’s further activities are in the field of photovoltaic and also an anaerobic digestion system is in a planning stage. Once again Loreki is ahead of its time - but this time with success.