After years of research, the Port identified a solution for dredging and processing the Antwerp docks' most polluted sludge. The clean up of TBT in the water will take about 20 years.
A worldwide first and a milestone for Flanders and Port of Antwerp,
...says Lydia Peeters, Flemish Minister for Mobility and Public Works.
The project, called AMORAS, is expected to substantially improve the water quality in the docks, which is a strategic priority for Port of Antwerp. With this project, the Flemish government and the Antwerp Port Authority invest in a sustainable and long-term solution for the storage and processing of maintenance dredging spoil.
The AMORAS project plans to separate the sand present in the maintenance dredging sludge via hydrocyclones and to recover it. The remaining fine silt fraction is mechanically dewatered using membrane chamber filter presses. The filtrate water is purified via a water purification plant before being discharged into the docks. The installation therefore dehydrates the sludge before it is stored in specially designated areas.
Since the 1970s, TBT has been used worldwide in ship paint to prevent the growth of mussels and algae. However, since 2003, it has been banned, as it is harmful to humans and the environment and difficult to degrade.
Eliminating this historical pollution will ultimately benefit the docks’ water quality.