First ever Sustainability Award goes to ambitious ECLUSE project for heat distribution network

Publication date: 
17 Nov 2016

ECLUSE will ultimately account for 10% of “green” heat produced in Flanders.

The ECLUSE project for a heat distribution network to replace the piecemeal energy supplies for chemical companies in the left bank area has won the first ever Sustainability Award presented by the Antwerp Port Community. The project garnered the majority of votes from the expert jury members and public alike, with the other podium places going to the remaining nominees Qpinch, Gyproc and BASF Antwerpen.

nce the ECLUSE project is operating at full capacity it will be one of the largest industrial heating clusters in Europe, supplying a good 10% of all “green” heat produced in Flanders. As such it will make a significant contribution towards achieving Belgium’s targets under the terms of the Paris climate treaty which came into force at the beginning of November.


The aim of the project is to build a heat distribution network to replace the natural gas-fired energy supplies for several large chemical companies. The heat in the form of steam will be produced by the waste-to-energy facilities operated by the INDAVER waste processing company and its joint venture SLECO, while the steam distribution network will be built by Infrax. Six incinerators will produce steam with a maximum capacity of around 250 MW. This will yield annual CO2 savings of 100,000 tonnes, comparable with 50 wind turbines of 2.3 MW each. Moreover the network is designed to allow for further growth equivalent to the CO2 savings afforded by 100 wind turbines. 

At present the steam is used to drive turbines which generate electricity, but once the network is operational the steam will as far as possible be supplied directly to industry. This will be much more energy-efficient, thus helping to boost the chemical industry in our region. Not surprisingly, therefore, the ECLUSE network is supported by essencia, the federation of the chemical industry and life sciences in Belgium.

   Winning the first Sustainability Award, just two months after the contracts were signed with the constructor on the one hand and the chemical companies on the other, is the icing on the cake for us,” said Paul Verbeeck, chairman of the ECLUSE board of directors, who took the presentation of the Award. “Reducing CO2 emissions by 100,000 tonnes per year, saving fossil fuels, promoting renewable energy, further establishing the chemical industry in the port of Antwerp … these are just some of the advantages of the ECLUSE steam distribution network. We are also very proud that the project will be carried out in collaboration with various partners, and that we are contributing to a more sustainable society.

Walk of Sustainability

To mark the occasion of the first Sustainability Award, a “Walk of Sustainability” has been opened as a sustainable promenade at the foot of the new Port House. For each winner of the Award, presented every two years, a commemorative stone will be laid in the promenade. 

Sustainability leader

The Sustainability Award is an initiative of Antwerp Port Authority, the Left Bank Development Corporation and VOKA-Alfaport (Chamber of Commerce). Since 2011 these players have been the main driving force behind the Sustainability Report published every two years by the Antwerp port community. The constant theme of this report is the port of Antwerp’s ambition to remain the leader in creating sustainable added value. As of this year this ambition is further emphasised with the biennial presentation of a Sustainability Award. 

A total of 20 companies and organisations responded to the invitation, issued before the summer vacation, to submit projects for the award. From these entries the seven-person jury headed by port alderman Marc Van Peel and the provincial governors of East Flanders and Antwerp selected a shortlist of four at the beginning of October. In addition to the ultimate winner ECLUSE the runners-up were the plasterboard manufacturer and circular economy pioneer Gyproc, BASF Antwerp with its “Pioneer students” project and Qpinch with its project to recover waste heat that would otherwise be lost.

Contact information ECLUSE

Silvia Colazzo, communications manager at Indaver nv: +32 476 631 827