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Introducing greenhouse tomatoes from Hauts-de-France

09 Feb 2017 | Health Nutrition, Investment, Front page

Belgian entrepreneurs are investing €15 million in a 9-hectare expanse of greenhouses for tomatoes in Arques.

Breaking new ground

Belgium’s Vandevelde family is building a major greenhouse tomato center in Northern France at Arques, near Saint-Omer, in tandem with Belgian fruit and vegetable cooperative Reo Veiling. The venture will cost €15 million and create 9 hectares—22 acres—of greenhouses, along with 45 jobs. With annual output estimated at 5,500 metric tons, this crop represents a new departure for local agriculture.

An electrifying venture

And it gets better: thanks to cogeneration—the simultaneous production of electricity and heat—the constant temperature required inside the greenhouses will also generate 4.5 MW of electricity per hour, or enough to light up a town of 15,000. Surplus power will be sold to France’s national grid through power utility EDF.

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