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Greenhouse complex worth €80 million to be built in Slovenia

Prekmurje, a region to the north-east of Slovenia, will become the location of the country's largest greenhouse vegetable production complex, thanks to an €80 million investment. Production will start in 2026. The GreenGardens project was presented on June 27 in Dobrovnik, where the partners intend to build greenhouses on 22 hectares to produce vegetables sustainably, using renewable energy.

The Slovenia Times reports that partners Matej Bandelj and Gregor Počivavšek explained that high-tech sustainable production could increase Slovenia's self-sufficiency when it comes to certain types of vegetables by 10%. Lettuce should be grown on around 5 hectares, with the remaining 10 net hectares handed over to other interested growers.

"As vegetables will be cultivated in a controlled environment with optimal conditions in terms of heat, humidity, light and nutrients, they will be able to prosper all year round," confirmed Bandelj. The project was developed to maximize the use of the renewable energy sources available, taking advantage of geothermal and solar energy, the constantly low temperatures of underground water and technologically-advanced solutions.

In addition to the net production areas, the facility will also include tanks to store rainwater, paved transport areas, cold-storage units, machine rooms and other technical rooms. The bilingual municipality on the border with Hungary, which is already home to the greenhouses of orchid producer OceanOrchids, welcomed the investment and the jobs that it will create, estimated at 100 to 150.

According to Forbes Slovenija, the project involves three partners: in addition to Matej Bandelj and Gregor Počivavšek there is Boštjan Bandlej, one of the wealthiest Slovenian citizens who is also the Manager of Belektron, a trading company that focuses mainly on carbon emission quotas. Official statistics estimate a percentage of self-sufficiency when it comes to lettuce of 25% until 2023, which could reach 53%.


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