Activity Report 2016

Dredging Solutions
Dredging Plus Solutions
DEME Fleet

Environmental Solutions

Proactive approach proves successful

DEME’s environmental companies have taken on a proactive role in sourcing and developing potential remediation projects. Along with development partners, DEME’s environmental specialists identify old, polluted industrial sites and approach owners regarding the possibility of redeveloping the site into industrial, housing and recreational areas. This strategy is proving very interesting for local councils as they often face budgetary constraints.


Breathing new life into brownfield sites

This proactive approach is highlighted by several projects successfully completed in 2016, and by some new awards.


Two brownfield developments, Bekaert Zwevegem and Bekaert Hemiksem, carried out in partnership with private developers Vanhaerents and Vooruitzicht, were remediated in early 2016. These sites were previously used for the manufacture of steel wiring. In Zwevegem, a whole new quarter of the town is being created including housing, a sports hall and a park. DEC took over the full responsibility for the remediation project on a lump sum basis.


DEC and its joint venture partner acquired an 8 ha, brownfield site from Bayer in Ghent. The work was finished by the end of 2016. Now totally cleaned up, this site will be used for industrial purposes.


DEC was awarded by the Flemish utility company Eandis for another brownfield site in the centre of Kortrijk, which had previously been used for gas production. This will be remediated and then sold on to a project developer. Work is ongoing and due to complete in July 2017.


Meanwhile, works at the Nilefos brownfield site in the port of Ghent got underway in early 2016 with the remediation of the former gas works and the dismantling of the radioactive contaminated structures. Once completed, a new chemical cluster, Dockland, will be established on the site.



Tailing management & dewatering

In Balen, DEC is involved in an ongoing project involving the dehydration of Nyrstar’s process residue. Nyrstar has awarded two additional contracts for the capping of a dumpsite and the installation of a pump infrastructure network to capture and treat polluted groundwater. Here, DEC has been working on the tailing management, dewatering and making filter cakes from the material.

Waterway solutions

DEC is working for Waterwegen en Zeekanaal (the Flemish inland waterway authority) as part of a 7-year contract. DEC treats the dredged sediments at its centres throughout Belgium.


DEC continues its operations at the AMORAS facilities. This is a major design, construction and operation contract for sediment treatment and storage in the port of Antwerp, covering a period of 15 years.

Remediation for a new city quarter in Ghent leading to the creation of 1,500 homes

A major contract got underway with the “New Docks” project in the centre of Ghent. These former docks have been bought by project developers and DEC is working in partnership with them to remediate the ground to the highest environmental standards.


The old industrial site will be transformed into a new quarter of the city with 1,500 homes, businesses and recreational areas.


This highlights the advantages of bringing in DEC as early as possible, as the City of Ghent originally opened the tendering process for the project in 2013. It was keen that any solution chosen should not just focus on the lowest bid. Above all, it needed to be a sustainable solution.


DEC worked with the project developers very early on and this led to a tailored, integrated approach, which included both the remediation work and the site development. New Docks will be fully compliant with all the latest environmental regulations and it is designed to be entirely electricity neutral, using effluent as the main heating source. With a view to sustainability, all the transport will be carried out by ships and during the excavation process for the remediation works, the foundations will already be put in place for the new houses. This is a two-year project.

Historic pollution tackled along Winterbeek River

Another project concerns Winterbeek River, which has suffered historical pollution from a factory outlet. DEC is responsible for cleaning a 6.5 km section of the riverbed and the riverbanks. This contract was awarded by the VMM (the Flanders Environment Agency) via a public tender and is set to complete by the end of the year.

Treatment centres in Belgium, The Netherlands & France

With several soil and sediment recycling centres in Belgium and the Netherlands, DEC, de Vries & van de Wiel and Ecoterres treated 1.36 million tonnes of polluted soil and dredged sediments in 2016, making them the leading companies in this specialised activity in Belgium and the Netherlands. An overview of the treatment centres is on page 141.

Purazur builds new water treatment installation for Indaver

Purazur, the DEME Group subsidiary specialising in water treatment, is building a new water treatment installation for Indaver, the Antwerp based waste treatment company. Purazur is responsible for the design, construction and commissioning of the new facility.


Indaver treats industrial hazardous waste in three rotary kiln incinerators. To ensure compliance with stringent emission requirements, the flue gases from the incineration process are treated in a so-calledwet gas scrubber, whereby harmful substancesare captured by the washing water. This washing water must also meet rigorous discharge standards. To this end, it will be treated separately in the new treatment installation. Indaver’s existing water treatment installation had reached the end of its useful life.


Construction of the plant is due to be completed by August 2017. After a 6-month test period, the new plant will be commissioned in early 2018.


Purazur focuses on the high-tech treatment of industrial and domestic waste water, percolate water from landfills and contaminated groundwater.

Pieter Van der Mussele

“Water is no doubt a global challenge and water treatment is increasingly imperative for the environment. It’s an amazing opportunity for me to be part of Purazur, the new innovative niche of DEME.”

