Ecoslops, an innovative technology company that regenerates ship-generated hydrocarbon residues (or “slops”) into valuable new fuels and light bitumen, recently announced a new step in the establishment of a micro-refinery unit at the site of ATPC, a subsidiary of VTTI group, in the port of Antwerp.
Every year, the global fleet produces oil residues, also known as “slops”, containing maritime hydrocarbon residues, accumulated at the bottom of ships tanks. MARPOL international regulations stipulate that it is illegal to discharge these slops into the sea, and that all slops must be discharged in ports. In most cases, these slops are incinerated, however by using Ecoslops’ unique and proven micro-refinery technology, it is possible to sustainably upgrade the slops into fuels and light bitumen.
The new unit in Antwerp, with a minimum capacity to treat 60,000 tonnes per year, should enable the regeneration of collected residues in the ARA zone (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp) by local slops collectors. It will also provide ship-owners with a full traceability of their slops disposal, as well as sustaining the slops collection industry in the long term.
The project is supported by the Antwerp Port Authority. “ Ecoslops enrolls itself in the commitment we have towards the values of the circular economy. The new micro-refinery unit is a next stepping stone for the sustainable vision we have for the port, and is thus a win for several parties”, says Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of the Antwerp Port Authority.
ATPC, a subsidiary of VTTI group, has an industrial unit dedicated to fuel storage and refining in Antwerp. ATPC and ECOSLOPS will exploit all possible industrial synergies between the two companies within the project.
During this phase the parties will work together, with the common objective to facilitate detailed studies (technical, economic, regulatory), and the aim to rapidly file building and operation permits. This phase is expected to result by end 2017.
Ecoslops has a fully operational micro-refinery in the Port of Sines (Portugal) and will soon build and operate another unit in Marseilles La Mède (with TOTAL).
On signing the MOU, Vincent Favier, Chairman and CEO of Ecoslops, said: “The success of our first industrial unit in Portugal has turned Ecoslops into the genuine leader in its market. Following our partnership with TOTAL group in Marseilles, Ecoslops is delighted to announce an agreement with the Port of Antwerp, a leading port in the world, and ATPC, refiner and storage provider of VTTI group. The implantation of a new unit in the ARA zone will allow ship-owners to benefit from a full traceability in compliance, with the best economic and environmental standards. It is a key milestone for our company in the development of a worldwide network targeting the major routes and international shipping infrastructure.”