The agreement is part of a larger initiative called ‘Waterkracht’ or ‘Waterpower’, planned to be operational by 2025. The Antwerp tap water supplier water-link is developing this project together with Aquafin, Ekopak and PMV. The various parties are joining forces to reuse purified wastewater from Antwerp households as water that companies in the port of Antwerp can employ in their industrial processes.
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TotalEnergies to reuse wastewater in Antwerp (Flanders)
“With the current challenges linked to drinking water, we at water-link wanted to replace drinking water with a different kind of water,” says Franky Cosaert, CEO of water-link. “Above all, we were looking for another source: no more water from the Albert Canal, but wastewater from all Antwerp citizens. This wastewater comes from the sewage treatment plants of Aquafin. We are going to further upgrade this already purified water into high-quality cooling water for production plants.”
TotalEnergies is the first company to become part of the project. “Our industrial processes need cooling, for which we work with cooling towers,” explains Jacques Beuckelaers, CEO of TotalEnergies Belgium. “However, during this cooling process, we also lose some water, which we replenish with drinking water: some 10 billion liters per year. In the coming years, that amount will be 10 times less!”
9 billion liters will be replaced by reused wastewater. That’s what about 280,000 people – over half of the inhabitants of the city of Antwerp – consume each year.
While TotalEnergies is now the first to step in, the aim is that half of Antwerp’s industrial water will be replaced by purified wastewater within 5 years. For this purpose, water-link will also build a new cooling water plant. “There, we are going to produce about 20 billion liters of cooling water, which means that no less than 20 billion liters will be saved in our drinking water plants,” Cosaert concludes.