In dialogue for sustainability

At an established location near the Wadden Sea -
Transformation and diversification

Hotbed of innovation

The Delfzijl industrial park in the Dutch province of Groningen is located next to the Wadden Sea National Parks area, a habitat deserving of special protection. EEW ensures that the company’s local power-generating activities are and will remain environmentally sound, safe and responsible. In 2022, we started construction of a new sewage sludge mono-incineration plant, which is slated to start operations in 2024. It will process up to 185,000 t/a of sewage sludge and dispose of the pollutants contained in the sludge while returning the vital resource phosphorus back into economic circulation.

Phosphorus recycling

The new plant ideally complements EEW’s thermal waste treatment facility, which has been located here since 2010. This facility currently produces 191,000 MWh of electricity and 796,000 MWh of process steam to supply much of the energy required by nearby companies. The new plant replaces the natural gas in the thermal treatment process for sewage sludge drying and it will also generate process steam for the Delfzijl industrial park. In total, this is expected to save several million cubic metres of natural gas per year.

Sewage sludge also contains large volumes of phosphate. From 2026, EEW plans to start recovering phosphate from the ash of thermally treated sewage sludge at the Delfzijl industrial park and thus make the phosphate available for agriculture once again.

We want to use CO₂ to recycle the sodium bicarbonate needed in flue gas cleaning and to produce renewable fuels.”

Wilfred de Jager
Technical Director at EEW Delfzijl

Carbon capture and utilisation

That is not all: From 2026, another plant being built in Delfzijl will capture and prevent the emissions of around 270,000 t/a of CO2 from the flue gas resulting from the thermal treatment of household and commercial waste. By the year 2040, this volume should increase to 400,000 t/a of CO2.

One application for the captured carbon dioxide will be to recycle sodium bicarbonate, which is used as a chemical for flue gas cleaning at thermal treatment plants. This represents another step towards a circular economy and reduces dependency on supplier firms and primary resources. In addition, the CO2 can be used to produce renewable, synthetic fuels. Some of the CO2 could also be stored underground to meet the Dutch government’s CO2 reduction targets. Wilfred de Jager reports more on this here.

Our first carbon capture project in the Netherlands

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In dialogue for sustainability