„Topping-out ceremony of Germany’s first large-scale vertical indoor farm – a review“

The sustainable food production of the future


Paulinenaue, Germany, 08. July 2022  

On 30th of June 2022 100 invited national and international guests from politics, economy, finance and the press celebrated with the BEL BioenergieLand GmbH (BEL) the topping-out ceremony of BEL’s first vertical indoor farm in the village Bienenfarm, in the municipality of Paulinenaue, in Brandenburg, Germany.

Steel beams of the BEL Climate Chamber, BEL’s own term for its vertical indoor farm. Construction will be finished by the end of 2022. This indoor farm is 54m long, 22m wide and 8.4m high.  Source: BEL BioEnergieLand GmbH

Dr. Riesbeck and Ms. Horvath, the CEOs of BEL, cordially welcomed the guests of honor and key speakers Mr. Kayumov, the deputy ambassador of Uzbekistan; Dr. Saule, the CEO of the Economic Development Agency Brandenburg (WFBB); Mr. Koch, the alderman of the administrative district Havelland; as well as Prof. Faltin, professor for entrepreneurship at the Freie Universität (FU) Berlin and bestselling author of the book “Kopf schlägt Kapital“.

Ms Horvath (right) and Dr. Riesbeck (right), the CEOs of BEL, are welcoming the deputy ambassador of Uzbekistan Mr. Kayumov (middle) and the first secretary of the embassy of Uzbekistan Mr. Ochilov (left).
Source: BEL BioEnergieLand GmbH

Dr. Riesbeck and Mr. Urbanski, project manager of BEL, guided the guests through the program of the topping-out ceremony and Dr. Riesbeck gave the opening speech. At first, Dr. Riesbeck cordially welcomed the guests and emphasized that the idea for this new method of plant production originated in 2019, when he visited Uzbekistan as a key-speaker at the UN conference at the Aral Sea. He then expressed his delight that just two years after this event Mr. Kayumov and Mr. Ochilov could witness the realization of the idea in person.


“Today we begin the food production of the future by constructing BEL Vertical Indoor Farming Climate Chambers – we produce plants all year round, energy self-sufficient and sustainably.“


This was the central message of Dr. Riesbeck’s opening speech. He added that there was large interest in BEL’s technology in the United Arabic Emirates, Egypt, Uzbekistan and Kuweit; and the first license agreements to construct BEL indoor farms had already been signed with partners Egypt.

The location of Paulinenaue is of key importance for BEL:

„At this location we revolutionize agricultural production. We can examine and harvest multiple different plant species all year round, without using pesticides. In addition, we are able to produce climate neutrally by using renewables. We will also use this location to train and educate national and international customers how to use this innovative technology so they can become producers themselves.”

Dr. Riesbeck, CEO of BEL, during his opening speech. Source: BEL BioEnergieLand GmbH

Creating new job prospects, innovation in agricultural production, and the use of renewables are also highly relevant for the state of Brandenburg. Dr. Saule, CEO of the WFBB and Mr. Koch, the alderman of the administrative district Havelland, both highlighted the severity of the impact of climate change and droughts on agricultural production in the region. The crisis in the Ukraine showed that self-sufficiency in food production would play an important role in future.

Dr. Saule, CEO of the WFBB.
Source: BEL BioEnergieLand GmbH
Mr Koch, alderman of the administrative district Havelland.
Source: BEL BioEnergieLand GmbH

“Climate change also affects agricultural production in Uzbekistan negatively“, Mr. Kayumov explained. Adequate water supply for food production is a huge challenge in the country. Especially at the Aral Sea, in the region of Nukus, the conditions for sustainable food production are difficult. For this reason, the BEL vertical indoor farms are suitable for local food production as water saving measures and water re-use in closed systems are important for the region.

Mr. Kayumov therefore expressed the wish that BEL Climate Chambers would be built in his country as soon as possible. He appreciated that Mr. Riesbeck would follow a current invitation to Uzbekistan and was going to visit the country with a German delegation once more in order to reach that goal in near time.

