Groundbreaking ceremony marks the start of trimodal site H.Essers Dry Port Genk

Groundbreaking ceremony marks the start of trimodal site H.Essers Dry Port Genk

Today, 23 February, the groundbreaking ceremony for the new trimodal mega site of logistics company H.Essers took place at the former Ford site in Genk. This happened in the presence of Philippe Muyters, Flemish Minister for Work, Economy, Innovation and Sport. The site will focus on warehousing and complex logistics for the chemical industry, and provides access via road, water, and rail. Ultimately, at least 400 new jobs will be created. In the first phase, 17 million euros will be invested in the brand-new site; in total, this project constitutes an investment of 80 million euros.

Flemish waterway manager De Vlaamse Waterweg nv is fully occupied with the demolition works of the old infrastructure at the C site of Ford Genk at the Albert Canal. The works have progressed sufficiently for H. Essers to start with the construction of the mega site Dry Port Genk on a terrain with a surface area of 23 hectares. In the first phase 30,000 m2 of operating space will be made available. Eventually, the site will feature a total of 160,000 m2 of state-of-the art storage space. After the closing of Ford, the logistics player H.Essers was already the first to develop new activities at the site. Now, it is the first to build new structures where the former Ford buildings used to stand. Moreover, the company has also reached its millionth square meter of warehousing. “Despite our strong international growth, we also keep investing in Limburg,” says CEO Gert Bervoets. “With this site, we take a new step in the expansion of Genk towards becoming a logistics hotspot, in addition to providing jobs in our province. Thus, we emphasise our belief in the assets of Belgian Limburg within the Euroregion.”

Dry Port Genk is a growth area of one of our strategic segments and fits perfectly within our strategic developments within complex supply chains. “From its roots in transport, and later warehousing as well, our company has evolved into a chain architect of integrated and advanced logistics solutions,” Gert Bervoets explains.

“With the new site, we are taking it one step further, more particularly in the area of advanced logistics services for the chemical industry. The site at the Albert Canal offers the ideal possibility to transport these chemical goods via water and rail in addition to conventional road transport. “Synchro-modality is a prerequisite for both the mobility issue and for raising the efficiency of our transports. It is challenging both in terms of systems and a mental shift, but the opportunities for emissions and logistics optimisation are substantial. From this site, we can adapt an innovating role for both the region and our customers.”

The mega site will mainly be deployed for the logistic handling and storage of a wide range of chemical products. The site’s first customer will be VWR, multinational distributer of products and materials for laboratories. The goods will have already been finished and packed before their arrival at H.Essers Dry Port Genk, and the logistics processes comply with the highest safety standards. Therefore, the safety hazards are minimal and there is no additional impact on the living environment.

On Friday, 23 February, the start of the construction was formally announced with the groundbreaking ceremony in the presence of Philippe Muyters, Flemish Minister for Work, Economy, Innovation and Sport. The first two halls of Dry Port Genk, in total 30,000 m², will be operational in November 2018. The first 50 people will be employed at the opening, and next year that number will increase to 80. The remaining halls will be built over a period of five to ten years. Eventually, H.Essers will employ more than 400 people at the site. With this project, the company strengthens its position as the largest employer in the region’s private sector.