Jan De Nul Group, CAT site

On site soil remediation works give a future to CAT-site in Vilvoorde-Machelen, Belgium

The CAT site is located behind the Vilvoorde railway station. It is better known as the site of the former Renault Vilvoorde. The industrial past of the site, as a former landfill site, resulted in serious soil contamination. The environmental liability, with a/o BTEX, heavy metals, VOCL and mineral oils, is now being tackled at the request of OVAM in cooperation with project developer MG Real Estate, with a view to redevelopment. These remediation works were awarded to a consortium with our environmental division Envisan.

More than twenty years ago, in 1997, the closure of the largest factory in Vilvoorde was a social catastrophe. Since then, the site has been left derelict for many years. Today, the site has a bright new future with a conversion into a new logistic, industrial and residential space. Therefore, thorough soil remediation is imperative.

On site remediation

With our partners, we have been carrying out the soil remediation works since 2020 in the eastern zone of the project area. Our activities include the selective excavation of 207,000 tonnes of contaminated soils containing waste materials. In doing so, we pay particular attention to  safety measures relating to emissions control and emissions monitoring.

The soils are separated from the waste and placed in bio-piles to be biologically cleaned on site. Biological treatment is based on the biodegradation of contaminated substances into the end products CO2 and water with the help of micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi. At the same time, in the case of the most heavily contaminated soils, the contaminated air is cleaned through a thermal incinerator with heat recovery. The heat generated is used to heat the incoming air stream and to maintain the temperature in the bio-piles during the cold winter months.

More than 95% of all materials are recovered

We focus on maximum recovery of the materials present. After the soils have been cleaned to the predefined cleanliness values, they are used as backfilling soil in the excavation pit.

This  on-site cleaning method combined with a and circular application of the soils, thus reduce road transport to a minimum. We also take care of decontaminating the polluted extraction water using a temporary mobile water treatment installation.