The Suikerfabriek heating network – Veurne

March 20, 2017

Client:  West Flemish Intermunicipal
Period:  2013


The West-Vlaamse Intercommunale [West Flemish Intermunicipal], abbreviated to Wvi, is responsible for the integrated planning and project development of industrial parks and residential areas on behalf of the province and 54 West Flemish municipalities. Together with the city of Veurne, Wvi is planning a mixed-use urban development, blending commercial, residential and recreational uses in a natural environment, covering an area just under 120 acres.

About 500 residential units will create a significant heat requirement, despite the stringent energy efficiency requirements for new buildings. Ideally, this requirement will be met by a sustainable location-based energy supply in the form of a heating network. 3E carried out a feasibility study of this heating network on behalf of Wvi.

In the first part of the study, an inventory was made of the heat requirement for the existing industrial park at Veurne 1, as well as the heat requirement for the planned expansion and the planned residential area. At the same time, a study was carried out to see which of the existing companies on the industrial park would be able to provide 250 kW or more residual heat to the heating network at a minimum temperature of 80 oC. Two companies were visited in this context, but an energy balance for the recovery of heat from flue gases, followed by a cost estimate for the outcoupling, was only drawn up for one company.

The second part of the study consisted of drawing and hydraulic modelling of the future residential area’s heating network and making an estimate of the investment and operational costs. These figures form the input for the analysis of the financial feasibility. Heat production was calculated using 2 concepts, namely residual heat from the industrial company and CHP in combination with auxiliary boilers.

The financial feasibility study includes 3 parties: namely the supplier of residual heat, a heating company and the end consumers. The heating tariff for consumers was calculated at a slightly more favourable rate than using an individual natural gas condensing boiler. For the supplier of residual heat, a cost + fee has been proposed which provides a return that is equal to the threshold laid down in the audit covenant. This allowed the heating company to draw up a clear cash flow analysis.

Finally, based on various formal and informal contacts, a qualitative assessment was made as to whether there would be sufficient support from all parties for the construction of a collective system for heating and domestic hot water. The relevant parties include Wvi, project developers, future owners and tenants, and companies which are prepared to take on the role of heating company.