Port of Antwerp looks for new investor to develop Churchill dock site


Belgium's Port of Antwerp is searching for a new investor to develop its Churchill dock site, which is set to expand across an area of 88 hectares.

The port authority also intends to launch a new international proposal request for the site, with employment generation and other criteria being the basic requirements of any bid.

The decision came after Energy Recovery Systems Company failed to submit a final dossier on the project, after previously being awarded an option on the site in May last year. 

ERS had asked more time to reach the milestones and deadlines set by the port authority, however both parties have now agreed to cancel the initial deal.

The milestones and deadlines include a confirmation list of technical partners to be involved in the project, financing, overall technical feasibility, the quality of the non-recyclable waste and the impact on the existing waste processing industry, among others.

"The port authority intends to launch a new international proposal request for the site, with employment generation and other criteria being the basic requirements of any bid."

ERS have agreed to continue to work on the development of its waste-to-chemicals (WtC) plant at the former Opel site, which will be situated in the Churchill dock.

The WtC project represents an investment of €3.7bn and is expected to create 900 full-time job opportunities throughout its lifespan.

The plant could be integrated with Antwerp’s industrial platform upon completion, which would offer additional opportunities for the creation of a ‘circular economy’ as it would use waste from other industries as its raw material.

An as-of-yet-unknown Belgian subsidiary will also be involved in the partial management of the WtC plant.

ERS plans to ask the Antwerp port authority once more to consider whether it can still be accommodated within the port area following the project's maturation.