Port of Antwerp to Save the Region Millions of Liters of Drinking Water

Port of Antwerp to Save the Region Millions of Liters of Drinking Water

AVAIO's Desalination Plant for Chemical Companies at the Port of Antwerp to Save the Region Millions of Liters of Drinking Water

 AVAIO Capital and AECOM are pleased to announce the development of a brackish desalination facility located in the Port of Antwerp (Belgium) to serve industrial customers and help alleviate local water stress. AVAIO Capital is leading the development efforts, will provide the financing required to develop and build the project and will own and manage the facility. AECOM is providing programme management services including advisory, engineering, and permitting for the project. AVAIO also has partnered with SUEZ, a global leader in desalination technologies, to be the process provider and operator of the project.

download - 2020-12-23T205156.550.jpegThe Antwerp area suffers from high water stress and has been suffering from record droughts in recent years. Approximately 40% of the drinking water produced from freshwater from the Albert Canal is utilized by the industrial sector in Antwerp, competing directly with residential consumer drinking water needs. The desalination project will take brackish water from the port and convert it into high quality process water, which will benefit the end-user industrials by reducing the use of water treatment chemicals and increasing water efficiency. The project will substantially improve the resiliency of the region’s water supply, both by increasing total supply capacity and diversifying the sources of supply. In addition, the project will conserve freshwater in the Albert Canal and has the potential to reduce salt intrusion. AVAIO and AECOM are also exploring the use of renewable power for the energy needs of the project. Because of the diversification and sustainability attributes of our desalination solution, Port of Antwerp, essenscia (the federation for the Belgian chemical & pharmaceutical industry) and the Flemish Trade & Investment Agency are providing significant support to the project.

AVAIO and AECOM intend to apply for an environmental permit early 2021 and AVAIO expects to start construction of the plant in mid-2022. The plant should be operational two years later, at the beginning of 2024. The project has completed preliminary engineering work, established technical and economic feasibility, and has secured exclusivity over a site at Port of Antwerp. AVAIO has been working with a select number of industrial customers at the port and include COVESTRO and EVONIK as the anchor water customers. COVESTRO is a world-leading supplier of high-tech polymer materials and EVONIK is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. AVAIO and AECOM are in discussions with other industrials and Port of Antwerp and the ultimate size of the project will be determined in the immediate future.

"The global need for new resilient and sustainable solutions to solve water scarcity is a critical focus for our team and we are excited to partner with AECOM, Suez, local government, and world-class industrial customers to put in place a solution to alleviate local water stress," said AVAIO partner Mark McComiskey.

“The positive impact that this project is expected to bring to society, environment and the industry is key to our vision to deliver a better world. The project also highlights AECOM’s ability to identify a gap in the market and initiate investment projects in addition to AECOM’s well-known capabilities as an engineering infrastructure firm. Our partnership with AVAIO offers a great opportunity to develop complex projects”, says Gert Vermeiren, Managing Director AECOM Western Europe.

  About AVAIO Capital

AVAIO Capital is a build-to-core infrastructure investment firm led by professionals from investment, development, engineering, construction, and operating backgrounds. In aggregate, the team has completed more than $4 billion of equity transactions and over $50 billion of infrastructure development and construction projects across the water, transportation, digital and energy sectors. AVAIO makes equity investments in the creation and redevelopment of infrastructure assets throughout North America and Europe. More information can be found at http://www.avaiocapital.com.


AECOM is the world’s premier infrastructure consulting firm, delivering professional services throughout the project lifecycle – from planning, design and engineering to program and construction management. On projects spanning transportation, buildings, water, energy and the environment, our public- and private-sector clients trust us to solve their most complex challenges. Our teams are driven by a common purpose to deliver a better world through our unrivaled technical expertise and innovation, a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion, and a commitment to environmental, social and governance priorities. AECOM is a Fortune 500 firm and its Professional Services business had revenue of $13.2 billion in fiscal year 2020. See how we deliver what others can only imagine at aecom.com and @AECOM