The site to be remediated was originally where the listed company Bekaert, which is specialised in steel wire and coatings, was established by its namesake Leo Leander Bekaert in 1880. Industrial activities were gradually reduced from the nineties and then stopped completely in 2008. As a result of the growth in population and the corresponding expansion of the residential centre, the site is now almost entirely surrounded by houses. Consequently, it is now fully integrated in the residential centre of the municipality.
However, it is heavily polluted with mineral oils, aromatic and chlorinated solvents and heavy metals.
Bekaert and the Zwevegem Municipality have been working together on the reconversion of the site since 2009. This led to the Municipal Spatial Implementation Plan 'Bekaert Strategic Project'. In 2012 Bekaert started looking for a reliable partner that could carry out the further redevelopment plan, which would include taking over the remediation obligation.
In view of this project DEC and Vanhaerents Development entered into a collaboration agreement and were jointly appointed as the future developers.
Under the agreement Vanhaerents will purchase and redevelop the site, and DEC will take over the remediation obligation via an accelerated procedure. The site must be suitable for full residential use.
The soil remediation project is currently being developed. The scope includes:
- Excavation of all the organic waste cores to the level of the risk limits and removal of the contaminated soil for processing purposes
- Onsite treatment of the cores polluted with heavy metals to avoid possible future spread via the groundwater
- The construction of a thick surface layer in the green zones to prevent direct contact with residual heavy metal contamination
- Monitoring the residual contamination in the groundwater