Strategic ecology support

Strategic ecology support for Tessenderlo Kerley Ham in Belgium

With the support of Flemish Minister of Economy and Innovation Hilde Crevits, Tessenderlo Group in Ham will invest in a more sustainable energy system and heat recovery. This will allow the company to reduce its CO2 emissions by 15,000 tons per year.  

"Tessenderlo Group is investing for the benefit of the environment and employment in the region. It has taken innovative steps in the past and continues to do so today. It makes the company a pioneer in sustainability. It is in line with the Flemish ambition to ensure the competitiveness, sustainability and productivity of our Flemish industrial companies." - Hilde Crevits   

Tessenderlo Group has been active internationally since 1919 in the fields of food, agriculture, water management and efficient use and reuse of natural resources. The group has approximately 4,800 employees working in more than a hundred locations. The Tessenderlo Kerley Ham fertilizer plant (TKH), which makes potassium fertilizers, is located in Ham, Limburg. This uses heavy fuel oil, a petroleum distillate with various residues including aromatics, sulfur and nitrogen that have an impact on the environment. These substances make the emissions when burned more polluting than other types of fuel oil. 

Less CO₂ emissions, more energy savings 

After a feasibility study, the company decided to take additional steps in terms of innovation and in the interest of the environment.  To reduce emissions, the company is going for natural gas heating in Ham in regenerative burners with heat recovery. An expensive investment, but Tessenderlo Group resolutely opts for sustainable energy consumption. The regenerative burners with heat recovery not only provide energy savings, but also offer major environmental benefits compared to the current installations. In addition to less fine dust, there will also be less CO2 and SO2 emissions. It is estimated that this investment will result in a reduction of 15,000 tons of CO₂ per year. By way of comparison, 1 ton of CO₂ emissions is roughly equivalent to half a year's driving with 1 petrol car or half a year's electricity consumption (from natural gas) by an average household. 

The investment amounts to no less than 9.7 million for the company and is of strategic importance both for the company itself and for the regional economy in Flanders. It fits in with the trend in Flanders to make our chemical activities more sustainable in order to retain them within Europe. This project will help us to remain competitive in Flanders and in Europe and to secure employment for the hundreds of employees of the Ham site. 

Therefore, the Flemish Government decided on the proposal of the Flemish Minister of Economy and Innovation Hilde Crevits to financially support this sustainable project with € 1 million Strategic Ecology Support. With this STRES support, the Flemish government supports companies that invest in new and non-standard ecological technologies that are not yet profitable because of their additional cost and cost price. It thus provides a lever so that companies take that step faster to invest in sustainable and innovative technologies.