First companies for NextGen District in Port of Antwerp sign agreement. Photo by Port of Antwerp
This week saw the official signing of the first concessionaires for the NextGen District in the heart of the port of Antwerp. The commitment of two pioneers, Triple Helix and Bolder Industries, is an important milestone in securing this future circular economy hotspot. Together with innovative game changers, this cluster of circular companies aims to contribute to the transition to a climate-neutral society.
NextGen District will be the future circular economy hotspot in the port of Antwerp, on the former 88 hectares of General Motors. Port of Antwerp consciously chose to set aside this large area close to Europe’s largest chemical cluster for the circular economy. Innovative players in the circular process and manufacturing industry will give end-of-life products a second or third life, explore circular carbon solutions and carry out experiments with renewable energy. In order to attract as many national and international pioneers in the field of circularity as possible, a market survey was organised in October 2020and June 2021.
The two companies that signed first are both real game changers. The Antwerp-based company Triple Helix is set to build a factory to convert polyurethane foam from, among others, discarded mattresses, insulation panels and car seats, along with used PET from the retail and food industries, into polyols. These pure chemicals can then be reused, for example in the production of new polyurethane products. The factory will be fully circular and self-sufficient in terms of energy.
Bolder Industries, the pioneer of advanced sustainable chemical manufacturing sourced from end-of-life tires, delivers dramatic environmental savings to the global rubber and plastics industry and their customers. The company’s proprietary material science process repurposes the chemicals in end-of-life tires to create BolderBlack® and BolderOil™ for rubber, plastic, and petrochemicals supply chains and their new product outputs. In this recovery process, 98% of the tire’s materials are utilized and 75% of the solids and liquids make their way back into new tires, manufactured rubber goods, and plastics.
The total investment value of these two new players amounts to approx. 100 million euros and will generate at least 70 new jobs. After applying for the necessary permits, the objective is to be operational by 2023-2024.
In the meantime, talks with other potential candidates are still in full swing. The projects are judged on feasibility, future orientation, innovative value, climate impact and adaptability. More news on this will follow in the course of 2022.
Source: Port of Antwerp
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