and protect.

A safer culture

VTTI operates in heavy industry, and also handles products which have the potential to be hazardous to people and the environment.

Each country has its own legislation on environmental performance and in recent years licence requirements have become increasingly stringent. We are committed to comply with all environmental legislation.

In fact in some territories, our own standards are tougher than local laws actually demand. In particular, our investment and focus falls on three areas:

Vapour treatment Wastewater treatment Soil protection & remediation

Vapour treatment

The various hydrocarbon products we handle come with hazardous vapours, and some with noticeable odours.

Legislation is therefore making vapour treatment an increasingly pressing issue.

VTTI is guided by local legislation and has installed leading-edge VTUs (Vapour Treatment Units) at several of our terminals. We employ different techniques ranging from combustion to recovery using activated carbons. We are proud of our record of listening to the views of local people and the excellent relationships with the communities where we work. Being good neighbours is a fundamental part of how we operate day to day.

Vapour Recovery Unit (VRU)
ETT, Rotterdam

Wastewater treatment

Like many industrial processes, terminal operations produce waste products which may not be discharged into the environment without first being treated.

In particular, aromatics such as xylene, benzene and toluene require additional treatment.

VTTI has invested heavily in water treatment technology, ranging from techniques involving advanced oil water separation to recognised bacteriological processes.

Again, wastewater treatment and standards are governed by legislation and, as a minimum, VTTI is committed to comply with every measure that local laws demand.

Wastewater treatment
ATPC, Antwerp

Soil protection & remediation

Our terminals range from state of the art facilities that were built from the ground up, to existing terminals such as our site in Amsterdam (ETA) which dates back to the 1930s. In those days, the effect of leaks and spills was less known and at VTTI we have recognised the need for investment in long-term soil remediation and protection plans for our terminals in Amsterdam, Ventspils and Antwerp. In other cases, we continuously monitor to make sure that any historical contamination does not migrate to surrounding land or water.

The objective is to ensure that there is no threat to the quality of water supplies, with VTTI complying with all local environmental regulations as a minimum.

Soil remediation work
ATPC, Antwerp

Jurgen Langmans

Environmental Coordinator, ATPC, Antwerp

“We’re busy making sure our site soil is clean, dealing with any issues left by historical pollution.”

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Jurgen Langmans
Environmental Coordinator, ATPC, Antwerp
The Task

Our ATPC terminal in Antwerp dates back to 1933, the earliest days of oil terminalling and storage. In that era, previous owners and authorities knew little about the possible issues created by soil contamination. Today, this means there are some legacy issues to address.

Our Action

We have carried out one of the most thorough soil remediation projects ever undertaken in Northern Belgium. We excavate any contaminated soils and simultaneously upgrade the tanks. The soils are transported by ship to a specialist contractor for remediation which ‘cleanses’ them. Lesser contamination is treated biologically in a specialised facility in the Port of Antwerp.

Progress So Far

The ATPC soil remediation plan, which we are carrying out in collaboration with local authorities, will be completed by the end of 2014. An area of around 50,000 m² of historically polluted soil has been treated to date, in a programme supported by investment of more than €10 million. This includes ongoing work to protect against future risks to the environment.

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