Beneo invests in waterway transport to reduce its CO2 emissions by 20%

To reduce its reliance on road transportation, Beneo (Wijgmaal, Belgium) invested half a million Euro in waterway transport and increased the unloading capacity at its rice starch plant.

To reduce its reliance on road transportation, Beneo (Wijgmaal, Belgium) invested half a million Euro in waterway transport and increased the unloading capacity at its rice starch plant. The new waterway will enable Beneo to transport two-thirds of its cargo by barge each year, reducing its carbon emissions from inbound transport from the harbor to the plant by 20% a year.

“At Beneo, we are always looking to improve our environmental performance,” said Roland Vanhoegaerden, operations managing director, specialty rice ingredients at Beneo, in a press release. “We are deeply committed to caring for people and planet in whatever ways we can, whether through raw material valorization or driving ongoing reductions in energy and water consumption as well as CO2 emissions. Our inland waterways transportation expansion program feeds into this and demonstrates how sustainability and efficiency goals can be mutually compatible.” 

Previously, one-third of its rice was brought over water by one barge completing 45 cycles per year. The remaining freight made a 199-mile journey from and to the ports by road. The docking station was the bottleneck that precluded higher volumes from being transported by water. Now, the docking station can accept two barges. 

“It used to take three days to unload a barge, whereas now it can be done in 16 hours,” Vanhoegaerden said. “This has allowed us to charter a second barge. Consequently, two-thirds of the rice used by the facility is now received by barge and just one-third by truck.” 

The reduction in road traffic will also benefit the local environment by lowering congestion and noise levels in the neighborhood.