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AMORAS to Improve Water Quality in Port of Antwerp by Removing TBT Sludge

Logistic News - Published on Mon, 10 Aug 2020

Image Source: AMORAS Port of Antwerp
The Flemish government, Port of Antwerp and contractor SeReAnt will start dredging and processing of the most heavily polluted dredged spoil in the port, the so called TBT sludge. Every year, enormous quantities of sludge are dredged for this purpose and then processed by the AMORAS dewatering plant. The Flemish government and Port of Antwerp make the necessary resources available for the dredging and processing of the most heavily polluted dredged spoil. Flanders provides 25 million euros annually for the exploitation of AMORAS. Through AMORAS, the Flemish government and Port of Antwerp are working together on the sustainable and long-term storage and treatment of dredged spoil from maintenance dredging works in the Antwerp docks. AMORAS stands for Antwerpse Mechanische Ontwatering, Recyclage en Applicatie van Slib.

Since 2011, the dewatering plant annually processes 450,000 tonnes of dry matter into filter cakes. The Temporary Trade Association SeReAnt operates the plant. SeReAnt is a partnership between the environmental companies DEC of DEME Group and Envisan of Jan De Nul Group. AMORAS is constantly looking for solutions to reuse the dry matter obtained from non-polluted dewatered sludge in useful applications. Several options are being explored, but especially the concrete industry shows interest in the filter cakes.

The Mobility and Public Works Ministry is responsible for 80% of the funds, Port of Antwerp for the other 20%. The Flemish government is now making an additional investment of 700,000 euro a year to dispose of TBT-sludge in an ecologically responsible manner. Port of Antwerp has invested 1 million euro in the preliminary phase of this project and will spend another 1.5 million euro per year for the effective treatment of TBT sludge

The contaminated TBT sludge is dredged from the docks with a 15 cubic meter eco-friendly gripper. The dredged spoil is transported to the AMORAS treatment plant in transport containers of 2400 cubic meter. SeReAnt, the contractor operating the AMORAS plant, extracts the sludge from the transport containers and pumps it into the treatment plant. Coarse dirt and sand are removed. The waste water is purified via a water treatment plant and then led back to the docks. TBT sludge is also purified by activated carbon. The water then flows back to the docks. The sludge is processed into a dry end product: filter cakes that are safely stored on site.

TBT was used worldwide in ship paint since the 1970s to prevent the accumulation of mussels and algae on hulls, but has been completely banned since 2003. The product is extremely harmful to the environment and is also difficult to break down. The sludge has been storing TBT like a sponge all these years and is gradually releasing the contamination. In this way, it disturbs the metabolism and hormone balance of mainly shellfish, such as mussels and snails.

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Posted By : Yogender Pancholi on Mon, 10 Aug 2020
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