We won't see any spectacular technical developments in boilers in the coming years, since the boiler is a product that's advanced in its lifecycle, but the demand for boilers won't decrease in the future. "For large-scale heat demand, we will, for now, need boilers with burners. In the long term, I expect fuel to be replaced with hydrogen, but that's not for the near future", says Wouter Voortman with Boeters Ketel Constructie.
Although the Dutch government decided that the Netherlands has to stop using gas, the country isn't representative for the rest of the world, according to Wouter. "In Germany and France, you get subsidy when you start using gas and in Russia, the Nord Stream 2 is being installed to supply Europe with gas. Since a lot is done with oil and stone coal in Germany, gas is a sustainable alternative there. In the Netherlands we've been using it for a long time, and now we want to get rid of it." However, sustainable alternatives are still being developed. "To make homes CO2-neutral is doable, but for bulk users like greenhouses, the alternatives aren't good enough yet. Greenhouses with connection to geothermal heat, still have a boiler as backup. In twenty to thirty years I expect a transition towards hydrogen, for which boilers and burners can also be used."
Jerry Ragil welding
In January, Boeters Ketel Constructie received the ASME certificate, which allows them to supply their boilers to North America as well. "It was quite the certification journey, for which a lot of papers were required," explains Wouter. "We have to register all sources and trace the requirement. It requires full documentation." With the certificate, the company from Honselersdijk can supply to more markets. "World population grows, so the demand for greenhouse building will stay, or even increase. We see that countries increasingly want to become more self-sufficient in food production. Boilers are necessary everywhere, whether to supply heat or CO2.
Back in horticulture
Wouter has returned to the horticultural industry. He is responsible for the commercial side of Boeters Ketel Constructie and is co-owner. That last role he shares with Bram Heemskerk, who takes care of internal affairs, Rob Boeters who is mostly active in the workshop and Harald Groeneveld is one of the co-owners. Wouter: "It came to my attention that the medium business character of the horticulture supply technique is lowering. More investors get into horticulture, which increases the size."
One of the butterfly valves with motor
Wouter likes BKC because it is a small company with a flat organisation. The fact that it is small means that he can concentrate on the entrepreneurship. The four of them are convinced that having fun in business is just as important as revenue growth. The goal is to keep growing and to stay focussed on the customer. In the coming years, they want to show their wholesale activities. Already, butterfly valves are supplied to heating installers, and the company wishes to expand the portfolio.