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In December 2023, the two-year project implemented by SIA EKJU came to an end

In December 2023, the two-year project “Introduction of wooden outdoor furniture and accessories for B2B E-commerce and stricter environmental requirements” implemented by SIA EKJU came to an end. SIA EKJU applied for participation in the Norwegian Financial Mechanism Programme for the second time, and did so with a project partner from Norway – Norwegian Wood Technology Institute (NTI – Norsk Treteknisk Institutt) once again, with whom there was successful cooperation in the first Norwegian grant project.

The total cost of the project was EUR 1,125,499.73, of which EUR 433,049.98 was granted by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism Programme.
The project involved the purchase of new equipment with the aim of ensuring higher quality products and increasing overall production capacity, thereby boosting competitiveness in the market and reducing the environmental impact of the production process. To do this, the company made improving the planing process a priority and invested in a new planer mechanisation line (€ 485,033.34). Additionally, a new high-pressure impregnation plant (€ 146,668.29) with more precise dosing and specific mode setting was installed. As the last piece of equipment, SIA EKJU installed new, modern dryers (€ 202,000). Thanks to the new machinery, it is no longer necessary to transport materials between the company’s two factories to realise a specific production step. The fact that the entire production cycle can be completed on-site and that there is new, modern equipment means that the CO2 and MWh footprint is reduced.

Given the significant changes in production, the Latvian State Institute of Wood Chemistry (LVĶĶI) carried out a product life cycle analysis to assess and compare the environmental impact of the old and new production processes. A major study was designed because the full cradle-to-grave life cycle had to be taken into account. The results showed that, for example, the production of the product “Classic Picnic Table” according to the new process, which also extends the product’s shelf life, can reduce the environmental impact in all categories analysed by 42–47%. The second study, carried out by LVĶĶI, tested the moisture content of wood to ensure that the strength properties of the packaging material (cardboard) are maintained during transport and delivery. The results were considered by the management of SIA EKJU and integrated into the production process.

The Norwegian Wood Technology Institute's (NTI) many years of experience in conducting research relevant to the timber industry has helped SIA EKJU understand the causes of moisture-related defects (dimensional stability, peeling) and, most importantly, devise an action plan to limit them. In addition, humidity and temperature gauges were installed in the shipments to different destinations in order to investigate the moisture content and influencing factors during transport, with recommendations for optimising these factors. Taking the characteristics of the specific wood and other relevant factors into account, NTI also offered guidance for improving the drying process and implementing a product quality control system. 

Māris Danieks, Chairman of the Board of SIA EKJU, is pleased with the achievements of the project, as the improvements made in the production process and the cooperation with scientists have led to a significant improvement in efficiency and a reduction in environmental impact, strengthening the company’s position in the market and contributing to sustainable development. 


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