Dedicated industrial water treatment plant in the heart of Antwerp’s (petro)chemical industry

 

Cost-Efficient and Secure Supply of Demineralised Water in the Port of Antwerp

1. The Challenge: Cost Control and Secure Supply

The Scheldelaan is a true hotspot of (petro)chemical activity in Antwerp, Belgium. Many multinational (petro)chemical players and refineries have a plant there, strategically clustered along the banks of the river Scheldt in the heart of the Antwerp port.

An essential aspect of the (petro)chemical production process is the use of demin water (deionised/demineralised water). Historically, almost every plant along the Scheldelaan managed its own demin water production, and did so in redundant quantities to ensure production continuity. This actually meant that neighbouring plants were each spending time, money and people on demin water production, resulting in a constant overcapacity not just per plant but for the whole cluster along the Scheldelaan.

Naturally, Antwerp’s (petro)chemical companies strongly wished to lower their production cost of demin water (after all a non-core activity for them), while maintaining supply at all times in the required quantities and quality.

Together with Induss they explored their options.

2. The Answer: Induss I, a Dedicated Water Treatment Plant

With maximum involvement of all partners (but minimal required time effort on their part), Induss conducted an in-depth study of all requirements, concerns and possibilities. The outcome was a quite radical proposal, which all companies involved have accepted: complete outsourcing of demin water production by the majority of plants along the Scheldelaan to Induss I.

As water expert, Induss designed, build, financed and operates the demin water plant and simply charge each plant for the volumes of demin water it consumes. It includes a full distribution network to every plant involved, ensuring the necessary redundancy and therefore reliability.

Construction of Induss I started in autumn 2010 and took less than 1 year to complete.

3. The Benefits

Below are some of the main ways in which the Induss I will benefit the (petro)chemical plants along the Scheldelaan.

  1. Demin water production is no longer a concern for individual plants/companies. This non-core activity is completely outsourced to Induss, exchanged the fixed CAPEX cost of infrastructure for a variable OPEX cost of demin water volume consumed. This enabled the participating companies to focus their investments on their core business only, while Induss offered a water management solution based on economies of scale.
  2. Induss I and its distribution grid ensures the same or greater redundancy as before, so plants have a guaranteed supply. Additionally, Induss provides back-up services (e.g. mobile units) and 24/7 network monitoring.
  3. Induss I lowers each company’s TCO (total cost of ownership). The main areas of cost improvement are the use of energy and chemicals, environmental taxes, and actual demin water intake (more effective than on-site production).
  4. Induss manages the whole of environmental, tax-related and administrative requirements surrounding the demin water plant, its operations and its intake by the respective companies.
  5. Induss is able to minimise or even avoid the presence of its employees on the companies’ sites.
  6. Induss I features more advanced process water management technology than the individual plants had installed, raising output quality and efficiency and minimising energy and waste disposal.

 

 

Peter De Laet, Utilities Manager Total Refinery Antwerp, had the following to say about this significant project:

“A few years ago, we wanted to build our new “Demin 7”-installation. Induss made us a proposal to take care of a significant part of our need of demineralized water. Outsourcing of the demineralized water need, saved us an investment and gave us some “soft money” benefits on the exploitation of the running facilities at that time. In conclusion, this major project run by a young company, has great merit for the utilities in the Port of Antwerp. “

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The collaboration with Induss enables us to reduce our carbon footprint. Transparency in our partnership is also the key for better cost control of water and steam.
Johan Rousseau
plant manager, Eastmann
We sustainably reduced our demin water cost
Ivago
management
Thanks to Induss’ full examination and mapping of my various water needs, I now receive guaranteed quality and secured delivery of industrial water for my production line and that at a fixed price for a full contract length.
Bart Vervenne
Plant Manager, Alco Bio Fuel