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Green light for deep geothermal energy at Janssen Pharmaceutica in Beerse

Operational from autumn 2021, with 30% CO2 savings

After an extraordinary year with many challenges, we can now announce that today we give the green light for the next phase of the project. The decision was made based on the positive test results of the injection and production well. This will enable Janssen Pharmaceutica to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30%. Additionally, it also offers prospects for other geothermal projects in the region. 

Positive test results

Just over a year ago, on December 5th 2019, the first deep geothermal drilling on the Beerse site started. A unique project in which energy from the deep subsurface is used to provide the company buildings with heating and cooling. It is a 100% green and sustainable technology that is inexhaustible and has no impact whatsoever on the environment. 

Meanwhile, the drilling work has been completed. The depth of the production well (which is used to pump up groundwater from the subsurface) is 2.235m and that of the injection well (which is used to pump groundwater back into the subsurface) is 2.051m.

30% reduction in CO2 emissions

We will save as much as 30% of our CO2 emissions in one fell swoop. This project is therefore characteristic of the role we see for Janssen: that of an innovative company with a broad social mission for the health of people and the environment.

Starting next autumn, we will provide the Beerse campus with renewable energy, thanks to our deep geothermal power station and the associated hot water network. We will bring the geothermal heat to the users through a heat exchanger and a heat distribution network that is 2.7 km long. This will generate energy for production and for building heating on our site. We will take a year to optimize the processes, and thereby the CO2 winnings. After that, we expect to increase our CO2 winnings even further.

Example of private geothermal energy in Flanders

This is an exemplary project: not only with regard to the technical feasibility of deep geothermal energy in Flanders, but also with regard to the legal and financial modalities.

We would like to quote Zuhal Demir, Flemish Minister of Energy and Environment:

When it comes to the climate and energy transition, Flanders is prepared to go deep. And you can take that literally. The results of these well tests are encouraging and prove that, with our Flemish know-how, we have trump cards in our hands for taking major steps forward. We must not claim victory too soon, off course: we are not quite there yet, but the efforts made here in the field of innovation and energy are very promising.

In short, with this project, we are making a difference for the future of the next generations within J&J, Flanders and Europe. 

Kris Sterkens, CEO Janssen Pharmaceutica

Marijke Anthuenis, project leader geothermal energy, J&J

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