Large-scale research into circular water use chemistry port of Antwerp


Belgium – Flemish Environment Minister Zuhal Demir today concluded a Blue Deal with essenscia vlaanderen to study the feasibility of treating industrial wastewater from chemical companies in the port of Antwerp for reuse on a large scale.

The project, called CHERISH2O (CHEmical industry water Reuse In a Sustainable Harbour) includes the demonstration with a pilot plant to collect industrial wastewater from large chemical companies in the port and purify it into process water. This is the first time the feasibility of decentralized circular water networks from industrial wastewater has been evaluated at such a scale in a port environment.

Water shortages

Annually, chemical companies in the port of Antwerp use about 40 million cubic meters of water as process water. About 18 percent of Flemish drinking water consumption. This water is released again after use as wastewater and after in-house treatment is discharged into the Scheldt or into the harbor docks. By producing its own drinking water and process water from waste water streams, the industry can reduce the risks of water shortages.


Through the Blue Deal Chemistry, the chemistry cluster is joining forces with Port of Antwerp-Bruges, VITO, Antea Group, essenscia and in collaboration with the Flemish Environment Agency to look for solutions. The cost of the total project is estimated at nearly 730,000 euros. This amount is partly paid by essenscia with the companies and Port of Antwerp-Bruges. Through the Blue deal, the parties will receive a government contribution.