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Janssen Pharmaceutica in Beerse started deep geothermal drilling at the end of 2019. The wells are 2.4 km deep and pump water at a temperature of at least 85°C. Water supplies industrial buildings and processes with heat and cooling via a heat network. Janssen Pharmaceutica is the first company in Flanders that is fully committed to deep geothermal energy and wants to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30%.

By pumping hot water with a temperature of at least 85°C from a depth of 2.4 km, Janssen Pharmaceutica heats its smart heat network on the company campus in Beerse via a heat exchanger. This heat network – consisting of 3.5 km of pipes – supplies buildings as well as production and research units with heating and cooling. This guarantees a sustainable solution, because the technology is virtually CO2-neutral and practically inexhaustible.

Sustainable strategy
In addition, Janssen Pharmaceutica has signed a long-term contract for the purchase of 100% green electricity via an off-shore wind farm in the North Sea and a wind turbine is being commissioned at the site in Geel. In the business processes too, work is being done on circular technology and so-called ‘green chemistry’, where fundamental savings and reuse of solvents and rare raw materials are already being made today.

Strategic investment
The geothermal project costs 40 million euros. The investment is largely supported by the J&J CO2 fund, but several partners have been fundamental in the realisation of the project. The geothermal project at Janssen Pharmaceutica has been set up partly thanks to the financial support of the Flemish Energy Agency, the Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the European Regional Development Fund.