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Looije Agro Technics furnish Slovak glasshouse project with geothermal heat

Looije Agro Technics in Turnice in Slovenia will shortly finish project Paradajz, which is about 20 kms from the Slovenian-Austrian border. It is a modern vegetable company with an area of 4 HA organised to grow tomatoes on substratum. "The first time I came into contact with the people behind Paradajz was in 2007," Martin Looije says. "Enthusiastic people with ideas, but still without knowledge of modern glasshouse horticulture. They found exactly what they were looking for with our company, to give their ideas a correct form and even more importantly to make sure that their ideas could become a reality."

The company of Paradajz in the Slovenian fields

Planning went without problems. Although to obtain the necessary financing and permits was more difficult and took years. "Ignorance of glasshouse horticulture at the local authorities and everything involved was the cause of the strangest questions, which nevertheless had to be replied to. The Slovenian originators believed in the plan without fail and continued to work and were successful," according to Looije.
When finance and permits were finally in order the project could really be started in August 2011. Except the ground work, which was done by local companies, all parts were contracted out in the Netherlands. The glasshouse was built by Kubo, heating comes from Bom, water and electricity were supplied and installed by Van de Arend-Sosef, cultivation gutters come from Meteor Systems and for final levelling people of Schellekens came to Slovenia. The late start of the winter had a positive influence on the building activities.

Although a gas fired boiler is available the heating has been connected to a geo-thermal source, which was drilled in the direct vicinity.

"This project is a good example of the manner in which specific Dutch horticultural knowledge and the ability to organise such a project can be used to realise a modern horticultural company abroad," explains Martin Looije. He continues, "the people of Paradajz are very satisfied with the end result and the way in which this came about. The project received quite a bit of attention in the Slovenian media, because of the example set for the entire region: e.g. see the film on: (23 minutes 45 seconds}.

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