Van de Walle crucial partner in ´Antwerp North Heat Network´

Think, produce, deliver!

Indaver´s new incinerator is delivering hot water throughout Antwerp´s northern harbour. Malthouse Boortmalt is located alongside the heat loop and counts on Van de Walle to generate hot process air from the network. This is a keen example of Van de Walles combined engineering and production knowhow. A complex project, successfully taken into operation in February 2024. 

It was to become a huge project: Indaver building a new incinerator in the Antwerp Harbour, with the resulting hot water to be transported through a 8 kilometers long pipeline throughout the harbour and delivered to both production companies and housing facilities. The result of this project was to reduce CO2 emissions with approximately 80.000 tons per year. This huge project was approved in December 2021. Now, in February 2024, the project has reached it delivery stage, under the name ´Warmtenetwerk Antwerpen Noord´ (Antwerp North Heat Network). 


Alongside this network, Boortmalt, the world´s largest malthouse, is the first production company actually using the transported hot water. So as to make malt, large amounts of process heat are needed. Boortmalt has very specific requirements for the incoming heat. In order to generate warm process air from the incoming hot water, Boortmalt asked for the expertise of Van de Walle Apparatenbouw. Hendrik Lorré from Van de Walle Apparatenbouw explains why the stakes were high: ‘Boortmalt had a very open question: precisely what we like most, as it leaves us with plenty of room for using our broad engineering expertise. So we started calculating: 4 process flows of about 900.000 cubic meter need to be heated. Everything should precisely fit in the existing conditions, with minimal impact on both existing processes and infrastructures. Process air should be heated from 55 to 85 degrees celcius, under changing pressure of the overall production weight.´ The target as set by Boortmalt was equally high: reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 24.000 ton per year, minimize the use of gas and further optimize the production process. 


In the course of 2022, Van de Walle Apparatenbouw started the production process: 22 units of 18 up to 20 ton each, 4 assembleys, 36.000 tubes, technical power of 19 MegaWatt. Needless to say, Van de Walle felt fully at home with this huge and innovative project. 


In February 2024, the whole project has started its operations, and the ‘Antwerp North Heat Network´ is officially launched. All partners involved are greatly satisfied by the results. Obviously, also Boortmalt and Van de Walle are excited. Yvan Schaepman, CEO at Boortmalt: ‘after years of research, we have finally reached our destination: a huge step forward, as this process heat is about to reduce both our gas use and our CO2 emission.´ Hendrik Lorré, CEO Van de Walle Apparatenbouw adds: ´This project is the living proof of our added value: thinking from scratch, together with our client, in a creative yet pragmatic way. Boortmalt has an open question, we from our side answered by thinking, producing and delivering. Due to our size, we managed to do all that in a fast, efficient and engineering and cooperative way. As a SME, we could not be more happy with the result delivered.’ Above all, Van de Walle has proved to be strong in its power to think conceptually. Lorré: ‘We are already looking forward to new similar projects, both in Belgium and abroad.´