Twence and Grolsch make Twente more sustainable by using green heat

A unique collaboration in Twente between a waste processor and a beer producer. They are making the region more sustainable by using heat from processing waste. A great alternative to using fossil fuels, which are not sustainable and increasingly scarce.

In short

  • Twente beer brewery and waste processor work together to make the region more sustainable
  • Grolsch receives 100% green heat from waste processor Twence by linking to the existing heat network


Global Goal

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350 to 500 trucks arrive at Twence daily, with VGF (Vegetable, Garden and Fruit waste), non-reusable household residual waste, non-usable wood waste (biomass), bulky household waste and construction and demolition waste from Twente. All this waste is for processing, but it will be put to good use. Twence uses it to produce raw materials and energy such as compost, electricity, biogas, hot water and steam. The green energy is distributed in Twente through the electricity grid, steam pipes and the heat network. 

Heat network

For example, Twente’s biomass power plant produces 100% green heat from non-reusable waste wood. They have been supplying this sustainable high-temperature heat to Enschede’s heat network (the most sustainable heat network in the Netherlands in 2019 and 2020) for years. Grolsch Brewery will start using this heat at the end of 2022 via a 1.3-kilometre-long pipeline. They will be using it for heating rinsing machines, pasteurisers and the heating of the building itself. Twence is also looking further ahead; there are plans to supply more than 100,000 homes in Twente with sustainable heat. 


“The cooperation between Twence and Grolsch is amazing”, says Daniël Platvoet with enthusiasm. He supervises the project on behalf of Grolsch. “We want to become more sustainable, and it is great that this can be done with another party in the region.” The first discussions took place a long time ago, even during the construction of the new brewery next to the A35. “And again when the heat network was established in 2008. We started a study in 2017 to research all the aspects. The tricky part is that we do not need continuous heat; we have peaks in our processes. So we needed to buffer hot water, which was the biggest challenge. The results are great, though, because we have reduced our CO2 emissions by two-thirds.” And this is only the first step for the beer brewery. “We want to become even more sustainable.”

Linked to the manufacturing industry

It is the first time Twence is linking the heat network to the manufacturing industry in this way. “It is a challenge, but we hope to inspire other companies to look at sustainable solutions. Working together really pays off”, says Arnaud-Jan Nijenhuis, project manager at Twence

Nijenhuis is proud of the results. “We are doing everything we can to get as many raw materials and energy as possible from waste, biomass and the sun. We cannot make Twente more sustainable on our own, though. We have to work together with municipalities, businesses and other cooperation partners; we can make the region more sustainable together. The cooperation between Grolsch and Twence is a great step towards this goal.”

The project took a long time: linking a company like Grolsch to the heat network involves many other things. “But we succeeded. We are almost at the point where we can start supplying hot water to Grolsch. We will start sending hot water through the pipes in November, and everything will be ready to start in December. We are very confident.”

Date: 12 September 2022 |

Source of tekst: Twence & Grolsch |

Author: Marloes Neeskens

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