The circular economy is a major challenge for the coming years. At the port of Antwerp, which contains a major industrial cluster, waste-processing companies and logistics premises, there are numerous opportunities for a greater focus on circularity. One company's waste substance could form the raw material for another, for example, and collaborations are possible.

©Bron: Nationale Bank van België

Investments and added value in the circular economy

It is difficult to accurately measure investments and added value within the circular, given that circular business operations are being implemented more and more in all sectors.

Based on an analysis from the National Bank among companies in NACE codes 33 (repair and installation of machines and equipment), 38 (collection, processing and removal of waste, reclamation) and 39 (sanitation and other waste management), we can see a cautiously rising trend.

Investment within the circular economy fell in 2018, but rose again in 2019 to 76.1 million euros. The added value of the activities in the circular economy rose again in 2018, before seeing a further slight rise in 2019 to over 367 million euros.

 

How do we work on a circular economy?

Antwerp@C

In the Antwerp@C project, Port of Antwerp is investigating the technological and economic feasibility of CO2 infrastructure to support CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation & Storage) applications, along with 7 chemical and energy companies. Both applications are seen as important pathways in the transition to a climate-neutral port and could make a major contribution to achieving the climate objectives. This project has the potential to reduce the total CO2 emissions at the port of Antwerp by 50% by 2030.

 

NextGen District

Port of Antwerp intends to make the 88-hectare site a hotspot for the circular economy, aimed at the sustainable processing and manufacturing industry. Circularity is the norm for the new NextGen District business park. Port of Antwerp is developing part of the site as a place for demonstrating innovative technologies, such as chemical recycling technologies. The reuse of CO2 as a raw material is also among the possibilities.

 

Antwerp Recycling Hub

Port of Antwerp is exploring the economic and spatial potential for setting up a Recycling Hub with a view to closing the plastic circuit. This way, we will strengthen the industrial cluster while having a positive impact on our surroundings and the environment.