Blue Gate Antwerp


Name of the Hosting Project Partner:
Contact person(s) for Study Visit (Name, e-mail):



Name of the Measure:

Blue Gate Antwerp

Type: (autonomous or part of an integrated action plan?)
Topic addressed:

  • Integrated energy
  • Transport mobility
  • Land use planning
Managing Organisation (if not project partner, please provide name of the organization and website):

Antwerp Municipality

Geographic Coverage (Country/Region):

Antwerp Belgium

Starting Date and Expected Ending of the tool or measure:

2012 – ongoing

Beneficiaries / Target Group:

Antwerp Metropolitan Area (citizens, entrepreneurs, companies, etc)

Rationale (starting point, challenge, objectives, initiator/s and stakeholders involved):

Blue Gate Antwerp is being developed into a water-linked eco-effective industrial park. With this site, the City of Antwerp and the Flemish Region want to attract innovative businesses – both domestic and international –marking a new milestone for Antwerp in its innovative history. In the beginning of the 20th Century the site, the former Petroleum Zuid (Petroleum South), was home to one of the most important petroleum ports in the world. At that time, Antwerp was a pioneer in refining fossil fuels. Today the city and Flanders want to play a leading role again, this time as international pathfinders for renewable sources of energy. The site’s new name – Blue Gate Antwerp – was consciously chosen to reflect this ambition.


The planning phase of Blue Gate Antwerp is almost complete. The EIA procedure is currently running and negotiations with the private sector are underway to set up a public-private partnership (PPP). Once both these procedures are completed, the actual development will be able to start.


Even though the final development has yet to begin, a whole series of concrete projects are already running there. For instance, collaborative work is focusing on drafting an eco-charter in the European context; a business model is developed to set up an incubator for sustainable chemistry on the site; a pilot project for urban distribution has been launched; and a joint study on a heating network is under way.

What does eco-effective mean?

Eco-effectiveness goes much further than eco-efficiency. An eco-effective approach not only assumes that a negative footprint and pollution are minimised. It also assumes that a positive footprint is achieved to the greatest extent possible. The concept of eco-effectiveness is simply based on the principle that economic growth and ecological added value go hand in hand. Blue Gate Antwerp is aiming for cleaner air, more renewable energy and greater recovery of materials, but also for more added value and better employment opportunities.

How will the site be decontaminated and what will the timing be?

The land in the estate is severely contaminated due to industrial activities in the past. In certain areas, petroleum activities caused the soil to be particularly contaminated with mineral oils and aromatic compounds. The soil remediation process for the site involves the excavation and clean-up of the contaminated soil. Biological and physicochemical treatment technologies will be used to clean up this soil.

At the site of the former railway line, the soil is contaminated with heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The remediation technique used for this location also involves the excavation and on-site clean-up of contaminated soil. Remediated soil and lightly contaminated soil will then be used as much as possible for elevating the site, depending on the directives issued by OVAM (the Public Waste Agency of Flanders). When the soil remediation process is complete, groundwater concentrations on the site will be re-evaluated frequently at regular intervals. Based on the results and assessments of these periodic inspections, additional measures that may be required for the remediation of the groundwater will be implemented. Any such measures, as well as a full description of the remediation techniques to be used, will be incorporated in the soil remediation project.

The soil remediation process is an integral part of the entire redevelopment project of the site. Although the remediation techniques required are not technically complex, the area to be treated is quite substantial. For this reason, the remediation process is planned for completion in 2016-2017.



Implementation Modality / Methodology:


Internal organization of the implementation of the measure / Administrative Work-Flow:


Performance Indicators  (if applicable):
Strong features of the tool/measure:

Weak features and criticalities of the tool/measure:


From the starting, did you apply any change in design and implementation? Any corrective action?
What are the lessons learned for your region? For other regions? What would be conditions for potential transfer?


What are the next steps/follow up actions?


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