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NL: 'Large international heat network in Netherlands step closer'

The large international heat network in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, Netherlands, seems to be another step closer. When the time comes, horticulturists will benefit, predicts brokerage firm WLTM.

As part of the energy transition, major parties have joined forces. At the end of this month, they will sign a cooperation agreement expressing their intention to explore the plans further.

Expand heat network
Horticulture in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen is already connected to the Yara plant, which provides a decent amount of heat and CO₂. However, to enhance the reliability of supply, a heat network is the next logical step, says Piet Reedijk of Kwekerij De Westerschelde. "Around here, this will involve Yara, Dow, and Cargill participating in the network, which will even be linked to Ghent."

Such a network will not be established in one year, but until then there is the existing, smaller heat network, in which Yara in particular provides heat. "Last year, we got enough heat from that. Only two years ago, it was briefly difficult with the gas crisis, but basically, everyone in the Netherlands suffered from that. In the end, all greenhouses were fully planted again and on time. The security of supply is good now, especially after the new investments of 194 million made on the Yara site."

Warm welcome
Piet also looks back on what it was like to end up in a new greenhouse area near Terneuzen some 15 years ago. Residents in the area were and are generally positive about it. "For example, the foreign workers also provide work for the community again; it's a boost for the whole local economy."

All in all, it is a sizeable horticultural area, with 136 hectares under glass. All those growers consult each other regularly, also about the future, with the Warmco foundation's heat network coming up. "As a loner, you don't achieve much, so it's nice to be able to pull together," he says.

New owner wanted
This is good news for any newcomers to the area. And they might just come soon, because Piet and his brother Johan are retiring after almost 40 years in the horticultural profession. They have put the eight-hectare pepper farm up for sale. "It is a completely independent cultivation company, complete with a shed, sorting machine, office, and all the trimmings, consisting of 11.25.30 ha of land with about 80,940 m² of greenhouse stands from 2009."

In any case, the new owner is stepping into a business with a low carbon footprint. "We use no CHP, no fossil fuels. As a result, we have a very low carbon footprint: 0.5 kg per kilo of peppers."

For more information:
Tel: 088-4111888
[email protected]

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