The homes and apartments in Veurne’s new neighborhood Suikerpark will soon all be heated thanks to a giant heat distribution grid. The heat will come from the residual heat of the potato chips oven of the nearby PepsiCo plant, which is unique in Belgium. Fluvius is already operating many heat distribution grids in Flanders, but this will be the first one to connect to industrial residual heat.
Sixteen years after the closure of its sugar factory, Stad Veurne, WVI, and ION are joining forces to revive the site. Thanks to European and Flemish subsidies and the collaboration with Fluvius and Noven, they built a heat distribution grid to ensure that the housing units will not require their own individual heating systems. The waste heat from the PepsiCo plant will be recovered and distributed through an underground piping network.
This is a tremendous move in the right direction because Europe wants all member states to be climate-neutral by 2050. To achieve that objective, we will need to make maximum use of renewable heat. This heat distribution grid can be an example for many future projects because the neighborhood’s heating will be entirely carbon-neutral, and the plant’s carbon emissions will be drastically reduced once the heat distribution grid link is operational.
Suikerpark is only the beginning because the objective is to use the heat distribution grid to heat several neighborhoods in Veurne. And that’s not all. Solar panels on the Suikertoren will provide renewable energy, and the water from the bathrooms will also be treated and reused. This means that res- idents will never need to worry about maintaining gas boilers, and they will also be getting affordable and fair green energy right at the same time.