In four interviews, representatives of Antwerp Port Authority depict a performing, sustainable and modern petrochemical cluster that foreshadows the industry of tomorrow. In close cooperation with the Port Authority, petrochemical companies located at the Port of Antwerp strive to minimize their environmental footprint via initiatives like “Zero Pellet Loss“, optimize their resources and digitalize plants’ operation thanks to online tools like “NxtPort“.

“Antwerp is the largest integrated petrochemical cluster in Europe” says Liesbeth Verhaert, Key account Manager, Oil & Chemicals. Chemicals’ manufacturing accounts for one third of the Port’s production. The Port of Antwerp employs over 150,000 people in the region. Thanks to the economic growth in the petrochemical sector, over one thousand new jobs were created last year. One of the strongest assets of the Port area is that the companies located there are really integrated. They work together with other companies like logistical and utility service providers to exploit synergies, which enables them to focus on their core business, the production, and to operate their plants as sustainably and cost-efficiently as possible.

The Antwerp Port Authority won an Award in 2016 for the best Belgian sustainability report, which shows how committed the Port and its partners are to the concept. “Sustainability means for us a well-balanced economic development focusing on people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership.” says Eric de Deckere, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Manager. The Port together with its petrochemical cluster is continuously improving its sustainable performance focusing on the energy transition and on reducing its environmental footprint with initiative like “Zero Pellet Loss”. “The initiative is a platform combining all stakeholders in the Port of Antwerp community really to go for zero pellet loss in the environment.” says Dries Van Gheluwe, Business Developments Coordinator. Companies within the Port of Antwerp community have already been taking actions for several years: installing filters on their sewage system, creating awareness towards their employees, constantly cleaning up their site. The initiative reinforces cooperation in this field. The Port Authority together with its partners drew an action plan based on the Operation Clean Sweep Charter that contains concrete actions to take to prevent plastic pellet loss.

“The petrochemical cluster in the Port of Antwerp is a leading industry in digitalization.” says Rose-May Pype, Business Development Coordinator, Antwerp Port Authority. The petrochemical cluster in Antwerp is a very efficient collaborating platform and providing data linked to the cluster’s supply chain enables to optimize exchanges. For example, NxtPort is a data access tool, which the Port of Antwerp has made available to the petrochemical companies of its cluster. The Port Authority ensures that there is a good governance in the system, that the commercial data remain confidential and that it can only be open with proper authorization.

For further information, please watch the interviews.