BIA history

1902

Georges Bia, a mining engineer, opened a sales office in Brussels to cover the Belgian and Congolese markets. He was chosen to represent the aviation-related activities of the Wright Brothers.

1930

A distribution contract was signed with Nordberg, a crushing machine manufacturer, for quarries and mines in Belgium and the Congo.

BIA very soon became a leading light in catering for mining and quarry-related crushing and screening requirements and succeeded in achieving a dominant position in the market, a position which it still holds today.

1935

Against the background of constant technical progress and the tremendous development of the Congolese mining industry, Georges Bia began operating in the Congo.

1948

Jacques Bia, Georges Bia’s son, also a mining engineer, founded three companies: two distribution companies based in Brussels and the Congo (the BIA Technical Office), and a mechanical repair company in the Congo.

Exclusive contracts involving several product ranges were signed for Belgium and the Congo:

  • Road Machines monorail system,
  • Lima cranes and draglines,
  • Vickers bulldozers,
  • Stothert & Pitt rollers,
  • Austin Western levellers and the first telescopic cranes.

1953

Jacques Bia extended the company’s activities in the Congo as a result of purchasing a sandstone quarry, close to Kinshasa, to supply gravel to the construction industry in the region. BIA subsequently set up a coating plant in Kinshasa.

As part of its expansion drive, BIA consolidated its exclusive representations portfolio in Belgium and Congo to cater for the equipment requirements of several sectors: public works, mines, quarries, agriculture, transport and engineering workshops.

New representations:

  • Aveling Barford levellers, rollers, wheel tractor-loaders and dumpers for quarries,
  • LeTourneau diesel-electric wheel tractor-loaders,
  • Holman mobile compressors, for sites and quarries,
  • Poclain hydraulic shovels and PPM hydraulic cranes in Congo,
  • Yale lift trucks,
  • Sotres sand-washing and water clarifier system,
  • Cummins diesel engines,
  • Phoenix gravel spreader for road works,
  • Straddle carriers from Valmet, a pioneer in the port sector,
  • Broyt hydraulic shovels, for quarries and sites,
  • Unit Rig heavy diesel-electric dumpers,
  • White Oliver and David Brown farm machinery in Congo.

1967

The company relocated from Brussels to a new building in Overijse in order to be able to offer its customers an even better after-sales service.

1981

BIA took over the distribution of John Deere in Belgium to boost its range of public works equipment.

1987

Took over the distribution of Benford rollers and dumpers for sites.

1988

Distribution of the CMI brand, a manufacturer of planing machines and sliding forms for making concrete roads.

Over in Africa, BIA successfully expanded sales of Aveling Barford and Unit Rig dumpers, Cummins engines and Bucyrus cable shovels, to be used in the Katanga copper mines.

After 10 years overseeing the BIA Technical Office in Kinshasa, Serge Dubois became group manager.

1990

BIA became a distributor for Demag, a leading manufacturer of hydraulic shovels for quarries and mines.

1992

METALUBIA was created in Burundi.

1993

BIA bought up MOES DIESEL, a manufacturer of generating sets and an importer of Hatz engines for Belgium and Luxembourg. MOES DIESEL was operating in Belgium and Africa.

1997

Took over the distribution of Rammer hydraulic drills, now known under the Sandvik name.

1998

BIA signed an exclusive distribution contract with Komatsu for six French-speaking African countries and …celebrated its 50th anniversary. Launch of the BESTMAT company, which took over the activities of Case Belgium to strengthen BIA’s status as a key player in the Benelux public works sector.

2003

Komatsu contract extended to 11 African countries.

First Full Service contract signed for a new fleet comprising 25 Komatsu machines for bauxite mines in Guinea.

2004

BIA took over the exclusive distribution of Komatsu equipment for the Benelux countries and terminated the contract with Case. The BESTMAT team was incorporated into the BIA organisation.

BIA b.v. took over the existing team in the Netherlands. Market share gains were soon achieved as a result of the new strategy developed to reposition Komatsu in the marketplace.

2006

The BIA export department became BIA OVERSEAS s.a., a separate company created to step up our activities in Africa.

A Cummins engine refurbishment workshop and a technical training centre were built in Dakar, Senegal.

2008

Spare parts storage space (+1,000 m²) created in Overijse, Belgium.

Launch of the Komatsu Dakar Service Support Centre tasked with providing fast technical solutions in response to requests from our customers and teams.

2009

Launch of MATRENT s.a., a Komatsu public works vehicle rental company, to meet the increasing demand from our customers.

Launch of the 2MAT division to offer recent second-hand equipment manufactured by Komatsu.

MOES DIESEL continued its expansion in Africa through a dealership network.

On the basis of a partnership with Komatsu, the Dakar Training Centre became the Komatsu Dakar Training Centre, the Official Technical Training Centre for West Africa.

Launch of BIA Burkina in order to boost sales of public works equipment, while guaranteeing a local after-sales service.

2010

The Komatsu contract was extended to 14 African countries.

BIA won an exclusive distribution contract for Bomag products, covering nine territories in West Africa.

The AREVA Group awarded BIA an outstanding contract for a new mine in Niger. This key Komatsu fleet will be backed up by a full service contract.

2011

MOES DIESEL signed an exclusive distribution contract with the TecnoGen generating sets manu facturer for Belgium and several African countries, thereby offering a comprehensive range of generating sets producing up to 2,000 kVA.

Launch of a Komatsu Component Refurbishment Workshop in Dakar to lend support to the fleet of machines in the region. BIA developed a new spare parts logistical centre in Belgium to enhance its service in Africa.

A distribution contract was signed with Sandvik for several West African countries to allow BIA to consolidate its position in the public works, quarry and mining sectors.

Delivery in Belgium’s Tournaisis region of a 63’’ (305 tonnes) primary gyratory crusher made by Metso Minerals (formerly NORDBERG), a brand BIA has been distributing on an exclusive basis for the last 80 years.

BIA became a finalist in the «Business of the Year 2011» competition.

2012

BIA SERVICE s.a. opens for business in Fleurus in a new 3,000 m² workshop. This new company provides customers with a specialist construction site equipment repair and refurbishment service.

The Komatsu Mining Support Centre in Dakar launches a call centre, open seven days a week.

BIA delivers the first machines as part of an outstanding order for the First Quantum company to equip a new copper mine in Zambia. The Komatsu fleet includes 46 giant dumpers with a 150-327 tonnes capacity, 3 hydraulic shovels weighing 540 tonnes and 30 or so machines for mine support operations.

2014

BIA enters the French market by acquiring 50% of PGA TP.

2015

BIA delivers the first pieces of equipment of an exceptional order of 400 pieces of equipment to Boels company.

BIA opens a branch in Algeria and starts sales activities in Maghreb.