Pioneering eco-friendly project for solar heat in the port of Antwerp

Pioneering eco-friendly project for solar heat in the port of Antwerp

Energy transition taking shape in Port of Antwerp: Azteq installs Concentrated Solar Thermal pilot plant for Adpo logistics company in Beveren

The first solar concentrator farm in the European process industry was inaugurated today in Port of Antwerp. This pioneering energy technology generates eco-friendly heat from concentrated sunlight that can be used by industrial companies. The plant was installed for Adpo by the Genk-based energy company Azteq as part of a pilot project co-financed by the Flemish government.

 

Revolutionary technology

Industrial companies normally obtain heat for their processes from combustion of fossil fuels such as natural gas. Concentrated Solar Thermal energy (CST) is an innovative technology in which sunlight is concentrated by parabolic mirrors and so converted directly to heat. The temperatures reached can be as high as 400°C, thus providing high-grade heat that can be used in industrial processes. The technology produces three times as much energy per installed square metre than a photovoltaic system. Furthermore the heat can be stored in insulated containers so that it is also available for use at night. The technology is an entirely eco-friendly alternative for industrial heating requirements and so can make a significant contribution toward reducing CO2 emissions.

First CST farm in Port of Antwerp

The Ghent-based energy company Azteq has in the past few months installed a CST farm with 1100 m² of parabolic reflectors on the site of the logistics company Adpo (Antwerp Distribution and Products Operations) in Beveren. Until now Adpo has used gas to produce the steam that it uses for cleaning and heating tanks and containers. This requires temperatures of more than 140°C, well within the capabilities of CST technology. The CST farm that will replace 500 MWh of gas consumption annually is installed above the company's car park, above a railway line and underneath a high voltage line, thus providing an excellent example of double use of ground area. The solar reflectors, each 5 m long and installed in lines of 120, follow the path of the sun and focus the incident sunlight on collector tubes. The plant is the first industrial CST project in Europe.

"Investing in the transition to sustainable, renewable energy is in our DNA," declared Filip De Dijcker, managing director of Adpo. "The current project is not our first foray into sustainable energy. We already generate 700 MWh of electricity per year from solar panels, and the first LNG/CNG gas station was built on our terminal five years ago. We are also making our contribution to the modal shift: thanks to a new container quay we transport 10,000 containers per year by water instead of by road, and we have made significant investments in a rail connection and a direct pipeline connection for two of our companies."


Pilot project with support from the Flemish government

The plant in the port of Antwerp forms part of a project in which three pilot installations with solar reflectors are being set up in Flanders. The three plants in Beveren, Ostend and Genk respectively will generate between 1,390 and 1,260 MWh of eco-friendly heat annually. Between them these plants will cost a total of 1.425 million euros, of which 819,000 is being financed by the Flemish government.

Koen Vermout, CEO of Azteq, commented: "With this technology we aim to decarbonise a significant part of industrial energy requirements by 2030. This initiative in the port is one of the pilot projects that we are able to put into practice thanks to support from the Flemish government. We want in particular to demonstrate the feasibility of this technology and to establish it here. In addition to Flanders there are also plans for projects in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria and Spain. Making the supply of heat for industry more eco-friendly not only leads to significant reductions in CO2 emissions but also to technical progress and job creation in a future-oriented circular economy."
Port of Antwerp CEO Jacques Vandermeiren: "As Port of Antwerp we have a pioneering role to play in the energy transition. Together with industry we are working to reduce CO2 emissions and make the transition to alternative energy sources, so as to become a CO2-neutral port. We aim to accomplish this by means of ambitious transition projects, using methanol, hydrogen, wind power etc. We want to be a testbed for technological innovation that helps us on the way to a sustainable future. I am therefore proud that this promising technology is being tested first in Port of Antwerp."
Port alderman Annick De Ridder: "Big challenges such as those posed by the energy transition can only be tackled by collaboration. Collaboration with industry, the Flemish government and the industry associations. Together we are the driving force behind the conception and implementation of solutions to the challenges of the future. In our view, innovation is the way ahead. This pioneering project is an excellent example."

 


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About Azteq

Azteq is a Flemish start-up focusing on CST to supply process heat on a large scale for industry

www.azteq.be

About Adpo

Adpo NV is a logistics service provider for the chemical industry in the niche of liquid speciality chemicals (life sciences and healthcare products). Located in the Waasland port area on the Left bank it offers tank storage, container parking, warehousing, packaging, mixing and transport services.

www.adpo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Port of Antwerp

As Europe's second-largest port, the Port of Antwerp is a major lifeline for the Belgian economy: more than 300 line services to over 800 destinations ensure global connectivity. The Port of Antwerp annually handles around 235 million tonnes of international maritime freight, and is home to Europe's largest integrated chemical cluster. The Port of Antwerp accounts, directly and indirectly, for a total of around 143,000 jobs and more than €20 billion added value.  

True to its mission 'a home port vital for a sustainable future’, Antwerp Port Authority aims to flexibly respond to a rapidly evolving maritime market, allowing the port to continue playing its role as a leading world port. The emphasis in this respect is on cooperation, adaptability, a strong focus on innovation and digitisation, and on sustainable added value, as well as on responsibility towards society. 

Antwerp Port Authority is a limited liability company of public law, with the City of Antwerp as sole shareholder. It employs over 1,500 people. Port alderman Annick De Ridder is chairman of the Board of Directors and Jacques Vandermeiren is CEO and President of the Executive Committee, which is responsible for the day-to-day management. www.portofantwerp.com  

Port of Antwerp
Havenhuis
Zaha Hadidplein 1
2030 Antwerp
Belgium