Société Forestière and BRL to experiment the cultivation of energy plantations

On 8 December, Société Forestière and BRL signed a 30 year partnership agreement within the framework of ValTer biomass project to experiment together the valuation of the sites coverages of infrastructure or grounds unused at present by the cultivation and the harvest of very short rotation coppice (French acronym TCR).

Energy and the environment

Visuel eucalyptus
The ValTer biomass project, jointly undertaken by the Languedoc Roussillon regional management of Caisse des Dépôts and Société Forestière, has been developed in the context of the 2015 edition of the Lab cdc dedicated to the energy and ecological transition. It aims to develop a territory promotion offer via the implementation of energy plantations (eucalyptus, poplar, etc.) in the form of harvested SRC every 7 to 10 years from neglected plots or wild land, to produce a local biomass designed to diversify and secure supply sources for territorial boiler projects. The project is very much a part of the dynamic of positive energy territories for green growth (TEPCV).


The agreement allows for the creation of a joint experiment to promote the takeover of land or infrastructure that is not currently being used, with the planting and harvesting, by Société Forestière, of SRC crops on land temporarily made available by BRL on the outskirts of its area, as well as the search for irrigable land able to accommodate the same type of plantations.


In the context of its innovation policy, BRL is looking to acquire knowledge of opportunities allowing for a better use of certain land belonging to them, near to regional hydraulic network infrastructure. BRL is also interested in the possibility of re-cultivating some land in agricultural decline, located in the agreed area. It therefore intends to enlarge its partnership with Caisse des Dépôts beyond operations already committed to, especially for Open Cités.


In the context of its development, Société Forestière wishes to promote its skills to offer new services in response to the territory projects’ needs, at the initiative of the local authorities. It seeks to build an innovative and reproducible wood production offer, in particular wood energy, on currently unused or abandoned land.


The first eucalyptus plantation is currently being grown over an area of over 2 ha on the outskirts of a pumping station.


Société Forestière, a subsidiary of Caisse des Dépôts created in 1963, combines a trio of forestry, property and financial expertise. It is the leading forest manager in France, with an area of 270,000 ha of forests, for €1.8bn of assets managed. In the afforestation / reforestation sector, every year Société Forestière produces between 2,000 and 3,500 ha of crops over the estates that it manages in France (all species combined).


BRL is a local semi-public company created in 1955. Nowadays it is a group with experience in the three areas as a developer, designer and manager and Caisse des Dépôts is its second largest shareholder (14%). BRL participates in regional development by mobilising safe water resources (mainly coming from the Rhône or dams) and taking on the Aqua Domitia hydraulic infrastructure project, to respond to the needs of economic activities (tourism, agriculture) and populations (drinking water), all the while preserving the most delicate local resources.

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