Strategic environmental support for the heating network

 

Today, Monday 14 April 2014, the Flemish government will pass a resolution to assign 10 million euro to 6 chemical companies in Waasland Port so that together they can build a heating network. The companies Ashland, Monument Chemical, De Neef Chemical Processing and LANXESS intend to make their heating supply more sustainable and for this they want to utilise the heat that is released in the Indaver and SLECO incineration plants. The support of the Linkerscheldeoever heating network (Doel Energy Cluster) will give green heat production in Flanders a major boost. Through the realisation of this heating network, the companies connected to it do not have to use nearly as much primary fuels. As manager of the grounds, Maatschappij Linkerscheldeoever fully supports the project, as does Essenscia, the federation for chemistry and life sciences industries, of which all six companies are members.

 

Renewable energy

 

Indaver and SLECO operate a grate incinerator and a fluidized bed incinerator for the thermal processing of sludge and household and industrial waste. Around 1 million tonnes of waste are processed annually in these plants. As it stands now, the steam which is released during incineration is converted into electricity via 3 turbines with a total capacity of 80 MW. Some of the steam goes to a neighbouring company via a steam pipe. The amount of energy which is supplied externally is equal to the annual energy consumption of 170,000 families. Because almost half of the waste that is processed is bio-organic, half of the recovered energy is renewable. The heating network will consist of a steam pipe containing steam at 400 °C and 40 bar and a condensate piping for the return flow of hot water. The pipeline which needs to be laid, there and back, will be 8 km[SG1]  in total. The total investment will amount to more than 25 million euro.

 

There are several industrial companies on the left bank of the River Schelde which require large volumes of heat for their production processes. Currently, each company generates heat using gas boilers. Laying down a shared heating network will enable these companies to largely shut down their gas boilers and use the heat from Indaver and SLECO according to their own needs. The companies that will be connected to this heating network will each undertake to purchase as much heat as they can via the heating network for a period of 10 years.

 

Strategic character of the investment project

 

The Flemish government wants to support enterprises in strategic ecological investments. Prime Minister Kris Peeters: ‘This ambitious project will make the energy supply in the Waasland Port more sustainable and anchor the chemical industry in this region. This is an example of a sensible green investment. The proportion of renewable energy which will be supplied equates to the capacity of 50 wind turbines and will lead to an improvement in the air quality and a reduction of 100,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. As such, the investment will also contribute directly to the Flemish government’s ambitions regarding climate challenges. The project has a “super-strategic” character: the project’s impact will have an extraordinary effect on the Flemish economy.’

 

Advantage to chemical sector and companies on the left bank of the River Schelde

 

An additional energy supply option will be created through the construction of this heating network. Francs Beckx, managing director of Essenscia Flanders: ‘The project provides advantages both from an ecological point of view, through the reduction of CO2 emission, and from a financial point of view because it constitutes an additional energy supply option for our energy-intensive industry. It will help in the anchoring of companies and may well attract new companies within the capacity reserves of the network to be installed. What’s more, it is a great example of industrial cluster formation which is tremendously important in the chemical sector.’

 

Eric Kersten, site manager at Monument Chemical: ‘This is a very valuable project for society. This energy supply solution also constitutes important financial advantages for our company, which partly transcend any potential risks. For chemical companies like ours, energy costs are a very important cost-determinant factor. The competitiveness of the chemical industry in Flanders is under tremendous pressure. A positive side effect that this heating cluster has is that the cost disadvantage of the energy supply will be restricted to some degree.’

 

General information for the press: Luc De Seranno, spokesperson for Prime Minister Peeters tel.: 02 552 60 12 luc.deseranno@vlaanderen.be