A large part of the energy needs of our customers relates to the supply of heating and cooling. Subsequently, our activities in this area are an important part of our strategy. With our projects, we can make a positive contribution to enhancing sustainability by means of the distribution of energy (residual heat and steam) to our customers. Our good communication with third parties contributes to the creation of social support for this form of sustainable energy.
Eneco handles all aspects of heating and cooling projects, including the indoor installations. This way we offer long-term, reliable and comfortable living and working environments for homes and offices. Because we also have considerable experience in the management of our projects, we can offer our customers optimal ease and convenience.
Eneco’s heat networks in Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague are still expanding significantly. By connecting to a heat network, customers operating in the housing or the commercial real estate sector can take substantial steps towards enhancing the sustainability of their real estate.
Eneco’s collective heat networks contribute to the sustainability of the energy supply. We are able to reduce CO2 emissions by 50% or more. At present, Eneco is taking steps to further improve the sustainability of all its heat networks. In Rotterdam, this involves the installation of a pipeline with a length of 17 kilometres that originates in the Botlek area. In Utrecht, a biomass plant will be constructed for the supply of heat to our customers.
Social unrest about the possibility of inconvenience for local residents in connection with the construction of heat networks can lead to both opportunities and threats. We run the risk of reputational damage, but timely involvement of and proper communication with local residents also offers opportunities.
The E.ON energy plant, which currently supplies residual heat to the heat network in Rotterdam, will be shut down in 2014. Another supplier in the form of AVR in Rozenburg shall supply Eneco with sustainable heat for its 45,000 heating customers in Rotterdam. As a result, CO2 emissions will be reduced by 95 kilotons on a yearly basis. The heat transmission pipeline will have a length of seventeen kilometres and will go trough and past the built-up areas Vlaardingen, Schiedam and Rotterdam.
Stakeholders were closely involved in the project from an early stage. We joined existing consultative bodies such as associations of businesses, owners associations, borough councils and environmental federations and organised information sessions for residents. These consultations have led to a large number of adjustments to the route of the pipeline. Furthermore, drilling will be used at some locations instead of open excavation to reduce inconvenience for local residents to a minimum. Residents are pleased with the timeliness and transparency of the supply of information. Earlier opponents have even become ambassadors. In December, crucial parts of the project in the form of tunnels under the Nieuwe Waterweg canal and the Kethelplein junction were completed successfully. The pipeline will be put into operation in October 2014.
About five years ago, consultations were started with the municipality of Amstelveen concerning the relocation of a boiler house. The heat station at the new location needed to have twice the capacity of the old one, in order to meet the demand of the growing number of connections to the heat network. The first milestone in the process of transferring the activities from the old boiler house was reached at the end of 2013 with the testing of and taking control over the new heat station. The next milestone is the installation of extra boilers to double the capacity of the heat station to 16 MWth (which equals the heat consumption of approximately 2,300 households).
In 2013, the Geothermal Heat The Hague project went bankrupt. Eneco was one of the six participating parties, which also included three housing corporations. Unfortunately, these corporations built fewer new houses than planned, resulting in uncertainty with respect to future profitability. The supply of heat to the homes already connected is continued via a connection to the district heating network of The Hague.
For the time being, Eneco has also decided not to pursue the possibility of optimising and improving the sustainability of the district heating network in The Hague by means of geothermal energy. Extensive geological research shows that the geothermal source that was going to be used for this purpose is not as large as was first expected. Consequently, investment would not be profitable. Eneco actively continues to investigate alternatives.
Eneco has also become the market leader in the supply of heating and cooling installations for commercial real estate (office buildings). Our systems use natural sources of heat and cold from the ground and surface water for cooling purposes. Examples include the largest office building in the Netherlands, De Rotterdam, which is cooled by means of water from the river Meuse and the new Deloitte office that is being built in Amsterdam. As of 2015, Eneco will also supply heating and cooling for the new building of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
The St. Antonius Ziekenhuis Nieuwegein (AZN) has a heating connection with a capacity of 11 MW, which makes it one of Eneco’s largest heating customers in the province of Utrecht. In addition to heating, Eneco also supplies steam to AZN. At the end of 2013, the cooperation between Eneco and AZN was extended and the two parties concluded a contract for the renewal and enlargement of the steam installation. The agreement, which has a minimum duration until the end of December 2032, regulates the rent of the steam plant by AZN and the responsibility of Eneco for its maintenance and management.
In 2013, a steam transmission network in the industrial Botlek area of Rotterdam was put into operation by Stedin, the grid operator within Eneco Group responsible for the transportation of gas and electricity in the densely populated Randstad area. Our steam transmission network facilitates the efficient use of steam that is generated but not used by one company in the production process of another company.
Waste processor and steam supplier AVR and chemical company and steam consumer Emerald Kalama Chemical (EKC) are the first customers. 750,000 tons of process steam is supplied by AVR to EKC via an aboveground steam pipe with a length of more than two kilometres. The reuse of the steam generated by AVR improves the energy efficiency of the entire chain. Less fossil fuels are required and lower quantities of CO2 and NOx are emitted into the atmosphere. In time, this will result in an annual reduction of 200 to 400 kilotons of CO2 emissions per year. The project thus contributes substantially to the climate objectives of the city of Rotterdam.
We expect to be able to make a decision in 2014 about the realisation of a second part of the steam pipeline in the form of an extension with a length of three kilometres between EKC and Akzo Nobel.
Joulz is responsible for the management and maintenance of Groningen Seaports, the largest steam network in the Netherlands. Using its expertise in this area, Joulz prepared a maintenance plan in 2013 for a steam network for the Port of Moerdijk.