Antwerp harbour accumulates a lot of sediment approximately 600,000 tons of dry material per year. This accumulation gradually decreases the depth of the harbour which causes navigation problems for the marine vessels.The situation started to become difficult to handle due to a number of reasons;
- there were no more places left to contain the dredged sediment
- the land in contact with the sediment, often polluted, became saturated with toxic substances and there was the possibility of contaminating the groundwater too
Antwerp harbour needed to implement an innovative mechanical dewatering solution to manage complex sediment disposal in the Port of Antwerp. This project was one of the first applications of mechanical dewatering using the filter press technology for port sediment disposal – and the first time anywhere in the world, that the solution had been applied from the design phase.
Bilfinger Water Technologies was awarded the tender to supply 12 Diemme® Filtration membrane filter presses, model GHT 2000.P19 to be part of the dewatering solution. This has been possible thanks to the guarantees that Bilfinger Water Technologies provided in terms of production capacity and on-time delivery of such a high number of machines, respecting the restrictions set out by the project timetable.
The new dewatering solution resulted in a mechanical dewatering system that pulls the settled sediment into a separation and dewatering installation. There the sediment is mixed with additives and pumped into the Diemme® Filtration membrane filter presses that compresses out the water. The resulting dense solid matter is removed to a stockpile.