Strategic environmental support for a heat network

PRESS RELEASE BY THE CABINET OF THE MINISTER-PRESIDENT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF FLANDERS, FLEMISH MINISTER FOR ECONOMY, FOREIGN POLICY, AGRICULTURE AND RURAL POLICY (english translation)

Strategic environmental support for a heat network on the left bank of the Scheldt in Beveren

Today, Monday 14 April 2014, the Government of Flanders has decided to allocate a sum of 10 million euros to 6 chemical plants in the Waasland Port, in order thus to build a communal heat network. Ashland, Monument Chemical, De Neef Chemical Processing and LANXESS are intending to add sustainability to their heat supply, achieving this by utilising the heat released from the Indaver and Sleco incineration facilities. Support for this Scheldt Left Bank heat network (Doel Energy Cluster) will give green heat generation in Flanders a substantial boost.

The creation of this heat network means that the plants connected to it will need to use a great deal less primary fuels. The project enjoys the full support of the Scheldt Left Bank Corporation, which manages the sites, as well as of Essenscia, the chemical industry and life sciences federation, of which all six companies are members.

Renewable energy

Indaver and Sleco operate a grate incinerator and a fluidised bed incinerator for thermal treatment of domestic and industrial waste as well as sludge. Around one million tonnes of waste a year are treated in these facilities. The steam released in the course of incineration is currently utilised for electric power generation via 3 turbines with a total output of 80 MW. Part of the steam is piped to a neighbouring plant. The power output is equal to the yearly energy consumption of 170,000 homes. Since almost half the waste treated is biowaste, half the energy recovered is renewable. The heat network will consist of a steam pipeline carrying steam at 400 °C and 40 bar, as well as a condensate pipe to feed hot water back to the incinerators. The pipeline to be laid will total 8 km, supply and return. The total investment cost will be in excess of 25 million euros.

There are various industrial plants on the left bank of the Scheldt that have large heat requirements for their production processes. This heat is currently being generated in each plant by gas boilers. Building a joint heat network will enable these plants to eliminate their gas boilers to a large extent and utilise the heat from Indaver and Sleco for their own needs. Plants connecting to the heat network will be committing to an assurance of taking maximum heat from the heat network for 10 years.


Strategic nature of the investment project
The Government of Flanders intends to grant support to businesses for strategic environmental investments.

Minister-President Kris Peeters: “This ambitious project will add to the sustainability of energy supply in the Waasland Port, anchoring the chemical industry to this region. This is an example of wise green investment. The proportion of renewable energy to be supplied is equivalent to the output of 50 wind turbines and will bring about an improvement in air quality as well as a cut in CO2 emissions by 100,000 tonnes a year. This investment will also contribute in this manner to the Government of Flanders’ ambitions in respect of climate challenges. This project is ‘super-strategic’ in nature: it will have a significant impact on the Flemish economy.”

Asset for the chemical sector and businesses on the left bank of the Scheldt
Building this heat network will create an additional energy supply capability.

Frank Beckx, managing director of Essenscia Flanders: “The project is an asset both in terms of the environment, due to a cut in CO2 emissions, and in economic terms, thanks to the addition of an energy supply capability for our energy-intensive industry. It will help to keep existing businesses anchored here, as well as attracting new businesses within the limits of reserve capacity of the network to be built. Moreover it is a fine example of industrial clustering that is so important in the chemical sector.”

Eric Kersten, site manager at Monument Chemical: “This is a project of great value to the community. In addition, this energy supply scheme entails major financial benefits for our plant, benefits which partly transcend the potential risks. Energy costs are a major cost factor for chemical plants like ours. The competitive position of the chemical industry in Flanders is under severe pressure. A side effect of this heat cluster is that the cost penalty of energy supply will be limited to some extent.”

Further information [in Dutch]: www.energiecluster.be

General press information:
Luc De Seranno, spokesman for Minister-President Peeters
Tel.: +32(0)2 552 60 12 luc.deseranno(at)vlaanderen(dot)be

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