The ECLUSE project, which is working to move the energy supply of several large-scale chemical companies in the Waasland Port from natural gas to a heat network, won the very first Sustainability Award given by the Antwerp Port Community in November 2016. This award recognises projects that contribute to the transition towards a sustainable port, and the ECLUSE project won by a large margin, in both the jury and public votes.
When the heat network reaches full capacity, Ecluse will be one of the largest industrial heat clusters in Europe, responsible for the production of no less than 10% of the total green heat generated in Flanders, thus making a significant contribution to achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
The energy for the network is produced in the waste-to-energy plant of waste management companies INDAVER and SLECO, where six waste incinerators produce steam with a total capacity of approximately 250 MW. This steam is converted to electricity in steam turbines. Once the steam network is operational, the steam will be delivered directly to neighbouring industries through a 5km pipeline, contributing to much greater energy efficiency and to anchoring the chemicals industry in this region. The companies involved will no longer have to depend on their own in-house gas boilers for producing the steam they need. Decommissioning the individual boilers will result in CO2 emission reductions of 100,000 tonnes per year, which is comparable to the annual CO2 savings from 50 standard 2.3MW wind turbines. To enable future growth, the network has been designed for a higher capacity, so that it can expand to deliver reduced emissions of 200,000 tons of CO2 (equivalent to 100 wind turbines).
Five companies from Waasland Port have signed up to purchase steam from ECLUSE for ten years: ADPO, a logistics partner to the chemical industry; chemicals producer Ashland; Monument Chemical; INEOS Phenol; and rubber and plastics producer LANXESS. The condensate pipeline will also heat the buildings of a sixth company, DP World-Antwerp Gateway, on the return journey. Once completed, the network will have the capacity to meet double the current heat demand. As a result of this future-proofing, ECLUSE will be ready to cater for increased future heat requirements of the six original companies and other companies will also be able to join the steam network later.