ArcelorMittal launches call for applications for heat grid

July 3rd 2020 – ArcelorMittal Belgium, in collaboration with the Province of East Flanders, the Provincial Development Agency of East Flanders (POM), Sint-Jan-Baptist Zelzate and the municipality of Zelzate, is looking for a partner for the development of a (residential) heat grid.

The Province of East Flanders and ArcelorMittal Belgium are today organising an online information event to launch a call for applications for the implementation of a heat grid. A heat grid consists of a network of pipes connected to a source of residual heat. Hospitals, sports infrastructure, schools and even entire neighbourhoods may be connected to a heat grid for heating and hot water.

The heat grid that ArcelorMittal wishes to develop will supply residual heat from the production site in Ghent to various internal consumers on the steel production site itself as well as to potential heat demanders in the municipality of Zelzate. In a first phase of the project, research will be carried out to establish a heat grid in the direction of Sint-Jan-Baptist Zelzate (“backbone heat grid”). In a second phase, an extension to Zelzate will be examined, as well as a further expansion on the ArcelorMittal site and other opportunities.

During today’s information session, the results of the study to connect ArcelorMittal’s residual heat to Sint-Jan-Baptist and Zelzate will be presented, along with additional information on the market survey that will be carried out. ArcelorMittal hopes to make its choice of project partner early next year.

ArcelorMittal Belgium is one of the world’s leading companies in terms of energy efficiency and CO2 emissions. The company is committed to the Paris Climate Change Agreement. For every tonne of steel produced today, there are already 23% fewer emissions than in 1990. In addition, ArcelorMittal has the ambition to become carbon neutral by 2050.

Manfred Van Vlierberghe, CEO ArcelorMittal Belgium: “ArcelorMittal Belgium has a passion for energy efficiency. We continuously invest and launch new projects in order to continue to play our pioneering role in the field of energy and climate transition, even during this difficult period in which we currently find ourselves. We are therefore pleased to be able to announce today our plans to set up a heat grid. With the implementation of this heat grid, we want to strengthen the concrete implementation of our sustainability strategy towards an increasingly energy efficient company and even towards climate neutrality in 2050”.

Daan Schalck, CEO North Sea Port: “North Sea Port is taking on a leading role in the energy transition in the port area. We would like to use ArcelorMittal’s residual heat to further deepen this experience. This offers opportunities to check with companies whether residual heat can be used. In the future, North Sea Port can use the provision of waste heat as an asset for new investors”.

Sofie Bracke, Deputy Mayor of Economy and Trade, City of Ghent: “Our focus in the city of Ghent is on CleanTech, among other things. After all, a strong, future-oriented economy generates jobs and prosperity and this is how fundamental social challenges are tackled. Without cleantech, there can be no vital transition to a climate-neutral economy. We in the City are certainly delighted that a major player like ArcelorMittal shares the same vision”.

Deputy Annemie Charlier: “The Province is committed to transitioning towards a circular society. In our role as Energy Mediator, we guide the stakeholders in the process of creating a heat grid between the ArcelorMittal site in Ghent and the neighbouring municipality of Zelzate. Connecting companies from the port area to their surroundings will ensure a stronger region.”

Deputy Riet Gillis:We have the ambition to become a climate-neutral province by 2040. This will only succeed if we use all available energy, including residual energy that is currently not being used. That’s why this project is so interesting. ArcelorMittal cannot utilize low-temperature heat but it is perfectly usable for public buildings, a swimming pool and houses in the area.”

Kurt Moens, 1st deputy: ‘Commissioned by the Province, POM East Flanders is developing new opportunities for sustainable investments. Both the DOEN project and this project on the heat grid fit perfectly into this picture. With the investment fund we want to achieve a win-win-win situation for the heat grid: by financially increasing the success rate of sustainable, climate-positive partnerships outside the core business of companies, by sustainably strengthening the economic fabric and by multiplying the limited resources through cooperation’.

Dieter Geenens, Managing Director of POM: “POM wants to support the certain risks specific to the project and thus offer a stimulus for the realisation of the potential expansion phase to Zelzate. In particular, we want to offer a solution for the bottleneck in order to increase the pipe diameters of the heat network as early as phase 1 of the project. In this way, future, but not yet certain, expansions to, for example, the centre and the southern part of Zelzate will become possible.”

Steven De Vuyst, Deputy of Zelzate on environment, climate and housing: “In 2017, the municipality of Zelzate decided to approve the Covenant of Mayors and to draw up a climate and energy action plan with the aim of reducing CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030.  ArcelorMittal’s heat grid is also included in the climate action plan.  The municipality has a facilitating role by supporting, providing information, providing information, deploying personnel, …”

Didier Moray, General Director Sint-Jan-Baptist Zelzate: “The Sint-Jan-Baptist psychiatric centre has in recent years invested heavily in environment- and energy-friendly technologies and wishes to continue along this path by participating in ArcelorMittal’s heat grid.”


About ArcelorMittal Belgium

ArcelorMittal Belgium, with sites in Gent, Liège, Genk and Geel, has 5,800 employees. The total direct and indirect employment is estimated at 13,000 jobs. The company produces high quality steel for a wide range of applications in the automotive sector and other industrial sectors such as construction, white goods, packaging…

Contact person

Jan Cornelis

Tel.: +32 (0)9 347 35 72 / +32 (0)499 599 394

Contact person Province of East-Flanders

Michaël Heiremans

tel: +32 (0)9 267 75 01/ +32 (0)475 45 91 55

About POM


POM East Flanders pioneers for a sustainable, innovative, future-oriented and climate-healthy East Flanders. We live up to the Province’s economic policy by participating, developing and motivating.


POM develops sustainable economic projects. As a proactive partner, we stand for cooperation, we identify economic needs and opportunities, tackle challenges and achieve groundbreaking realizations. In this way, we create high-quality business space and strengthen the province’s economic spearhead sectors.

Contact person

Dieter Geenens

Tel.: +32 (0)9 267 86 74 / +32 (0)498 177 448

About Zelzate

Zelzate is an East Flemish municipality that is partly located in North Sea Port between the Ghent Seaport and the Dutch town of Terneuzen.  It is divided by the canal Gent – Terneuzen in Zelzate East and West.

It is a small-town area with a total area of 1,371 ha.

In Zelzate there are 3 business zones in which SMEs are located: Industriepark De Rosteyne, Karnemelkpolder and Triphonstraat. In the Michel Gillemanstraat there are mainly office buildings. Important department stores and clothing stores are located in the Maïsstraat and the Rijkswachtlaan. On the Market Square there are a few boutiques and restaurants. There are several schools, sports facilities (swimming pool), a residential care centre with service flats, … There are also several residential areas, such as Debbautshoek, Molenstukken and Wittouck.

Contact person

Steven De Vuyst

Tel: + 32 9 342 20 20

About Sint-Jan-Baptist

The Sint-Jan-Baptist psychiatric centre is a dynamic regional psychiatric centre located in Zelzate. Based on professionalism and expertise, doctors and staff guarantee the treatment, guidance, meaning and care of patients and residents in the target groups addiction care, forensic care, geriatric psychiatry and the psychiatric care home.

Our centre has 415 beds. Together with our 560 employees and about 70 volunteers, we work on innovative and high-quality care. Sint-Jan-Baptist belongs to the non-profit organisation Brothers of Charity.

Contact person

Luc Querter

Tel: +32 9 342.28.28