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E.ON builds power plant on Imerys site in Flanders

It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it that counts. That certainly goes for E.ON, the German energy giant planning to build a new energy recovery plant on the Flanders-based site of French group Imerys. The truly remarkable thing is that the plant will not run on natural gas, but on syngas, a waste product created during the production process at Imerys. “It’s a double win for the environment”, as Manfred Wirsing, Managing Director of E.ON Energy Projects, likes to call it.

From two production lines to four

Imerys is the global leader in the production of high-performance conductive additives used in lithium-ion batteries and technical polymer applications. Due to high demand from battery manufacturers, which is driven by the rise of e-mobility, Imerys has decided to expand its production capacity for high-purity black carbon in Flanders. The heat released during the production process of this material generates significant amounts of syngas. E.ON plans to recover the energy content of syngas by producing steam.

The first step to a bigger heating network

The new 29-megawatt power plant will supply power to Imerys’ carbon plant but will feed most of its production into the public grid, covering the equivalent consumption of 40,000 households. In the future, E.ON will also explore the possibility of recovering the residual heat of the plant as a source for a potential district heating network.

The project represents a step change in the sustainability of our carbon black production and aligns with our ambitions to improve environmental stewardship throughout our operations.

Frank Wittchen
Vice President & General Manager at Imerys Graphite & Carbon

Firmly in the lead

Headquartered in Essen, E.ON is an international energy company which focuses on energy networks and customer-centric solutions. As one of Europe's largest energy companies, E.ON plays a leading role in shaping a clean, digital, decentralized world of energy.

E.ON Power Plants Belgium, which employs about 20 people, saw sales grow 83% to EUR 48 million in 2022, thanks to higher energy prices. By the time the new plant is ready – scheduled for late 2025 – it will be E.ON's third and largest unit in the country, next to the long-term partnerships with Oleon and Promat.

More info

Reported by
newspaper De Tijd
25 July 2023

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