The official signing of the first concessionaires for the NextGen District in the Port of Antwerp took place last week, with both Triple Helix and Bolder Industries committing to the project.
The announcement is considered a milestone in securing the future of the circular economy hotspot within the Port of Antwerp, with several companies seeking to contribute to a climate-neutral society.
To create the NextGen District, the port set aside the land previously used by General Motors due to its position close to the largest chemical cluster for the circular economy in Europe. The site will enable companies from the circular process and manufacturing sectors to give end-of-life products another life, carry out experiments with renewable energy and investigate circular carbon solutions.
Antwerp-based Triple Helix will build a factory that converts polyurethane foam from discarded mattresses, insulation panels, car seats and other similar items, along with used PET from the retail and food industries, into polyols. The pure chemicals will then be reused to produce new polyurethane products. The factory has been designed to be fully circular and self-sufficient in terms of its energy supply.
Bolder Industries will utilize its proprietary material science process to repurpose chemicals in end-of-life tires to create BolderBlack and BolderOil for rubber, plastic and petrochemical supply chains and their new product outputs. During the recovery process, 98% of the tire’s materials are utilized and 75% of the solids and liquids are used to produce new tires and other manufactured rubber goods or plastics.
The total investment value of the two companies is approximately €100m (US$113.5m). They are applying for the necessary permits and aim to be operational by 2023/24.