Home Our projects Fine Chemicals New bio-fermentation plant for Ecoson

New bio-fermentation plant for Ecoson

Ecoson - Belgium
Market Fine Chemicals
Scope Automation, Engineering & Construction, Testing & Commissioning
Country Belgium

Ecoson, a subsidiary of Darling Ingredients, processes waste flows from the food industry to convert them into renewable energy. The company already has a processing unit for waste flows in the Dutch town of Son, but also wanted to service its Belgian customers with a local facility. Ecoson came to Agidens for the engineering, construction, automation, and commissioning of a new bio-fermentation plant at its Denderleeuw site.

Ecoson is a European bio-digestion specialist and pioneer in the production of renewable gas and electricity, biofuels, and organic, phosphate-based fertilizers in accordance with a zero-waste philosophy.

The brand-new bio-fermentation plant in Denderleeuw (East Flanders) processes organic waste as a raw material to produce renewable energy. The final product of this fermentation process is methane gas that fires two (1500 kW each) Combined Heat & Power (CHP) units to produce green electricity and heat. This can power nearly four-thousand Belgian households. The remaining waste product is a dry powder that is used in the cement industry.


Ecoson found in Agidens a turnkey partner for the software, mechanical and E&I engineering, automation and commissioning of the fermentation plant.  Ecoson took care of the process engineering and the purchase of a number of package units.

  • Software Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • E&I Engineering
  • Safety engineering
  • Construction (Mechanical, E&I)
  • Automation/System integration
  • Testing & Commissioning
  • Maintenance & Service Support

Based on the process concept and the associated P&IDs, Agidens provided the missing elements such as valves, pumps, instrumentation, piping, electrical cabinets, and the transformer.

“From the very start of the project, Agidens’ strength was shown to be their multi-disciplinary approach and in-depth knowledge in all disciplines. They were also flexible throughout the entire project and solved any issues quickly and efficiently. Ecoson was looking for a reliable turnkey partner and we are sure we found that in Agidens”.

Jo Smaers, Process and Project Manager Ecoson at Darling Ingredients

Integrated package units

  • Belt dryer
  • Biogas engine
  • Decanters
  • Filtration
  • Gas scrubber
  • Membrane bioreactor


  • Flexibility to build on Ecoson’s existing process concept.
  • Installation of the co-generation transformer.
  • Programming of Wonderware (Schneider Electric) SCADA package on Siemens TIA Portal PLC.
  • Very short lead time with a 7-month deadline for the start of Phase 1.


The new bio-fermentation plant is the first of its kind in Belgium and guarantees a more flexible service for Ecoson’s customers. The first co-generator already provides very high efficiency, which makes the ROI from this project extremely short.

The steam generated is used at sister company Rendac, and the electricity is fed back to the grid, saving a considerable amount of fossil fuels.

In a second phase, another fermenter with co-generation was commissioned for even higher efficiency.