Turning the Tide
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.