Green light for one of the largest heat networks in Europe

Six companies from the chemical and logistics sector in the Waasland Port signed letters of intent on 8 May for the supply of green heat by ECLUSE. This gave the green light for this heat network, which is to take steam from waste incineration by Indaver/SLECO. ECLUSE is set to become one of the largest industrial heat networks in Europe. Triple good news: for the companies, for the whole port area and for the environment.

Good news for the companies

Indaver and SLECO treat over a million tonnes a year of non-recyclable household and comparable industrial waste in their grate and fluidised bed incinerators. ECLUSE, a joint venture comprising Indaver/SLECO, Infrax, Maatschappij Linkerscheldeoever [Scheldt Left Bank Corporation] and FINEG, is to channel the steam generated during this incineration process through a 5-kilometre long steam pipeline to six chemical and logistics companies: Ineos Phenol, which is already being supplied with steam from Indaver/SLECO, LANXESS Belgium, Monument Chemical, ADPO, Ashland and De Neef Chemical Processing. These companies require large amounts of heat for their processes. This network offers them flexibility: they draw off steam whenever they need it. They are also assured of a reliable energy supply at uniform tariff that is lower than current fuel prices.

Good news for the environment

Due to the fact that the participating companies are now able (partly) to shut down their gas-fired boilers, they will now be emitting 100,000 tonnes less of CO2 – comparable with the CO2 savings achieved by 50 standard wind turbines. Other emissions such as those consisting of nitrogen oxides and particulates will also decrease. Given that half the waste in the waste-to-energy facility is biowaste, an equal proportion of the heat generated may be described as ‘green heat’. Once ECLUSE goes into operation, it will produce at least 5% of all green heat generated in Flanders. This means that with this heat network ECLUSE is giving Flemish climate targets a serious boost.

Paul De Bruycker, Indaver CEO and SLECO director: “We must move urgently towards a green economy in order to conserve our raw materials and fossil fuels. We aim to play a pioneering role: deriving high-grade value from green energy in the most efficient manner as we plan to do in Doel is a major step in that direction.”

Good news for the Port of Antwerp region

All this means the companies pay a price for energy based on a uniform tariff which is lower than current fuel costs. Accordingly, this heat network creates a reliable, sustainable and cost-effective energy supply – one more reason for these companies to continue to opt for the Port of Antwerp region. Other businesses can also connect to it. The availability of a stable and reliable additional energy source can be another reason for investing companies to opt for the Waasland Port, which is essential for the development of the Flemish economy. Currently companies in this area already employ around 15,000 people. This network can therefore mark the beginning of an intensive energy cluster in this entire industrial – a major asset that will reinforce Flanders’ competitive position.

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