Former project manager: ‘Problems with natural gas prices in the Purmerend...

PURMEREND – According to Peter Blesgraaf, who was temporarily involved as project manager in making homes in Purmerend natural gas-free, the problems are not new. He says this in an article on the website Wynia’s Week.

Blesgraaf responds to the article’s NRC which states that the municipality has halted the project due to ‘a laundry list of issues’ and alderman Paul van Meekeren says that the planning to make 1300 houses gas-free by 2022 is not feasible. Opposite NH News the councilor denied that the project has been halted and that it is going according to plan.

‘Linking to sewer replacement is a bad idea’

The latter is not accepted at Blesgraaf. He says that from the start he had both financial and technical doubts about making natural gas free and replacing the sewer at the same time. “That idea has already been researched and rejected in the Netherlands. What surprised me is that the municipality of Purmerend still clings to this ‘matching probability’. It is no surprise to many that the matching probability does not materialize in the pilot phase either.”

The former project manager continues: “The atmosphere in the neighborhood did not improve either: residents who did not (directly) consent were called ‘gas stickers’ and sometimes publicly exposed. External developments, for example the discussion about biomass as whether or not sustainable source of district heating, were pushed aside at project level. My experience is that here, as with many similar pilot projects, a tube vision predominated. Again, that’s not bad at all, but you have to recognize it. “

‘Isolation did not happen’

Blesgraaf noticed that many houses in the Overwhere-South district were not being made sustainable. “By insulating and sealing a gap, for example. Unlike ‘gas-freeing’, this leads to a reduction in energy costs. The post-insulation of homes was included in the plans on which the city council issued its approval in 2017. In practice, there was no follow-up. given. “

‘Realization would take until 2035’

In his time as project manager, Blesgraaf felt that the plan had to be halted in order to adjust the project organization and to address problems administratively. “Because at the pace at which the pilot phase was carried out, the realization of the Proeftuin Overwhere-Zuid alone would take until 2035.”

He also wants the municipality to abandon the linking of making natural gas-free to sewer replacement. “My point of view on this, and my proposal to first put the project in the parking position to be able to professionalise, was not appreciated. We therefore quickly said goodbye to each other. It is nice for those involved to now read that the The municipality of Purmerend now shares my point of view, but it is a pity that it took so long. “

Finally, the former project manager wonders whether the project is still financially feasible and is surprised at the response from the municipality. “It strikes me in recent reports that the view of the municipality of Purmerend in the long term, ‘get rid of the gas in 2050’, is still positive. My position is: the stars are not favorable. I am curious about the underlying argumentation. “

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