10 ha German project split in two because of height differences

For half a year now, not much has been heard about the plans to build an XXL greenhouse for tomatoes and peppers with an area of around 100,000 m2 on a former coal mine site in Germany. The first tomatoes were to be harvested in Oer-Erkenschwick as early as the beginning of 2022. Yet, the geographical nature of the site is delaying the construction.

"Because there are height variances of two to four meters in the greenhouse area, we had to change the plans," says Fakt AG CEO Prof. Hubert Schulte-Kemper in the Stimberg Zeitung. Instead of one large greenhouse, Fakt AG now wants to build two independent buildings on the colliery terrain.

In the first construction phase, a 50,000 m² greenhouse is to be built. Earthworks are to begin on this site before the end of the year. The greenhouses are to be erected relatively quickly, in two to three months. Before that, however, quite a few cubic meters of soil will have to be moved. "By August 2022 at the latest, we then want to harvest the first tomatoes there. We have to keep to the supply contracts with our distributor, who wants to supply discounters and food markets in the region with fresh vegetables from Oer-Erkenschwick," says Schulte-Kemper.

Fakt AG plans to start the second phase directly afterwards. The greenhouse will be somewhat smaller, with a usable area of around 45,000 square meters. Here, harvesting is scheduled to start in early 2023. "I don't see any problems with the required expert opinions and approvals, for example from the Lower Water Authority. We expect to submit the building application for the greenhouses in the next three to four weeks," says Schulte-Kemper.

The largest area in Oer-Erkenschwick - after Haard
In total, Fakt AG is acquiring an area of 280,000 m² on the colliery wasteland, which is afflicted with contaminated sites. "On the undeveloped site, we will create an ecological dream world, detached from the Haard the largest in Oer-Erkenschwick," announces the CEO.

The greenhouse area of 95,000 m² is roughly the size of 14 soccer fields. The XXL glass boxes will be about seven meters high. In addition, there will be about 400 square meters for the administration wing and the packaging hall. To prevent the tomatoes from dying of thirst in dry weather, two rainwater retention basins with a capacity of 30,000 cubic meters are to be built next to the former colliery railway line. The access is to be at the level of the former land sales. Fakt-AG wants to use the existing mine gas district heating network to heat the greenhouse.

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