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Alpro builds Flanders’ largest water reuse installation

Precious water, precious project! Plant-based food producer Alpro has commissioned a major water reuse installation at its main site in Wevelgem, Flanders. The subsidiary of French food giant Danone is investing no less than EUR 3 million into the sustainable project. Once completed, the new water purification and reuse installation will be the largest of its kind in the region of Flanders.

We can now reuse 80% of the purified water that used to be drained off.

Ann De Jaeger
VP general counsel & head of Corporate Affairs at Alpro

370 Olympic swimming pools

Through the new installation, Alpro will save up to 720,000 cubic meters of water every year. "That's the equivalent of 370 Olympic-sized swimming pools,” says Ann De Jaeger, VP general counsel & head of Corporate Affairs at Alpro. “Before, we used to purify the water before releasing it into the Lys river. Now, we are going to continuously reuse that water. This doesn’t only offer enormous savings but is also better for the environment. We have chosen not to use the purified water in our products themselves for the time being, but rather to use it in the production process.”

Alpro’s water reuse installation is not only good news for Alpro itself, but also for society at large:

The amount of water which Alpro is saving corresponds to about 3 to 4% of the annual water consumption of the province of West Flanders alone.

Frank De Poortere
Industry & Services director at De Watergroep

“Thanks to Alpro installation, if there is a water shortage, more tap water will be available to households, and less water will have to be pumped up. This project contributes substantially to the goals set out by the Blue Deal, through which the government of Flanders earmarks EUR 75 million for investments in infrastructure and circular water use,” adds Frank De Poortere, Industry & Services director at De Watergroep, which built and manages the building that houses the new installation.

Coming up next: new pilot production line

In addition to the water reuse plant, Alpro is investing another EUR 4 million in a new flexible pilot production line. “We are doing this in our plant-based innovation center at the Wevelgem site,” explains Ann De Jaeger.

The new production line, which we will commission in January 2022, will take our production and taste innovations to the next level in a sustainable way. It will perform test runs on a scale 5 to 8 times larger than our current pilot production line.

Ann De Jaeger
VP general counsel & head Corporate Affairs at Alpro

More info

Reported by
newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws
30 July 2021

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