IndaChlor®, a sustainable solution for chlorinated residues in Dunkirk

With IndaChlor, Indaver proposes to set up a new treatment plant in the industrial zone of Loon Plage, in the port of the French town of Dunkirk. This plant will recycle production waste and residue streams. Chlorine (hydrochloric acid) is a product widely used in the chemicals, petrochemicals, metallurgy and agri-foods industries. At Dunkirk, Indaver is building up a fine example of industrial synergy, whereby Ecophos, a producer of phosphates for the food industry and a neighbour of IndaChlor, will be able to use hydrochloric acid in their production process. Indaver will also supply the energy produced during the treatment process to another neighbouring business, which will use the steam supplied in its alcohol distillation process. The commissioning of IndaChlor is scheduled for 2019, and will lead to the creation of approximately 20 direct jobs.

Indaver undertakes sustainably: what does it means for us?

Corporate social responsibility is woven into the fabric of Indaver's organisation and strategy. Indaver is results-oriented, but for us results aren't judged solely on the tables and figures that show the financial growth we have made by providing a cost-effective and high-quality service to our clients. We also value and strive for social gain.

All of our activities must therefore fulfil three aspects of sustainability: social, ecological and economic. These aspects influence each other, complement each other and sometimes conflict with each other. Indaver constantly checks that they are still in balance and that its business activities are still sustainable.

IndaChlor: the circular economy in practice

Everyone’s talking about the circular economy … Indaver’s doing it! Within the circular economy materials are always used in a safe, closed circuit. Indaver recovers the highest possible percentage of energy and materials from the waste it treats, and in turn supplies industry and the community/society with the raw materials and energy they need. IndaChlor will transform residues into new raw materials and energy, then supply them directly to two nearby businesses. To do this, it will use a pipeline network in order to obviate the need for road transport of any kind. The IndaChlor project is a fine practical example of the way in which a business like Indaver can contribute to the circular economy.

The recovery of materials and energy

For Indaver, working sustainably means developing concepts for the provision of services and technologies that will make it possible to extract even more renewable energy or raw materials from waste. At the new treatment facility in the port of Dunkirk, with its 40,000 tonne capacity, Indaver will recycle production and chlorine residues to recover chlorine in the form of hydrochloric acid.

Industrial synergie

Hydrochloric acid can be used by the chemicals, petrochemicals, metallurgy and agri-foods industries. This applies to Ecophos, a neighbour of IndaChlor, which produces feed phosphates and which will be able to use the recovered hydrochloric acid in its production process. This means that Ecophos will no longer need to source any primary raw material. The production of feed phosphates using recycled hydrochloric acid will help to relieve the imminent shortage of phosphate. The energy produced in the treatment process by IndaChlor will be supplied to a neighbouring distillery via a pipeline. Thanks to this industrial synergie, IndaChlor will be supplying and sustaining two neighbouring industries, which will benefit the port and industrial zone of Dunkirk.

The impact on humans and the environment

Indaver wishes to minimise its impact on humans and the environment and to reduce its carbon footprint in both the transport and the processing of waste. 

Respecting Biodiversity

Indaver is building this new plant in an industrial zone. The choice of this port and industrial zone is no accident: its purpose is to create the least possible disruption of the natural habitat for the flora and fauna present. Indaver is fully open to discussion with local naturalists and environmental associations, as it is in every region where it operates. Indaver believes in a transparent policy with regard to the environmental impact of its work, and reports on this every year in its Sustainability Report.

A self-sufficient site

Indaver continuously improves its own consumption of energy. During the recycling process, we produce enough energy for the generation of steam and for our own electricity needs. We then supply the remaining energy to a neighbouring business in the form of steam. This business will in turn use this energy in its distillation process and to heat its buildings. Indaver does everything possible to purge the cycle of toxic substances and materials, and always works to the strictest standards. 

Dunkirk: close to our clients

Indaver also strives to limit the ecological footprint of the transport of its waste. So instead of carrying the hydrochloric acid overground, Indaver will reduce the impact and costs of transporting this raw material by supplying it directly to the businesses via a pipeline network. Thanks to IndaChlor, one of the firms in the industrial synergie will acquire all its energy requirements this way. It will no longer need to buy fossil fuels or primary raw materials. The chlorine residues are imported from various regions near Dunkirk – from France itself, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, the UK, etc. – so Indaver combines several forms of transport in order to reduce its CO2 emissions. Dunkirk has good transport connections: rail access, proximity to the sea and the A16 motorway. 

Safety and quality

Indaver invests massively in the safety of both its personnel and the environment. In doing so, Indaver creates an efficiently functioning, safe plant as well as good procedures. It benefits from well-trained staff and efficient systems, which continuously measure and improve the safety and quality of its processes. Indaver monitors the quality of its finished products very closely, in this case recycled hydrochloric acid and steam. To this end, it carries out regular measurements and procedures.

Sustainable procurement and good administration

The Indaver corporate policy sets out the rules of behaviour for sustainable entrepreneurship for all its workers. Indaver imposes strict requirements on its suppliers regarding corporate social responsibility and requires them to provide evidence of the processes implemented for this purpose.

The social commitment: jobs

Local job creation

Indaver ensures that its projects benefit the regions where it works. In the long term, the Indaver IndaChlor project will result in the creation of approximately 20 direct jobs. It will also generate a further 30 indirect jobs with our sub-contractors. Indaver will thus be making a social contribution to the region, which suffers from a high level of unemployment. Similarly, with regard to building the plant and connected services, Indaver has given preference to French businesses in the region, which will in turn facilitate the creation – albeit temporary – of new jobs.

Supporting local economy

Invitations to tender for construction lots have been launched on the French market, and approximately 30% of the investment has already been awarded to French firms. 

With regard to the operation of the plant, Indaver has also given precedence to French suppliers (site security, office supplies, maintenance, catering, etc.). So with IndaChlor, Indaver is contributing real added value to the local economy, as well as to Dunkirk’s port and industrial zone.

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