A sustainable connection for Amsterdam district heating networks

Submitted by admin on Tue, 06/22/2021 - 11:03
heating networks

Over the years our company has specialized in major district heating projects. This is an important part of our strategy to lead in sustainable change. As a technical service provider and main contractor, we are responsible for building the auxiliary heating plant of Amsterdam South Connection.


The build of the Amsterdam South Connection, an auxiliary heat plant and a heat buffer for energy company Vattenfall, has been completed. Thanks in part to the construction and connection to existing heat networks, the city of Amsterdam will achieve a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2025 thanks to the Amsterdam South Connection.

ENGIE builds sustainable connection for Amsterdam district heating networks


The construction of the Amsterdam South Connection is in full swing: this new auxiliary heating plant and 3.8 km of pipes interconnect the western and eastern parts of the Amsterdam district heating network, making the grid even more sustainable. By 2040, a total of almost 300,000 households in Amsterdam should be connected to the gas-free heat network. The building will have a special appearance, with 550 solar panels on the roof.


The Amsterdam South Connection (ASC) will complete the district heating ring by connecting the eastern, non-sustainable part to the sustainable western part. As a result, the east of the city can then be heated more sustainably. The reliability of supply from the grid will also be increased, because the heat now comes from more sides.


Enhanced sustainability


The 150 MWth auxiliary heat plant consists of four boilers (expandable to five), which can assist during peaks. “The goal is what we call 'peak shaving',” says John Kuijs, project manager at ENGIE. “The boilers have been installed to assist during peaks. When the peak is over, we switch as quickly as possible to the basic plant, which runs purely on renewable residual heat.”


The boilers are still powered by natural gas, but the plan is to power them with sustainable bio-oil. Moreover, the boilers are also used as efficiently as possible. A hot water reservoir will be installed at the top of the building to ensure that the boilers do not have to run at full steam during peaks. Further sustainability is achieved by 794 solar panels that together provide 258kWp of peak capacity.


Vision and knowledge of sustainable district heating networks

Vattenfall selected our company because, as market leader in technical services, it has the vision and knowledge to design, develop, prefabricate and build district heating plants and complete sustainable district heating networks. The engineering is in the final stage, the work on the construction site is progressing steadily. The construction of the ASC is part of a chain of Amsterdam district heating projects to which we are contributing.


Coronavirus challenges


The installation was built modularly, with all pipelines prefabricated at the in-house Mechanical Shop on our site in Zaandam. As the project has been labelled “critical infrastructure,” we were allowed to continue working on the project during the coronavirus crisis and in the event of a complete lockdown, albeit with the necessary modifications to guarantee a safe working environment for ENGIE employees.


The prefabrication started at two separate locations of the shop, says Dennes Egberts, manager of the Mechanical Shop. “In this way we ensured more distance between the employees. Thanks to the proper arrangements, the total production of the pipelines was not delayed. The timely supply of materials did, however, present challenges, particularly with foreign subcontractors, so a good logistics plan was required for the supply and removal. That challenge will repeat itself when we have to transport the prefabricated parts to the site.”


Key figures

  • 300,000 households
  • 40% reduction of CO2 by 2020 
  • 5,500 solar panels