The Port of Antwerp has inaugurated the first Concentrated Solar Thermal farm (CST) in Europe as part of its efforts to make its operations more environmentally friendly.
In a pilot collaboration with Belgium-based energy company Azteq, co-financed by the Flemish government, the plant was installed specifically for Adpo (Antwerp Distribution and Products Operations), the integrated logistics firm based in Beveren.
The CST farm has 1100 m2 of parabolic reflectors on the site of Adpo, which until now had used gas to produce the steam that it uses for cleaning and heating tanks and containers.
Heating said tanks and containers requires temperatures of more than 140 degrees Celsius, which is well within the capabilities of CST technology.
The CST farm’s solar reflectors will each be 5 metres long and be in lines of 120. They will follow the path of the Sun and focus the incident sunlight on collector tubes.
It is the first part of wider project to utilize solar energy and together with two others in Ostend and Genk, it will generate between 1,390 and 1,260 MWh of eco-friendly heat annually. The three plants will cost a total of US$1.56 million, of which almost $911,000 will be paid by the Flemish government.
Port of Antwerp CEO Jacques Vandermeiren said: “As Port of Antwerp we have a pioneering role to play in the energy transition.
“Together with industry we are working to reduce CO2 emissions and make the transition to alternative energy sources, so as to become a CO2-neutral port.
“We aim to accomplish this by means of ambitious transition projects, using methanol, hydrogen, wind power etc.
“We want to be a testbed for technological innovation that helps us on the way to a sustainable future. I am therefore proud that this promising technology is being tested first in Port of Antwerp.”