Indaver invests in the technological innovation needed to close loops sustainably. We invest in new technologies and methods and improve on those already in place. This is an overview of a few of the current projects that demonstrate our philosophy on sustainability.
The first pipeline for the industrial steam network ECLUSE was laid in the Waasland Port on 6 February 2017. Once it is operational, this steam network will save 100,000 tonnes of CO2 each year. That's the equivalent of fifty wind turbines. It will produce five percent of the green heat in Flanders, providing reliable and cost-efficient energy to industry. Antwerp has the largest cluster of chemical companies in Europe, and ECLUSE will help to anchor the industry there in the years to come.
The network will go into operation in the autumn of 2018, at which point it will start supplying steam generated by Indaver and SLECO under high pressure and at a temperature of 400°C through a network of pipes. There are 5 kilometres of pipes in total. A fifth of them run underground with the rest above ground. 15 pipe bridges have been built for the overground pipes and six junctions for the underground pipes. Indaver/SLECO was already connected to one neighbouring company by a steam pipe. From 2018 onwards, one company will use the condensate heat and five companies will draw on the steam as needed. This will make their own energy consumption more sustainable because they will no longer need to use gas, a fossil fuel.
Indaver is also working on an innovative solution for end-of-life plastics that can no longer be re-used. Thus, we are also the forerunners for the European Commission's new plastics policy. This aims to find a cost-effective way to make all plastic packaging re-usable or recyclable, by 2030. Indaver wants to build plastics2chemicals (P2C) facilities in Europe that break these plastics down into smaller hydrocarbon chains. This thermal, molecular recycling will produce high-quality raw materials for the chemical industry. This project fits in with our Indaver Molecule Management® programme, which is taking recycling to a higher level.
With IndaChlor®, Indaver is setting up a new treatment facility in Loon-Plage, in the French port of Dunkirk, to extract hydrochloric acid from industrial residual waste streams. The new plant has a 40,000 tonne capacity and will recycle the chlorinated residues from the PVC industry to recover hydrochloric acid. Hydrochloric acid is used in the chemical, petrochemical, metallurgy and food industries. With this new recycling facility we are once again demonstrating how we contribute to the circular economy. We will supply the hydrochloric acid via a direct pipeline to Ecophos, where it will be used for the production of phosphates for cattle feed among other things. We supply the recovered energy via a steam pipe to a neighbouring alcohol distillery. The launch is planned for 2019.
Just like Indaver, our industrial customers also want to make continuous improvements to their own sustainability. To achieve that, our chemical, petrochemical, life science and technology customers also check their suppliers' sustainability. The EcoVadis international evaluation platform is there to help them make their assessments. EcoVadis is used to assess organisations from 95 countries and 150 business sectors in 4 areas of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): the environment, employment conditions, fair trade practices and their sustainable procurement policy. The EcoVadis assessment is seen as the 'ISO certification for Corporate Social Responsibility'. Indaver has been audited every year since 2013 and we have managed to improve our score each time. With our recent 'Gold advanced' score (2018) Indaver is currently in the top 5% of all suppliers assessed in the 'waste management and treatment' category.
Although glass, paper and plastics are now widely recycled, hazardous waste streams are more difficult to treat. With Indaver Molecule Management®, we are now looking at the smallest components of chemical and pharmaceutical waste, namely the molecules. The aim is to safely recover materials such as hydrochloric acid, iodine, rare earth metals and precious metals. That's how Indaver started to recover palladium on its Antwerp site in 2015, which can be used in the pharmaceutical industry. In 2015, the Federation of Belgian Waste Companies 'Go4Circle', bestowed Indaver with an award for its Molecule Management in the 'best innovation or environmental project' category.