This can sometimes lead to the need to amend environmental permits or change zoning plans to support existing activities, or even sale to a party or parties that are better able to develop or use such a site. Cosun Beet Company is developing the locations of the existing sugar factories in Dinteloord (Nieuw Prinsenland) and Groningen (adjacent to Westpoort), selling parts of the sites of former sugar factories in Roosendaal and Puttershoek, and selling a building that was part of its agricultural institute in Bergen op Zoom.
Agro and Food Cluster Nieuw Prinsenland
The Agro and Food Cluster (AFC) Nieuw Prinsenland in Dinteloord is a joint initiative of Cosun Beet Company and the TOM (Horticulture Development Company). Alongside the existing sugar factory, an industrial estate with a gross area of 70 hectares for companies in the agriculture and food sector and a greenhouse horticulture site with a gross area of around 280 hectares for large-scale greenhouse horticulture companies have been developed here. The aim of this clustering is to expand opportunities for sustainability through symbiosis and cooperation between companies. Four companies have already set up operations at the site. Lots ranging in size from two to ten hectares are still available for purchase. The permitted building height is 40 metres. Cosun has also moved its Innovation Centre and agricultural institute to this location. A business incubation centre has also been built, to facilitate the development of demonstration plants and the needs of smaller start-ups and scale-ups in spaces ranging from 500 to 1000 m2.
The first examples of the intended symbiosis and cooperation are:
The water factory of the greenhouse horticulturists, which further purifies purified process water from the sugar factory for use as irrigation water. Even the sugar factory uses this extra-purified water for its boilers. The extra-purified water is stored in natural underground reservoirs.
On the site of the sugar factory, the installation of four 3.2 MWe wind turbines was made possible in a cluster of twelve in total. Pure Energie built these wind turbines, operates them, and supplies the generated renewable energy to the new 150 kV substation.
Work is underway on a residual heat network. The intention is for market gardeners to be able to use residual heat from the sugar factory and other local companies.
The industrial estate and the greenhouse horticulture site each have their own business association, which facilitate cooperation between established parties, among other things.
Cosun Solar Park
Cosun Beet Company wants to use as much sustainable energy as possible. The sugar specialities factories in Puttershoek en Roosendaal are now the first two plants to cover their electricity consumption with solar power. In the summer of 2021 Cosun Beet Company realized a solar park of 17 ha on an old industrial site in Puttershoek. Of these 17 ha, 7 ha (equivalent to 9,7 MW peak power) have been connected directly to the sugar specialities factory in Puttershoek. The energy produced by these 7 ha is overall enough for both sugar specialities factories. However, both factories remain connected to the national electricity grid, because in summer these 7 ha produce too much and in winter too little electricity to cover daily demand. The remaining 10 ha of the solar park are owned by Klimaat Fonds Nederland. These are connected directly to the national electricity grid. Klimaatfonds Nederland invests in the production of renewable energy.
While other players in the European sugar industry are only now switching from coal to gas, Cosun Beet Company is already taking the next step in the energy transition: from natural gas to green gas and solar power.