A team made up of Belgian companies Aquafin, Besix and Indaver are to build a sewage sludge processing facility in Ghent that will be able to deal with the output of 4 million people.
The project will be built on a site owned by steel maker ArcelorMittal and will recover minerals such as phosphorus from the sewage.
Aquafin will own the plant, and Besix and Indaver will work on its design, construction and financing. They will also maintain it until 2046. ArcelorMittal will buy the steam produced by the sludge processor, and will incorporate it into the steel making process.
Besix said the project would be “an example for Europe”. Pierre Sironval, the company’s deputy chief executive, added: “Besix is particularly proud to have been selected for the design, construction, financing, operations and long-term maintenance of this state-of-the-art mono-combustion sludge treatment plant. The installation is exemplary in terms of circularity and net environmental impact. The installation is exemplary in terms of circularity and net environmental impact.”
Paul De Bruycker, Indaver’s chief executive, added: “The circular economy will succeed only if everyone in the chain assumes their role and responsibilities. By closing high-quality material cycles, we can use raw materials again and again and contribute to the circular economy. Waste is no longer an unwanted end product, but a stream from which we create value.”
The project is due to be operational by 2026.