ECLUSE steam network officially opened

Potential to cut CO2 emissions by 100,000 tonnes a year in the Port of Antwerp

April 2019

The very first large-scale industrial steam network at the Port of Antwerp, ECLUSE, is operational. On 15th March 2019, in the presence of around 200 invited guests, Flemish ministers Philippe Muyters and Lydia Peeters started the supply of steam over the network with a symbolic press of a button. ECLUSE will supply steam generated during waste incineration to five chemical companies at the port. That means these companies no longer have to generate the steam they need for their production processes in their own steam boilers, which will reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 100,000 tonnes a year. The project will also supply at least five percent of all the green heat produced in Flanders. ECLUSE will therefore make a significant contribution to the achievement of Flemish climate targets.

The ECLUSE network constructed by waste treatment companies Indaver and SLECO, in partnership with Fluvius, is a sustainable solution that meets the demand for steam of a number of chemical companies based at the Waasland Port, on the left bank of the Port of Antwerp. It is based on a simple idea. When waste is incinerated heat is released: this can be used to generate steam that neighbouring companies need for their production processes. This steam leaves the Waste-to-Energy plant via insulated pipes, which transport it to five companies in the surrounding area: Ineos Phenol, ADPO, LANXESS Belgium, Monument Chemical and Ashland Specialties Belgium.

400 degrees, 40 bar

The steam is transported at a constant pressure of around 40 bar and a temperature of approximately 400°C. A condensate pipe constructed by Fluvius carries the hot water back to Indaver and SLECO, where it is reused. On its way back it is first used to heat the offices of DP World. The complete pipe network is around 5 kilometres in length, the majority of which (+/- 4 km) is above ground.

Philippe Muyters, Flemish Minister for Employment, the Economy, Innovation and Sport: “ECLUSE is of immense value to Flanders, especially in view of all the climate- and energy-related challenges we face. This project clearly demonstrates that innovation is the answer. After all, ECLUSE brings advantages for everyone: our society, due to the undeniable environmental benefits, our businesses, as a result of lower energy costs and security of supply, and our economy too, as we are anchoring the chemical industry in Flanders. In short, ECLUSE is a perfect illustration of what innovation can do for our businesses, our society and our climate.”

Partners pleased with the result

ECLUSE is a partnership between Indaver, SLECO, Maatschappij Linkerscheldeoever, grid operator Fluvius, Fineg and Water-Link. The partners are delighted that the project has been completed and will be able to supply steam from today.

Ecology aid of 10 million euros was allocated to the steam network by the Flemish Government. The total amount invested in the project came to 30 million euros.

Lydia Peeters, Flemish Minister for Energy: “The ECLUSE steam network is an excellent example of how heat can be used. A waste treatment company produces high-quality (green) steam, which is transported to five energy-intensive companies over a heating network. Thanks to this network, CO2 emissions can also be reduced by 100,000 tonnes. This is an example of a perfect heating chain, as envisaged in the Flemish Heating Plan.”

Having won the Sustainability Award in 2016, the Belgian Energy and Environment Award in 2017 and the CEWEP Integration Award in 2018, ECLUSE had already garnered considerable national and international recognition even before it had supplied the first steam.

 “Fluvius, as a grid operator specialising in utility pipes and cables, is particularly pleased and proud to have played a part in the realisation of ECLUSE”, says Frank Vanbrabant, CEO of Fluvius. “Projects like this one really do make a huge difference to the energy transition. As businesses and authorities, it is important that we continue to focus on them in the future.”

 “What we have achieved here at the Waasland Port is a world-class project”, says Indaver CEO Paul De Bruycker. “Indaver and SLECO are working hard to make the circular economy a reality by closing material and energy loops. ECLUSE is an excellent example of this. However, a project like this can only be realised in collaboration with other parties: first of all our partner Suez, which operates the waste-to-energy plant in Doel together with us, expert partners to construct the network, Maatschappij Linkerscheldeoever, with its strong local ties, and the buyers of heat.”

 “Bringing together businesses at the Waasland Port and supporting their efforts to make their activities more sustainable is one of the core tasks of Maatschappij Linkerscheldeoever”, explains Boudewijn Vlegels, Chairman of the MLSO Board.ECLUSE is an extremely innovative project that has already carried off numerous awards even before it has come on stream. We are particularly proud to have been involved right from the outset in this project, which we see as just a starting point.”

ECLUSE Website