Mr. Kayumov, deputy ambassador of Uzbekistan, talks about the effects of climate change in his country and about the important role a sustainable and future-oriented food production plays.
Source: BEL BioEnergieLand GmbH
Prof. Faltin during his speech at the topping-out ceremony.
Source: BEL BioEnergieLand GmbH           

Prof. Faltin was glad for BEL that it has found the right components to realize the project. Besides the financing and technological components like LEDs, the control system, the automation and renewables, an excellent team would be necessary to realize such a large and future-oriented project. Especially due to the Corona Pandemic and the crisis in the Ukraine the preconditions were difficult. All the more he congratulated the whole team and wished the CEOs of BEL continued success for the opening of the vertical indoor farm at the end of the year.

After the opening speeches the official topping-out ceremony was carried out. Ms. Horvath and Dr. Riesbeck, the CEOs of BEL, lifted their drinking glasses and drove each a nail into a piece of wood with a hammer.

Dr. Riesbeck (left) and Ms. Horvath (middle) and the master carpenter (right) at the topping-out ceremony at the location Bienenfarm.
Source: BEL BioEnergieLand GmbH

Thereafter, the guests were presented with results from small-scale experiments inside the adjacent building on the property. Employees of BEL showed current plant experiments to the guests and the press that had been carried out in cooperation with the Humboldt-University Berlin. Prof. Böhme and Mr. Urbanski informed the guests about the advantages of the aeroponic (soilless) production method in closed systems.

Prof. Böhme, scientific consultant of BEL (left) and Mr. Urbanski, project manager of BEL (right), present current plant experiments and the aeroponic cultivation method.
Source: BEL BioEnergieLand GmbH

„By controlling the light of the LEDs we are able to modify the taste of the plants. We can also control the concentration of natural compounds produced by the plants and can increase it such as the amount of Vitamins. We have examined 40 different plant species until now, including various exotic medicinal plants“, Prof. Böhme explained.

Plant production is carried out with a soilless cultivation method called aeroponics. By use of nozzles the plant roots are sprayed with a nutrient solution. This method saves a substantial amount of water. In addition, the water will be circulated and re-used in the BEL Climate Chambers.

„Implementing BEL vertical indoor farms is especially beneficial in arid regions such as in central Asia, the north of Afrika and in the Middle East. Besides the opportunity to save water resources, the energy supply can be achieved by use of solar power“, said Sven Riesbeck, project manager of BEL. The planning and construction of the farms is location-adapted and can be adapted to the customer’s requirements.

Mr. Sven Riesbeck, project manager of BEL right), explains to Mr. Kayumov (middle left), Mr. Ochilov (middle right) and further guests the advantages of the aeroponic system.
Bild: BEL BioEnergieLand GmbH


The BEL Competence Centre, which consists of the first BEL Vertical Indoor Farming Climate Chamber and the Centre for Education and Training, will become operational by the end of this year. In 2023, the first large-scale production site will commence construction in the same village (Bienenfarm) at the opposite side of the street. This BEL Climate Chamber will be 112,5m long, 34,50m wide and 10m high. The goal is to produce all year-round (exotic) herbs, lettuce and vegetables for the market of Berlin. „Depending on the plant species we will be able to produce between 1-3 tons of fresh produce per day“, says Dr. Riesbeck. Further BEL Climate Chambers in Germany are already planned in the states of Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt; and internationally in Egypt and Usbekistan.


About BEL BioEnergieLand GmbH:

BEL BioEnergieLand GmbH is a technology start-up founded in July 2020. It contributes with its products to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (UN). It markets its site-adapted vertical indoor farms worldwide and enables its customers to produce any plants they wish in a sustainable way. Its customers are food retailers, the food industry, farmers and the pharmaceutical industry. For more information, visit: https://www.bioenergieland.com


Team of BEL BioEnergieLand GmbH at the topping-out ceremony in Bienenfarm/Paulinenaue.
Source: BEL BioEnergieLand GmbH