Photo: Guido Hansman

Electrolyser cuts fossil natural gas consumption


Furniture manufacturer Vepa produces its own green hydrogen

First manufacturer in the Dutch province of Drenthe to make such an investment

Emmen, 8 November 2023 – Dutch furniture manufacturer Vepa is investing heavily in sustainable production. An electrolyser for producing green hydrogen has recently been installed at the production site in the Dutch town of Emmen. This makes the company the first manufacturer in the Drenthe region to make such an investment. Hydrogen heats the furnace of the powder coating installation for painting furniture parts and cuts fossil natural gas consumption by 30%.

The elektrolyser at Vepa the furniture factory in Emmen was officially “unveiled” by Alderman Guido Rink of the municipality of Emmen.

F.l.t.r. Janwillem de Kam (managing director Vepa), Guido Rink (alderman of the municipality of Emmen), Bert Top (managing director Vepa)

(Photo: André Dümmer)

Circularity and innovation go hand in hand. By constantly investing energy, time and money in updating production methods, looking for sustainable energy solutions and working with innovative raw materials, the Fair Furniture Group – which includes Vepa – is constantly lowering the environmental impact of the entire organisation. One of the latest innovations is the production of green hydrogen to replace fossil natural gas. To produce green hydrogen, electrolysis is used. During this production process, no CO2 is released, which is why green hydrogen is considered the number one sustainable fuel and energy carrier of the future.

Bert Top, managing director of Vepa: “The energy we need to produce hydrogen is generated by the more than 3,000 solar panels on the roof of our Circular Centre. When they cannot supply enough in very bad weather, the energy needs are supplemented by Dutch wind power. The hydrogen gas is used to heat the furnace of our powder coating installation, structurally reducing natural gas consumption by 30%.” Alderman Guido Rink of the municipality of Emmen is pleased with this development. “The business community in Emmen stands out on a national and European scale for its progressive and innovative way of working on circularity and the use of green energy sources. In the region, we are working towards a hydrogen economy. I am really proud that Vepa has started working on this in a concrete and practical manner, thus demonstrating that cooperation between business, government and educational institutions is advancing the innovative force in the region.”

Circular addition
The innovation is in line with the long-term vision of the Fair Furniture Group. “We are working towards circular production. This innovation brings us another step closer. After all, we use renewable raw materials instead of fossil natural gas. Since we produce everything in our own factories, the carbon footprint per product is already low. With this innovation, we reduce the carbon footprint even further,” Top concludes.

Alderman Guido Rink of the Emmen municipality, flanked by directors Bert Top (l) and Janwillem de Kam (r) of Vepa the furniture factory at Vepa’s Circular Centre in Emmen. (Photo: Guido Hansman)