Ecoterres achieved very high activity levels in Wallonia and northern France during 2016

In the field of environmental civil works Ecoterres continued the remodelling and capping of a former industrial, heavily polluted landfill at Tertre. The project is based on traditional synthetics liners (HDPE, bentonite, drainage textiles…) and is expected to be finished at the end of 2018.and surveying equipment, the vessel ‘Zig Zag’.
In a joint venture, Ecoterres continued depollution works at the Codami site in Manage (region of La Louvière). More than 100,000 tonnes of polluted soils will eventually be handled by different onsite and offsite techniques. This is due to finish in September. coterres completed works at Obourg. Starting in 2011, this project included the isolation of a landfill area of contaminated sediments and the construction of new secured basins with a capacity for 50,000 m³/year.


Construction was also finished at two ponds dedicated to the storage of wastewater coming from an industrial company specialised in refining sugar.


Ecoterres dredged 60,000 m³ of polluted sediments from Wallonian waterways. For these two projects, 50,000 m³ of non-polluted sediments and 60,000 m³ of polluted sediments were dredged by the company’s backhoe dredger ‘Sclessin’, and by the bucket dredger ‘Belgica’. All the sediments were transported by Ecoterres’ own barges and discharged into the treatment centres with floating units developed in-house, using high density pumping installation. All in and out survey controls were also provided by Ecoterres with its modern measuring and surveying equipment, the vessel ‘Zig Zag’.

Soil & sediment treatment centres

Ecoterres’ soil and sediment recycling centres of Petit Try (Charleroi), Cetraval (Brussels), Filterres (Liège), Sedisol (Farciennes) and Bruyère-sur- Oise all performed well. More than 400,000 tonnes of polluted soils and sediments have been treated in the centres in Wallonia and nearly 130,000 tonnes in Bruyère-sur-Oise, which is a very good performance after only two years of activities.
All of these centres are located along waterways and in an effort to offer sustainable solutions, Ecoterres encouraged companies to carry out the transport of the polluted and treated soils/sediments by water. Some 220,000 tonnes were transported on the waterways in 2016.


Ecoterres continued to operate the public sediment recycling centre at Tubize (site of Vraimont). In total 110,000 tonnes of nonpolluted sediments were dewatered and recycled as fill for industrial terrains.

The Netherlands

De Vries & van de Wiel was involved in remediation projects in Amsterdam, Haarlem, Den Helder and their surrounding areas in 2016. Once remediation took place the sludge and soil was treated at a specialist facility in Den Helder.
NAM also awarded de Vries & van de Wiel a contract to treat offshore and onshore waste such as drilling cuttings, drilling mud and wastewater from its oil & gas activities. This award is an important contract for de Vries & van de Wiel, highlighting its partnership with the oil & gas industry.

The contaminated waste is treated and then the soil is reused in a project to create nature reservations in the Den Helder area, such as the Vogeleiland and Wierholt project. Both of these are examples of creating new nature with techniques such as immobilisation, where former waste flows are reused in a sustainable way.






Valløy, Tønsberg

As an important milestone for the company, DEC was awarded its first contract from ExxonMobil. The project is underway and given its smooth progression it is likely to complete within the foreseen time frame and this means two years ahead of the client’s expectations.
Together with Norway’s Veidekke Entreprenør, DEC is remediating a former refinery site, which is located at Valløy near Tønsberg, on behalf of Esso Norge. Preparation work on the ExxonMobil site infrastructure started in November 2015.


DEC has to ensure that every part of the operation meets the strict health and safety requirements imposed by ExxonMobil and the Norwegian Environment Agency. The company managed to get all the stringent safety and environmental permits in place and work began in May 2016. The remediation is expected to be successfully finished this summer, even though DEC has the work permits until mid-2019.


DEC expects to treat around 45,000 tonnes of acid tar and more than 250,000 tonnes of contaminated soil. One reason this project is particularly challenging is because the excavated acid tar has to be turned into a good quality, usable secondary fuel and this is being achieved. The fuel will be used by cement kilns as an alternative to coal or other primary fuels. Ultimately, the Esso Norge site has to be restored to meet the Norwegian Environment Agency’s standards for a future mix of commercial and residential use.

United Kingdom

Avenue Coking Works, Chesterfield

Phase 3 of the huge remediation project of a 100 ha coking site near Chesterfield, in the United Kingdom is on track and will complete mid-2017. The project got underway in 2009. This had been a heavily polluted site with black tars, cyanide and many contaminates present, totalling some 1 million m3. When the remediation is completed, the site will be used for residential purposes, with sports centres, a school and even possibilities for fishing.

Staveley Goyts, Chesterfield

On a nearby site DEC International started a project to dredge several small channels, which contain heavily contaminated sediments in mid-2016. This project is expected to be finished in the summer of 2017.


In the frame of a multi-annual contract won in 2015, Ecoterres continued maintenance dredging of the Escaut River in northern France.

In a 4-year maintenance contract awarded in 2014, Ecoterres continued to handle polluted sediments dredged by SDI in the port of Dunkirk. Additionally, Ecoterres won a project called “Condé-Pommeroeul” in northern France. This project entails the construction of three deposit sites designed for the storage of 1.4 million m³ of polluted sediments and dredged materials. The project should be completed in 2020.