(c) Holland Malt

Holland Malt is starting the realisation of a completely emission-free malthouse in Eemshaven, province of Groningen. Thanks to a new, innovative heat system, the malting process no longer uses fossil fuels, biomass or other energy sources that cause harmful emissions. With this, the malthouse is taking a big step in its energy transition. The system that is to ensure this transition will be fully operational in 2024.

By completely turning off the gas tap, the malthouse reduces its CO2 emissions, comparable to the emissions of 14,000 households per year. Jos Jennissen, CEO of Holland Malt: “Malt is one of the main ingredients of beer. The malting process is energy-intensive, particularly the drying of malt requires a lot of heat. Heat that is currently generated by burning fossil fuels or biomass. And that is where we see the opportunity to become more sustainable.”

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The biggest innovation in the energy transition of the malthouse is the reuse of its own residual heat and the energy savings this produces by using heat pumps. Jennissen: “We capture the residual heat from our drying process at 23 degrees and can upgrade it to the required 85 degrees by means of the heat pump. This way, we can reuse it for the next drying process. The use of the heat pump results in an energy saving of 67 percent. The heat system must of course be supplied with energy. This energy is entirely obtained from sustainable energy sources such as wind and solar energy. In this way, we first save and then become more sustainable. “

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    “We cannot ignore the fact that, as an industry, we will have to make other choices to combat global warming. We choose to contribute by setting up an emission-free malting process. The steps we take in this regard can also serve as inspiration for other companies. That way, we can make a difference together,” says Jennissen. Holland Malt’s move is in line with the circularity ambition of parent company Royal Swinkels Family Brewers to pass on the company in a circular manner. Jennissen: “As a family business, we think in terms of generations, not years. We want to pass on an even better company. That is why we are constantly working on smarter and more sustainable entrepreneurship. The next step for Holland Malt is to look beyond our own malting process and investigate how we can make the chain even more sustainable.”

    Valuable cooperation

    This sustainability project has been shaped thanks to the collaboration with the Province of Groningen, Groningen Seaport, RWE and the Dutch government. IJzebrand Rijzebol, member of the Provincial Executive of Groningen: “We are very proud of this sustainable development in Eemshaven. Our industry needs to become greener, and the Holland Malt initiative is an important step in that direction. As the province of Groningen, we are happy to support this. It is also a good example for the rest of the world. Together, we are working on a green, future-proof industry.” The first major customers (brewers) have also joined the project and are investing in making the chain more sustainable. From 2024 onwards, these breweries will purchase 100 percent emission-free produced malt from the malthouse in Eemshaven. To mark the official launch of the project, today Holland Malt is launching its sharpened identity including a new website

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