Eutraco recently started supplying 500 containers of solar panels from China to Engie. Engie is building the largest solar park in Belgium in Lommel. The transport, which also takes place via inland shipping, is organised by Eutraco’s expedition team.

Engie Fabricom is building the Kristal Solar Park in Lommel, which will have a capacity of 99 MWp (megawatt peak). With 300,000 solar panels, 2,200 km of cables and an area of 200 football fields, this will be the largest solar park in the Benelux. It is an initiative of the Limburg Investment Company LRM, the city of Lommel and Nyrstar. At the start of the project, the zinc processor will use a direct line to draw all the electricity. Companies that later establish themselves on the Kristalpark III business park will be able to apply for a connection.

Eutraco was commissioned by Engie to transport the photovoltaic panels from Shanghai to the construction site in Lommel. A total of five hundred containers will be transported. “They will be unloaded in Antwerp and transported by inland waterway to the BCTN Meerhout terminal. From there, the final kilometres are covered by road”, says Bart Pattyn, owner of the logistics company from Roeselare.

Choice in favour of sustainability

“Between Antwerp and Lommel, road transport is cheaper over the entire distance, but in consultation with the customer, we decided to use inland shipping. A more sustainable mode of transport fits in with such a green energy project. This way, we get eight trucks a day off the road,” adds Serge Gregoir, CEO of Eutraco. One of the reasons for the additional costs is the extra transhipment.

A total of five hundred containers are involved. They are delivered to the construction site over a period of more than three months. The entire operation – from China to Lommel – is organised by Eutraco Solutions. This forwarding company was started up in Sint-Niklaas in mid-2018 by Eutraco, which until then had only focused on road transport and logistics. “Initially it focused mainly on its own customers, but it is gaining more and more external customers. Engie’s order is the largest so far, but there are still a number of great projects in the pipeline,” Gregoir says.

Source: – Philippe Van Dooren

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