• The power plant, Denmark's largest, is owned by Asnæsværket. It is coal fired, has a capacity of 1,500 megawatts (mW), and employs about 600 people.

  • The oil refinery, Denmark's largest, is owned by Statoil. The refinery has a capacity of about 3 million tons per year (tons/yr) and is being expanded to a capacity of 5 million tons/yr. It employs about 250 people.

  • The plaster-board manufacturing plant, owned by Gyproc a.s., produces about 14 million square meters per year of plaster-board for the building industry. It employs about 175 people.

  • The biotechnology facility is owned by Novo Nordisk. The company produces about 45 percent of the world market of insulin and about 50 percent of the world market of enzymes. In addition, the company produces substantial quantities of growth hormones and other pharmaceutical products. Novo Nordisk operates in several countries, but the Kalundborg plant, with 1,100 employees, is the company's largest production site.

  • The Kalundborg municipality controls the distribution of water, electricity, and district heating in the Kalundborg city area.


The symbiosis—or cooperative use of waste heat and materials—was not planned. The relationships that developed and are shown in Figure 1 evolved over a period of more than 20 years. A chronology of key events follows.


The principal player, Asnæsværket, was started up.


Tidewater Oil Company commissioned the first oil refinery in Denmark, and a pipeline was constructed from Lake Tissø to provide water for its operation. (The refinery was taken over by Esso in 1963 and acquired by Statoil in 1987 along with Esso's Danish marketing facilities.)


Gyproc established a plaster-board manufacturing plant. A pipeline to supply excess refinery gas was constructed from the refinery to Gyproc facilities.


The Asnæsvæket power was expanded. To meet increased water demand, an agreement was reached with the refinery to build a connection to the Lake Tissø-Statoil pipeline.


Novo Nordisk started delivering biological sludge to neighboring farms by tank truck.


The power plant started supplying fly ash (until then a troublesome waste product) to cement manufacturers such as Aalborg Portland located in northern Denmark.


The Kalundborg municipality completed a district heating distribution

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