ECLUSE: another asset for Port of Antwerp

The Port of Antwerp has grown into Europe’s top chemical cluster. Our port’s strategic location within Europe and the strong logistics services it provides certainly play a part in this achievement. And from 2018 our port city will be even more attractive to investors. That’s because Indaver and SLECO will start supplying several chemical and logistics companies within the port with green power from their waste-to-energy plant.  Named ECLUSE, the plant is set to meet all ecological, economical and financial targets.


Silvia Colazzo of waste management company Indaver: “Every year, we process approximately 1 million tonnes of industrial waste. A lot of heat is released during that process, which we convert into steam in a boiler. At the moment, we are directing that steam through turbines which convert it into electricity. Since a lot of energy is unfortunately lost in such a process,  we are now building a network of pipelines in the Waaslandhaven area. That network will channel efficiently steam at 400°C/40 bar from our two waste-processing port plants to five other companies to provide them with renewable energy in the form of steam and heat durin their production processes. A very efficient waste-to-energy system! On top of that, the recipient companies will no longer have to generate their own steam using natural gas. By decommissioning their gas boilers, they will be able to reduce their CO2 emissions by about one hundred thousand tonnes each year. That’s sustainability for you!”

Financially and economically sound 

“Of course, companies will only choose such a sustainable solution if it also makes sense financially. And it certainly does: we made sure that the cost of using the steam network won’t exceed the current natural gas prices. You should also bear in mind that companies will no longer be dependent on fluctuating gas prices. Suddenly, Antwerp is a very attractive location for chemical companies whose energy consumption is consistently high.”

“The participating companies have already signed a contract for the next 10 years. It goes without saying that they won’t relocate their production sites during the whole period. And that’s good for the economy. All in all, a major step forward in all areas.”

A unique project built on close cooperation 

“It’s true that heat networks for residential use already exist. And that such a collaboration does happen in the industry every now and then. But ECLUSE is unique in the world. The advantage of this industrial cluster is that the capacity is bigger, and that companies are not directly interdependent. The idea of a heat network is not new, but it would not have succeeded on such a large scale without the partnership of public and private companies: Indaver, SLECO, Infrax, FINEG, Water-Link and Maatschappij Linkerscheldeoever. With the strategic ecological funding of 10 million euros that ECLUSE received from the Flemish Government and by pooling knowledge from different sectors, we managed to keep these environmental investments at an affordable level. The icing on the cake? We received the first-ever Sustainability Award from Port of Antwerp, in recognition of all the efforts delivered by each and every one.”

The Flanders Cleantech Internationalisation Award rewards SMEs with the most impact on sustainable development abroad.
The City of Antwerp invests in laboratory space, facilities and equipment for start-ups at BlueChem. These measures are intended to accelerate their growth. The support provides a boost for their innovation capacity
Innovate Antwerp, published by The Global Village, is part of a publication series on worldwide innovative ecosystems. Antwerp is the first region in the European Union that is featured in the series. In the book, readers discover a wide range of initiatives, companies and people that focus on innovation.