Beer, milk powder and Mars bars could soon be produced with the help of geothermal

Beer, milk powder and Mars bars could soon be produced with the help of geothermal Bavaria beer, Netherlands (Source: Pexel Photos, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 1 Jul 2017

In a rather unique and diverse cooperation agreement, a beer brewer, milk-powder and chocolate producer and a local heat and cooling utility could soon tap into geothermal energy for their production in the Netherlands.

This week, five parties in Brabant in the Netherlands have signed an agreement for a research project to utilise geothermal heat. What makes it interesting is to see the diversity of the parties involved. Among them are beer brewer Bavaria, chocolate bar producer Mars, heating and cooling utility Ennatuurlijk and milk-powder producer FrieslandCampina Veghel.

The agreement was signed in Hertogenbosch for finding geothermal heat in the east part of the municipality of Brabant.

This autumn seismological research will start in Veghel, Someren, Helmond and Deurne to investigate the possibilities. With geothermal energy, warm water is pumped up from deep layers of the earth and back into it. In a pumping station, heat is transferred via a pipeline towards the factory. There it substitutes existing systems that are powered by steam. If geothermal heat can be available for Veghel, the milk factory Veghel will need less fuel to gain steam. About EUR 1.9 million have been made available for these early studies.

This is the second geothermal project in the region after the announcement of a geothermal heating project in Tilburg in May this year.

Bavaria CEO Jan-Renier Swinkels, sees geothermal energy to be”a breakthrough” in the field of sustainability: ,, For thirty years we have cut down each year two percent on our energy consumption. But we can be a really big step. If we do not need gas or electricity, is the best move you can make. “

“For us geothermal energy will play a crucial part in our pasteurization of milk, and making milk powder “, outlines director Wim Simon of FrieslandCampina. If geothermal energy in Veghel is available, the dairy need less fuel to produce steam.

Source: Brabants Dagblad, Friesland Campina