Turn­ing the Tide

EME Outlook - - Water- L I Nk - Writer: Jonathan Dy­ble | Project Man­ager: Richard Thomas

water-link is re­ally on the move. What we promised last year is now re­ally be­com­ing a re­al­ity for Antwerp and the wider re­gion.”

Al­most a year to day the day since we last spoke with CEO Franky Cosaert, it’s ev­i­dent that Flan­ders’ pri­mary water provider has ex­pe­ri­enced a revo­lu­tion­ary 12 months.

Work­ing along­side an ar­ray of clients that in­clude re­gional res­i­dents, in­dus­try play­ers and other water sup­pli­ers, water-link reached a new mile­stone ear­lier this year, now ac­count­ing for 40 per­cent of the Flan­ders re­gion’s en­tire water needs.

How­ever, in the eyes of Cosaert, there’s much more to come for 2019.

Re­cent months have seen one of Europe’s largest petro­chem­i­cals com­pa­nies, INEOS, nam­ing the Port of Antwerp as the home of its new €3 bil­lion cracker plant, while fel­low in­dus­try stal­wart Bo­re­alis equally re­vealed that it would be in­vest­ing ap­prox­i­mately €1 bil­lion in the devel­op­ment of a propane de­hy­dro­gena­tion plant in the re­gion.

Two fa­cil­i­ties that will un­doubt­edly bring count­less ben­e­fits to Flan­ders, water-link is set to play a sub­stan­tial role in fa­cil­i­tat­ing their suc­cess through the pro­vi­sion of process and dem­iner­alised water.

In the wake of a suc­cess­ful 2018, Flan­ders’ pri­mary water provider will con­tinue to lever­age in­no­va­tion, dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion and dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion in or­der to excel through­out the com­ing year

“Antwerp is re­ally an ex­cit­ing place to be at the mo­ment,” states Cosaert.

“It’s fan­tas­tic news for the econ­omy, and these new de­mands, com­bined with other de­vel­op­ments, have mo­ti­vated us to ex­pand our ca­pac­ity and im­prove our ef­fi­cien­cies in in­no­va­tive ways.”

From con­cept to re­al­ity

Driven by these am­bi­tions, water- link re­mains heav­ily in­volved in an en­ter­pris­ing in­vest­ment pro­gramme, end­ing 2021, that will po­si­tion the com­pany at the fore­front of Flan­ders’ water mar­ket for many years to come.

“In my eyes, we stand apart from the com­pe­ti­tion by em­pha­sis­ing in­no­va­tion in all our ac­tiv­i­ties,” ex­plains Cosaert, a dif­fer­en­tia­tor that is ap­par­ent in a range of the com­pany’s re­cent en­deav­ours.

“We be­gan full-scale de­ploy­ment of smart water me­ters in Oc­to­ber 2018, for ex­am­ple, with the ex­pec­ta­tion that each and ev­ery one of our clients will pos­sess one of these,” the CEO con­tin­ues. “Al­ready 5,000 of our cus­tomers have been pro­vided with these smart me­ters, and we’re hop­ing to be one of the first com­pany’s in Europe to pro­vide this full scope by the end of 2021.”

More­over, water-link’s In­tel­li­gent Con­trol Cen­tre (ICC) is start­ing to be ac­tu­alised, with the firm hav­ing com­mis­sioned an ar­chi­tec­tural busi­ness to be­gin build­ing the flag­ship fa­cil­ity that is ex­pected to be op­er­a­tional by 2021.

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