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A good location

Portrait

NUON is part of Vattenfall, one of Europe’s largest electricity companies and Europe’s largest supplier of heat. NUON Energie und Service GmbH was originally part of Akzo Nobel but was sold to NUON in 2000. The acquisition fitted well with NUON’s plans for expansion in the German market.

Head of Site Services Josef Minkenberg has been with the company for 25 years. “I started here when it was owned by Akzo Nobel and have been involved in all of the changes since then, including the founding of NUON Energie und Service GmbH. Besides our ability to provide our customers with all of their energy and wastewater requirements, I believe that our location is a key factor in the company’s ongoing success.”

NUON Energie und Service GmbH owns and operates the Oberbruch industrial park in Heinsberg. The region is home to highly productive and future-oriented companies from all branches of industry and is situated in one of the most important economic areas of Western Europe, close to the borders of Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.

As well as being home to many leading technological firms, the region is also known as an area of academic excellence with many renowned colleges, universities and research institutes located within a radius of just 60 km.

“The Aachen technology region is home to just 1% of the population of Germany but 10% of its scientists,” adds Mr. Minkenberg, who is in charge of the operative side of the company’s activities.

These primarily involve the supply of electricity and steam, and the treatment and disposal of wastewater. In this way the park operates on the same principle as a public utility company. As an independent operator, NUON Energie und Service GmbH supplies on-site companies with all types of energy, is responsible for wastewater treatment and disposal, as well as rubbish collection.

The company also supplies drinking water, demineralised water, cooling energy, gas and compressed air. “We aim to offer our customers the best possible service at extremely favourable conditions so that they can focus entirely un their core businesses,” says Mr. Minkenberg. “Our priority is ensuring the highest possible availability and safety levels at competitive prices.” Thanks to this combination of top location and outstanding infrastructure, the Oberbruch industrial park has succeeded in attracting a range of leading companies including the Japanese-owned Toho Tenax, a major producer of carbon fibres; CFCL, an Australian manufacturer of fuel cells; and the global IT services giant Atos Origin. Manager Supply - NUON Industry Parks Eelco Vrieling, who is responsible for the sales side of the business, points out one of the park’s unique features. “

The Oberbruch industrial park operates on heat energy, as do all of the parks run by NUON. This is one of our key advantages and a major selling point. Our wastewater treatment plant is also a decisive factor influencing the decision to set up here.”

At present there are 20 companies at the Oberbruch park, employing around 1,500 people in total. The site covers an area of 110 ha, and there are currently around 25 ha of vacant commercial and industrial land available. All services are certified and comply with the DIN EN ISO 9001:2001 and 14001 standards.

The supply of core media such as electricity, heat and steam accounts for 50% of turnover although this varies from one park to the next. “Our core media represent the central focus of the value chain,” says Mr. Minkenberg. “We also supply demand-driven solutions as well as complete site-management solutions.

At present, the chemical industry is well represented among the park’s resident companies. NUON Energie und Service GmbH is keen to develop relations with food companies as a second key customer market. “The food industry is also dependent on heat, steam and wastewater disposal services, and this is a branch of industry that we have identified as being worthy of greater attention,” says Mr. Vrieling. “We already have good contacts in the food industry and will be working on intensifying these in the short term.”

The company works together with both national and international chambers of commerce and other professional associations.

“Although we are located in the heart of a major industrial and commercial centre, we still need to raise our profile and ensure we are on the radar of the people that matter,” says Mr. Vrieling. “My hope is that we will soon find a suitable client to occupy the vacant land that we still have available. Ideally, it would be a company with a considerable requirement for steam energy from either the chemical or food industries.”

NUON Energie und Service GmbH believes it has the perfect package to offer investors and the presence of other worldclass companies certainly confirms this. Prospective clients would be well advised not to delay and let an outstanding opportunity slip away.

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