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Remediation at Høfde 42 supported by the Aarhus University Research Foundation

The former owner of Cheminova, Auriga Industries A/S, has been given an opportunity to contribute DKK 125 million for remediation work at Høfde 42. Funds from the parties behind the Finance Act for 2021, and DKK 50 million earmarked in previous Finance Acts, have now provided the financing necessary to clean up Høfde 42.

2020.12.10 | Kommunikation & Presse

[Translate to English:] Høfde 42 ved Harboøre Tange.  Foto: Niels Åge Skovbo.

A clean-up at the inherited contamination at Høfde 42 can now begin with funds from, among other things, Cheminova's former owner. Photo: Niels Åge Skovbo.

The article is based on a press release from Central Denmark Region  


At an extraordinary general meeting, Auriga Industries A/S has resolved to assist with a lump sum of DKK 125 million to remediate soil contamination at Høfde 42 on the North Sea coast of Denmark. Auriga Industries A/S is a subsidiary of the Aarhus University Research Foundation, and it can now give this contribution following approval from the Danish Business Authority.

Central Denmark Region is responsible for cleaning up the contaminated site, but it has not been possible to carry out the massive task without external assistance. It has been estimated that full remediation of the inherited contamination at Høfde 42 will cost DKK 250 million.

“"We can now finally see clear light at the end of a very long and dark tunnel. I’d like to thank both the Aarhus University Research Foundation and the parties behind the Finance Act," says Anders Kühnau (S), chairman of the Regional Council in Central Denmark Region.

Together with private companies and with the support of the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark, Central Denmark Region has developed methods to remediate the soil at Harboøre Tange.

“So we know what to do. Now we also have enough money to realise the project. Denmark is writing environmental history," says Anders Kühnau.

Soil-remediation methods have now improved to such an extent that the contamination at Høfde 42 can be remediated locally and very likely within the budget of DKK 250 million and over a manageable time period. 

"Inherited contamination such as that at Høfde 42 is there because of the sins of the past, which we can now begin to clean up in earnest. With the Finance Act agreement, we can clean up a number of the most serious contaminations in Danish history, and clearly such a large contribution from the Aarhus University Research Foundation will take us even further. I’m very pleased about this, and it shows that they are also taking social responsibility for the clean-up after Cheminova," says Danish Environment Minister, Lea Wermelin.

Remediation is vital

Brian Bech Nielsen, chair of the board for the Aarhus University Research Foundation, which also owns the capital of Auriga Industries A/S, is very pleased that a way to help with the clean-up has now been found.

"The Aarhus University Research Foundation has been eager to get the clean-up started. Remediation of the area has enormous significance, not least for the residents and nature at Harboøre Tange. That’s why I’m very pleased that the Danish Business Authority have given us the green light for Auriga Industries A/S to make this DKK 125 million contribution to the remediation of Høfde 42," says Brian Bech Nielsen, who is the rector at Aarhus University and chair of the board for the research foundation.

Conditions for the contribution

Besides the Central Denmark Region documenting that the region will receive full funding for full remediation of Høfde 42, Auriga Industries A/S also requires that a steering or advisory group be set up and that the company be entitled to appoint one or several members.

This group will be instructed to monitor the remediation process.

The plan is then to dissolve Auriga Industries A/S, as the company will have no activities. Until the sale in 2015, the only activity the company had was the Cheminova chemicals company.


Cheminova landfilled chemical waste at Harboøre Tange in the 1950s and 1960s with a permit from the government, which also disposed of chemical waste at the site. Central Denmark Region is responsible for the clean-up task.

Today, the toxic waste site at Høfde 42 is sealed with a 600-metre-long iron sheet, which prevents chemical waste from leaking into the North Sea. The authorities have calculated that approx. 110 tonnes of chemical waste has been deposited at the site. 

In connection with the sale of Cheminova, at the general meeting of Auriga Industries A/S, the Aarhus University Research Foundation proposed that funds be allocated for the remediation, but at that time the proposal did not have the necessary support.

 For more information, see https://www.rm.dk/regional-udvikling/klima-ressourcer-og-baredygtig-udvikling/jordforurening/forurening-pa-harboore-tange/kemikaliedepotet-ved-hofde-42/

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