Unique collaboration adds momentum to the Antwerp North heat network

Unique collaboration adds momentum to the Antwerp North heat network

In the port of Antwerp, several partners are working together on the first open access heat network in Belgium. Initially, Indaver and Port of Antwerp will provide a core network for industry, after which Fluvius will link up with a residential heat network on behalf of the city of Antwerp. To make heat networks economically viable, agreements with major suppliers and customers are necessary. The latter is now covered by the long-term agreements concluded by Indaver and Port of Antwerp with Boortmalt and by Fluvius with Woonhaven for the supply of heat.

Heat network to reduce CO2-emissions in Antwerp by 80.000 tons per year

The Antwerp North Heat Network underwent a long preparation phase before a final investment decision was made. The benefits for people and society are huge. When fully constructed, this heat network will be capable of delivering an annual CO2 saving of 80,000 tonnes. That is as much CO2 as 12,500 Antwerp households emit in a year. When Boortmalt and Woonhaven are connected, the heat network will immediately achieve an initial reduction of 35,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.In the future, no less than three thousand households, 7 schools and several public buildings will receive their heat from a heat network fed by residual heat from industry. ​ To make heat networks possible, contracts with industrial customers are a particular asset. Large players ensure that plenty of useful heat is also purchased outside the 'heating season', which makes for better use of the heat network. Investment support from the Flemish government also makes it possible to build this network. The ultimate goal is that the residential end user will not pay more for his sustainable heat than he does now for his fossil fuel.

Industry balances heat supply and demand

Indaver's processing operations in Antwerp North generate a lot of heat. This is already being used for its own business processes and for electricity production. The residual heat that remains after electricity production is still suitable for heating purposes. The neighbouring company 'Amoras', the mechanical dewatering project of the port of Antwerp, already heats its buildings today with residual heat from Indaver. ​ Boortmalt, the world’s largest malting company, has its most important malting plant at some 8 km from Indaver. ith a production capacity of 470,000 tonnes per year, enough malt is produced here to brew around 16 billion beers a year. ​ Large quantities of heat are required during the malting process. Boortmalt currently uses cogeneration units and gas burners to produce this process heat. When Boortmalt taps heat directly from the heat network in the future, the company will save an amount of natural gas comparable to the annual consumption of approximately 10,000 families.

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An open access netwerk & two transport companies

The heat network in the port will consist of two major parts. For each section, a company will be responsible for construction, operation and maintenance. ​ The first part of the route, the heat supply to the company Boortmalt, will be built and operated by transport company 'Warmtenetwerk Antwerpen Noord'. Partners in this transport company are Indaver and Port of Antwerp. ​ The second part, the residential heat supply, is being realised by Fluvius on behalf of the City of Antwerp and can count on major customers such as social housing company Woonhaven, which will connect its buildings with some 3,200 homes in the Luchtbal and Rozemaai districts to the system.

A special feature of this network is that it will be an 'open access' network: it will be open to additional suppliers and/or customers of heat who wish to join at a later stage. This is the first open access network to be realised in Belgium.


"For Indaver, waste is not an end product", says Indaver CEO Paul De Bruycker. "We supply the residual heat from the thermal processing of waste to Boortmalt and, in time, also to residential areas, schools and public buildings. In this way we are closing the loop and offering a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. This project is an example of the industry's commitment to help achieve climate targets effectively."
"The transition from fossil to renewable energy is not only a question of more green electricity or clean fuels", says Annick De Ridder, chairman of the board of directors of Port of Antwerp and Antwerp Alderman responsible for the port. ​ "Making heat more sustainable is also essential, in order to heat buildings or create process heat for industry. The Antwerp North Heat Network will use process heat not only for industry but also to heat buildings in the city, good for a reduction of 80,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year. In this way the Port of Antwerp, together with local partners, is once again taking the lead in the transition to a climate neutral port.
"Together with the Antwerp city government, we want to halve emissions on our territory by 2030. The Antwerp North Heat Network is essential for this", says Tom Meeuws, Alderman for the Environment of Antwerp. "We are helping both households and industrial customers on the road to climate neutrality. By connecting social housing in the Luchtbal and Roozemaai districts, this network embodies like no other the social climate transition that we consider so important."
Yvan Schaepman, CEO of Boortmalt: "Sustainability is at the heart of our business strategy. We are determined to help make a difference. We are working on a series of concrete targets in line with our SBTi 1.5°C commitment to halve our carbon footprint by 2030. But, we are taking it one step further and are already looking at how we can bring our emissions to ''0'' well before 2050. We also believe in the power of cooperation to achieve these ambitions. This project fits right into this approach and we are particularly proud of it, as Antwerp is our largest site and our headquarters are located here."
"Together with the extensive renovation of the existing building stock, the connection to the municipal heat network is one of the main pillars of Woonhaven Antwerp's sustainability policy", says Wouter Gehre, general manager of Woonhaven. "By connecting the Rozemaai and Luchtbal houses, the heating of around 3,200 social housing units in the North of Antwerp will eventually be CO2 free. Thanks to the cooperation with the various partners, Woonhaven will be able to guarantee its social tenants an easy-to-use heating system that will not be any more expensive than a conventional heating system running on natural gas."
Karel Van Butsel, Head of Product Management Heat at Fluvius: "Fluvius has concluded an intensive long-term partnership with the city of Antwerp to drastically reduce CO2 emissions through the construction of a city-wide heat network. We are therefore very pleased that the partnerships with Indaver and Port of Antwerp in this project give us the opportunity to use the sustainable residual heat from the port for the benefit of Antwerp residents and in particular for the social housing and flats at Woonhaven. After all, it is only through such intense and loyal cooperation with all stakeholders that we will succeed in meeting the climate targets. Other Flemish cities and municipalities that, like Antwerp, want to use sustainable residual heat to lend force to their climate ambitions will find a trusted partner in Fluvius.”
"Both industry and local governments are crucial partners in making the energy transition in Flanders a success," says Flemish Minister of Energy and Climate, Zuhal Demir. "Heat networks are the technology of today and of the future, because the most climate-friendly energy is the energy that does not need to be generated. By reusing heat that would otherwise go to waste to keep both Antwerp businesses and households warm, we avoid 80,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. This benefits the port of Antwerp, the city and all its inhabitants and visitors.”


