Visser & Smit Hanab achieves 80% drop in CO2 emissions using low-temperature geothermal heat

VolkerWessels unit Visser & Smit Hanab has successfully delivered its first low-temperature geothermal (LTG) energy plant in Zevenbergen. LTG energy is heat extracted from relatively shallow soil layers that is then converted into usable energy. Low-temperature geothermal heat is an example of a technological advancement embraced by Visser & Smit Hanab that helps it flesh out its ambitions to realise the transition to sustainable energy.

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Visser & Smit Hanab started this geothermal energy project on the land owned by eggplant grower Greenbrothers in the Dutch city of Zevenbergen more than two years ago. Two wells were drilled on site: one extraction well and one injection well. Warm water (31°C) is extracted from 700 meters under the Earth’s surface through the extraction well and pumped up. The installation above the ground heats up the water to 55°C and it is then sent to the greenhouses. The cooled water is pumped back into the water tank at 10°C via the injection well. This installation above the ground is small in size (80 square metres) and located in the Greenbrothers carpark. Visser & Smit Hanab will remain in charge of managing and maintaining the installation in the coming years.

Low-temperature geothermal energy plays an important role in energy transition

More than 70% of the energy consumed in the built environment is used to heat up our homes and places of business. The vast majority of this heat is generated by burning natural gas which releases CO2. That means that there is a great need for alternative heat sources if we are to achieve the agreements reached in the climate deal. Geothermal energy plays an important role in this and should account for 25% of the CO2 reduction in 2050.

There are currently around 20 geothermal power projects in the Netherlands that warm up large areas with greenhouses using heat extracted from the soil layers 2-3 km under the Earth’s surface. To achieve the 2050 ambitions we will have to extract nearly 70 times more heat from under the surface than we do today.

Advantages of low-temperature geothermal energy

Thanks to this technique it is now also possible to use shallow soil layers to generate sustainable heat. LTG energy provides a number of significant advantages compared to traditional deeper geothermal extraction. There is a considerably lower impact on the environment and the lower temperature and the lower salt level this deep in the ground also places fewer demands on the materials used. That means that there is no need to add chemicals to protect the installation. And there is no need to capture the natural gas, making it a closed system. LTG energy sources are more compact, more efficient to install and cheaper, which makes it more suitable for heating a residential neighbourhood or a small greenhouse area.

An initial analysis reveals that at least 150 locations in the Netherlands are suitable for this. Within the context of promoting a sustainable living environment Visser & Smit Hanab aims to use LTG energy at as many locations as possible in the Netherlands. An installation similar to the one in Zevenbergen is capable of meeting the heating demands of around 3,000 households and quickly leads to an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to when using natural gas.

About Visser & Smit Hanab

As part of VolkerWessels, Visser & Smit Hanab has been a specialist in the field of above-ground and underground pipelines and cable infrastructure for more than 150 years. Visser & Smit Hanab wants to contribute to a sustainable society and accelerate and realise the energy transition together with its clients by focusing on electrification, wind turbines, solar farms, heat networks, hydrogen and geothermal energy. For more information about the possibilities that low-temperature geothermal energy has to offer please contact Visser & Smit Hanab Director Henk Herremans at Please also refer to the page about LTG on the Visser & Smit Hanab website:

Photo caption: The drill head is presented to Greenbrothers by Visser & Smit Hanab to mark the delivery. From left to right: Mark de Vrieze (V&SH), Ronald-Jan Post (Greenbrothers), Arnoud Crebolder (V&SH), Frank Groenewegen (Greenbrothers), Ben Groenewegen (Greenbrothers) and Sander Dortland (V&SH).