Eure. Saussay

A site visit took place this summer in the presence of elected officials. ©The Impartial

At a time when the question of energy and its shortage is alarming Europe, the project to set up a flax scutching factory between the towns of Saussay-la-Campagne and Frenelles-en-Vexin is also experiencing difficulties.

What funding?

During a visit to the site still under construction, in the presence of the sub-prefect of Andelys, Nicolas Lebasthe question of connecting the plant to the electricity network arose.

Alongside the mayors of the two municipalities, but also elected officials from the community of municipalities of Norman Vexinthe presentation of the project gave rise to questions concerning the financing of this connection.

The future Vexin scutching plant is taking shape.
The future Vexin scutching factory is taking shape. ©The Impartial

Key jobs

Recalling that the public actors were all in favor of this “year-round job creator” project, the question of its cost and especially its financing was put on the table.

Because according to the management of the future flax scutching site, access to electricity is proving more difficult than the first preliminary studies suggested. “We will have to go through Etrepagnybecause the power of the local network is not sufficient”, regretted Romain Depesteledirector of the Teillage du Vexin plant, facing elected officials.

Consequence: an additional cost of €335,000, which is difficult for management to digest.

The fact remains that the sub-prefect of Andelys did not fail to defend the taxpayer. “You are unquestionably professionals, and I can’t doubt the fact that you could foresee that your electrical needs are not those of an individual”.

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What about development tax?

A position reinforced by the situation of this economic activity, which is not considered as industrial, but agricultural, is exempt from payment of the development tax.

Around the table and a few minutes from visiting the site which will include more than 12,000 m2 of building, the tension therefore rose a notch between the elected officials, the representatives of theState and the future management of the production site. A question left in suspense which will have to be studied by the services of the State.

Installations are underway on site.
Installations are underway on site. ©The Impartial

A 100% Norman project

However, the project represents a great ambition for the territory. Indeed, Normandy is the first world producer of flax in the world.

A sector that the family knows very well Depestelewho has been working in scutching for no less than five generations.

The widely used linen

Flax fibers are found in many sectors that are sometimes overlooked, such as the automotive sector.

In the Vexin, its cultivation has seduced producers since a hundred farmers have chosen to turn to this crop.

“The activity of scutching is carried out without water and without any chemical products. It’s a purely mechanical process,” recalled Romain Depestele.

The first production lines should be active in the first half of 2023. The investment represents no less than 18 million euros to date.

The site, still under construction, should start production in 2023.
The site, still under construction, should start production in 2023. ©L’Impartial

Fully mechanical

After launching the Bocasse factories in Seine-Maritime and Bourguébus in Calvados, which are reaching saturation point, the family business Depestele, of Belgian origin, has chosen to create a third linen scutching factory in the towns of Frenelles-en -Vexin and Saussay-la-Campagne.

Scutching is a mechanical operation that separates the flax fibers from the bark of the plant, this being done by grinding and beating. The long fiber is kept for later combing.

The shives (the bark of the plant) are collected and used to make chipboard or animal bedding.

The short fibers called scutching tows will be used to make thicker and more rustic yarns, used in particular for furniture or twine.

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Eure. Saussay-la-Campagne: last months of construction for the flax scutching plant