Indaver is a European player in the waste industry with plants and operations in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Indaver manages and treats industrial and household waste in specialist facilities for the industry, waste collectors and governments. Indaver recovers valuable raw materials and energy from these treated waste streams. By doing so, Indaver is creating value from waste and helping to close the materials loop in a safe, low carbon and energy-efficient manner, which makes Indaver the ideal partner in the pursuit of a sustainable circular economy. In 2020, Indaver achieved a turnover of 600 million euros with approximately 1,900 staff throughout Europe. More information on www.indaver.com


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 231 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 1.600 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


Boortmalt is the world's leading malting company with a 3 million tonnes production capacity. The group is present on 5 continents with 27 malting plants. Boortmalt’s expertise is widely acknowledged by brewers, distillers, and food industries, who rely on the supply of top-quality barley malts.

Boortmalt defines its sustainability strategy based on the UN objectives. "Energy use efficiency & Emissions reduction" is one of the 4 core objectives together with water conservation, sustainable agriculture and health and safety. For more information, please visit www.boortmalt.com


Woonhaven Antwerp is the largest social housing company in Flanders, ensuring that over 34,000 Antwerp residents find a home in one of its 18,000 rental properties. Woonhaven invests heavily in the quality of its properties by continuously renovating and renewing them with an eye for architecture and sustainability. Equally important is the commitment to living together in its buildings, with the community being there for those residents who need it. Woonhaven employs 290 people. www.woonhaven.be


Fluvius is responsible for constructing, managing and maintaining distribution networks for electricity, natural gas, sewage, cable distribution and heat. The network company is also responsible for the municipal public lighting system. Fluvius manages a total of 230,000 kilometres of utility lines and 7.6 million connections and operates in all 300 Flemish towns and municipalities. www.fluvius.be

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About Port of Antwerp-Bruges

With an overall throughput of 271 million tonnes per year, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is a critical hub in worldwide trade and industry. The port is a crucial link for the handling of containers, breakbulk and for the throughput of vehicles. Port of Antwerp-Bruges is home to 1,400 companies and accommodates the largest integrated chemical cluster in Europe. The port provides, directly and indirectly, a total of around 164,000 jobs and generates an added value of 21 billion euros.
The ambition for Port of Antwerp-Bruges is clear - to become the world's first port that reconciles economy, people and climate. As well as growing in a sustainable way, the Port also aims to focus on its unique position as a logistics, maritime and industrial centre and to take the lead in the transition to a circular and low-carbon economy. Together with the port community, customers and other partners, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is actively seeking innovative solutions for a sustainable future. High on the agenda is its responsibility for the environment and the surrounding society. 

The port sites of Antwerp and Zeebrugge are operated by the Antwerp-Bruges Port Authority, a limited liability company of public law with the City of Antwerp and the City of Bruges as its shareholders. The port employs 1,800 people. Vice-Mayor of Antwerp Annick De Ridder is President of the Board of Directors, the Mayor of Bruges Dirk De fauw is the Vice-President. Jacques Vandermeiren is CEO and President of the Executive Committee, which is responsible for the port’s day-to-day management. 


The telephone number +32 492 15 41 39 is only for press inquiries. For other questions you can mail to communicatie@portofantwerpbruges.com

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