Chemelot also includes water in the transition to circular


Chemelot wants to become the most sustainable and safe site in Europe. This not only requires an energy and raw materials transition, but also a different view of water management. Collaboration between the various companies on the site is essential. And action. ‘Working on the long term does not start the day after tomorrow, but today’, says program manager Lianne van Oord.

‘We want to make the water system at Chemelot future-proof. But there is so much that we can tackle, that we want to list all the possibilities, so that we ourselves have a good overview and can also explain it to our environment’, says Lianne van Oord. She is program manager Process & Site Innovation at Brightsite. One of the themes in her package is water.

About a year ago, Chemelot announced that for the future it wanted to prepare the water system on the site. For example, water use must be reduced, components must be better removed from waste water and the site wants to reuse water where possible. A consortium of Brightsite, Sitech Services, Waterschapsbedrijf Limburg and Waterleiding Maatschappij Limburg started the Circular water program for Chemelot.

‘Working on the long term does not start the day after tomorrow, but today.’

Broader transition
The name for the program was chosen because it is part of the broader transition to circularity at Chemelot. The site aims to be climate neutral by 2050. This requires a switch to green raw materials and sustainable energy sources to keep the factories running. Water is closely linked to this, says Van Oord. ‘If we start using new processes in new factories, it will have an impact on the water system. This also sets out the long-term perspective for the program at the same time.”The program started with an exploration. ‘We spoke with all site users about their ambitions with regard to water. On the one hand about possible expansions or plans to shrink, but also about how we can make it cleaner. What are the ideas of site users and can we make connections? Think of a site user who is left with a nitrogenous flow and another who can use such a flow. Wastewater is not a core business for both companies, which makes it difficult to set up such a combination. In this program we can think along and still take steps together. In this way, we are investigating the opportunities and obstacles to link flows, so that ultimately less has to go to the sewer.’

Long and short term

Naturally, the most obvious project will also receive attention, namely the reuse of effluent from the IWWTP on the site. What are the opportunities and obstacles in this? And are there perhaps things that we need to solve first before we can continue? In this way we try to tie the long and short term together.’ While Van Oord mainly focuses on the long term, Sara Vanderheyden focuses on the short term. She is program manager Water Permit IAZI at Sitech. ‘We have a special water permit at Chemelot, which is assessed for dust level. It is the strictest permit in the Netherlands. Every substance that we discharge must meet a standard or the immission test. In doing so, we must not exceed drinking water or ecological standards. It is a major license for more than six hundred different substances and every year we want to take a step in the right direction. My horizon currently extends to 2027. Until then, we have to make some important progress with various site users, and I coordinate that.’

Source Petrochem magazine | Dutch article 

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The future perspective is that Chemelot has achieved national greenhouse gas reduction targets by implementing the most cost-effective measures while ensuring production. In 2050 Chemelot will be completely CO₂ neutral, based on an optimal transition path. Would you like to contribute to this program, or would you like to use our services? Please contact us.