Rotterdam to get new heat network worth some €100 million

Visser & Smit Hanab, a VolkerWessels company, has been awarded a contract to design, build and maintain a unique heat network in the Rotterdam area. This heat network is an initiative of Warmtebedrijf Rotterdam. The network of pipes will enable reuse of residual heat released during industrial processes in the Rotterdam port. The heat will be transported to Rotterdam-Zuid along a route that is 26 kilometres long.

201109 route leiding uitgezoomd.jpg
201109 route leiding uitgezoomd.jpg


Work is to start in the spring of 2012 and last for about a year and a half. Visser & Smit Hanab will be laying a pipe network comprising 26 kilometres of underground pipeline including the appropriate installations such as heat transfer and pump stations. The activities include various rail, road and waterway intersections. After that, Visser & Smit Hanab will be responsible for the upkeep of the complete installation for 15 years. Once the heat network is ready in mid-2013, it will be producing a volume of renewable heat equalling the heat consumption of approx. 50,000 households.

Residual heat

A huge amount of heat is released in industrial processes in the port of Rotterdam, heat that now disappears into the atmosphere or is discharged into water, whereas it could easily be used to heat houses or businesses. This is the thinking behind this heat network: with a network of pipes, residual heat can be effective reused elsewhere, obviating the need for a great many individual, gas-heated central heating boilers. The heat network will reduce the annual CO2 discharge by some 70 to 80 kilo tonnes, calculations from the Rotterdam council have shown.


For the time being, waste and power plant AVR-Van Gansewinkel are the only suppliers to the heat network; from mid-2013 onwards, the heat will be purchased by the power companies E.ON Benelux, Nuon and Eneco, which will distribute it to the final users. Councillor Alexandra van Huffelen is pleased that work can start now: "The added value of the pipe network is that it can be laid in such a way that other companies along the entire route can purchase or supply heat. Besides, in the future the network can be coupled to other sources of renewable energy such as ground heat, biomass and solar energy, which will eventually reduce the volume of CO2 even further. The heat network therefore ties in perfectly with the Rotterdam Climate Initiative's targets."