The Future of ISVAG

Consideration of future scenarios for the waste incineration plant ISVAG

The intercommunal syndicate ISVAG in Wilrijk investigated how to guarantee the continuation of its societal role for waste disposal, after 1 September 2011 (at which point the current environmental licence expires).

In order for ISVAG’s Board of Directors to make a definite decision, TML, together with a consortium of private companies, studied the current status of the waste incineration plant. A number of possible future scenarios were considered, several of which were developed in more detail through consultation with the client.
The study approached this from different angles, namely: technological, ecological, energy performance, financial-economic, logistics, and transportation. These were all treated by specialists in their own field of expertise, with TML supporting the consortium of private companies for traffic-related technical aspects.

The study consisted of 4 consecutive phases:

  • Phase 1: qualitative definition of all possible alternatives
  • Phase 2: selection of specific alternatives by the Board of Directors
  • Phase 3: detailed quantitative study of the selected alternatives
  • Phase 4: supporting the decision making process of the Board of Directors

It resulted in the following alternative that stood out clearly: “Continue operations at least until 2023, combined with the implementation of the suggested optimisations on the short term, and a renewed licence that expires in 2031, including an evaluation before 2023 (e.g., 2018).”  

In a press release on 20/07/2010, ISVAG stated they would choose for a continuation of only 10 years instead of our proposed 20 years. They cite political and social factors as reasons for this change. As a consequence of enforcing this time limitation, ISVAG needs to do a number of evaluations. Besides these, it should remain alert at all times in order to keep the best available technology at its disposal, and to keep pace with new developments in the waste processing market.

Update (October 2016): In an additional location and mobility research project (conducted by TML and UA) the environmental impact of ISVAG emissions was mapped. VITO, Ramboll and Grant-Thornton have also conducted a route study for the construction of a heat network, the current best-available technology was examined and the economic feasibility of a possible new installation was considered. The mobility analysis performed by TML revealed that no available location scores better, both from environmental and economic point of view. We examined 17 different locations for this and conclude that the current place is the most accessible. (This study is public and available upon request:

13 October 2016: Press release


Summary of the first project (in Dutch)



funded by

ISVAG cvba


Ecorem, RebelGroup Advisory, VITO, Stibbe
UA, VITO, Ramboll, Grant-Thornton


Sven Maerivoet, Filip Vanhove, Kris Vanherle, Eef Delhaye


Sven Maerivoet

+32 16 31.77.33
reference: 09.10 - 16041