Blue Gate – Antwerp

Business park for innovative companies

What’s happening? How does it happen?

The Blue Gate site will cover 100ha with companies in the chemical, cleantech and logistics sector. With a loading and unloading quay of 13 hectares, Moer Stevedoring (B2B via trucks) and City Depot (city distribution, see fiche …) will expand their waterborne transport activities. BlueChem (see fiche …), an important incubator for sustainable chemistry, is put to the fore as an important catalyst for the site.

Why is this an interesting circular initiative for ports?

The location makes it an interesting site to establish synergies and connections between companies and larger context. The coalition and clear ambitions for this large site could have sufficient leverage power for new trends of development and programming. However, the selection parameter (and rent-prices due to the high-performance of the built fabric) are of high-standards, making it hard to find companies that can fulfill these ambitions.

What is the relation with the port and water?

Blue Gate has a strategic location close to the city. A logistical quay was built for the delivery of materials for large-scale construction sites: Blue Gate itself, Scheldekaaien, Nieuw-Zuid,… After an agreement with the port authority, the former manager, the area has been lifted of the Wet Mayor – offering companies a competitive advantage. Beside some waterborne logistical companies, the main focus of the business park is around new chemistry.

What is the relation with the city?

Beside the logistical service of a player like CityDepot, no direct links or synergies are created with the (surrounding) city.

What are the ambitions?

The ambition is to have a cluster around new chemistry and smart logistics – maintaining the competitive stand of the biggest chemical cluster in Europe and exploiting the strategic location of this site next to the city. Together with the Flemish Region, the city of Antwerp wants to turn it into a business park for innovative companies that attach great importance to renewable energy and the reuse of raw materials. The project is said to create 2000 to 3000 new jobs. In a period of six years, the real estate agency Montea wants to develop and sell the whole site. However, land or rent prices are high and the selection of activities is strict…

Who is behind it?

The Blue Gate was set-up as a collaborative platform between public and private actors. Large investments were made to remediate an old, highly contaminated, industrial estate into the 100ha large eco-business park it is coming to be. Through a PPP, where public partners AG Vespa, PMV1 and W&Z2 work together with the consortium Blue O’pen. Other partners are: city of Antwerp, POM Antwerpen, VITO & Essenscia, Bopro, DEC (DEME Environmental Contractors).

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