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Waste-powered heating is now a reality in the European Metropolis of Lille

Press release: March 8, 2017 (281.83 KB)

The European Metropolis of Lille has awarded Covalys, a joint venture co-owned by Veolia (65% via its subsidiary Valnor) and Idex (35%), the public service delegation contract to operate Antares, the metropolis’ energy recovery facility in the town of Halluin.
The 12-year contract represents cumulated revenue of €295 million. It is a major step towards energy transition for the metropolis since the energy generated by the thermal treatment of household waste will supply two urban heating networks in Roubaix and Lille.  

Turning household waste into heating for collective housing 

Antares treats up to 350,000 tons a year of household and assimilated waste collected in the metropolitan area. This waste is incinerated at very high temperatures (850 °C) in three oven lines, ensuring complete combustion and generating over 650 GWh of energy annually, enough to heat over 70,000 homes for a year.  
Previously, the energy was only used to cover the plant’s own needs and to produce electricity. Now, 40% of the energy produced will directly supply the R-énergie and Résonor urban heating networks of Roubaix and Lille respectively. The energy potential of its household waste represents a source of renewable and recovered energy for the European Metropolis of Lille. In line with the French Energy Transition Law, a virtuous loop will be created locally with the waste generated by the urban community used to heat its collective housing. Users will enjoy green energy at competitive prices, notably because of the tax credits awarded for using renewable sources to supply over 50% of the heating networks’ energy requirements.  

“The success of the service we provide for the European Metropolis of Lille demonstrates our capacity to offer municipalities new, efficient solutions that help them develop a local circular economy,” commented Bernard Harambillet, CEO Waste Solutions for Veolia in France. “The combined expertise of Veolia and Idex, which already manages 50 heating networks in France, was key in providing the European Metropolis of Lille with the necessary assurances,” added Thierry Mourot, Managing Director of the North region of France at Idex.  

Creating an energy highway

The high-capacity insulated network designed to link Antares up to the heating networks will be one of the longest energy transmission networks ever commissioned in France. Its 19 km-long route was carefully planned to minimize the impact on residents during the works phase and follows either roads or greenways. When it is fully operational, probably by the end of 2020, it will represent a long-term energy supply for both urban heating networks and enable their development. 

  ................ Covalys is a joint venture created specially to cater for the needs of the European Metropolis of Lille as part of the contract renewal won by Veolia to operate Antares. Covalys brings together two energy and environment industry experts: Idex, an independent French company specialized in energy efficiency, and Valnor, a subsidiary of Veolia’s Recycling & Recovery business


Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With over 163 000 employees worldwide, the Group designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. Through its three complementary business activities, Veolia helps to develop access to resources, preserve available resources, and to replenish them. In 2016, the Veolia group supplied 100 million people with drinking water and 61 million people with wastewater service, produced 54 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 31 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of €24.39 billion in 2016.

Founded in 1963, Idex is an independent French group. Actor of energy efficiency through his service offering related to energy and sustainable environment, Idex optimizes the energy resources used to ensure the thermal well-being of its customers and to reduce the carbon footprint of territory. Idex offers its customers a range of services which extends from the traditional energy and multitechnical services classical to the public service delegation, to more complex forms of mixed economy.
Idex is able to exploit all the energies of the territory (biomass, biogas, methanisation, geothermal energy, reusable energies, etc.) and to support in the long term Communities in their energy infrastructure projects (such as the district heating).
Idex is also the partner for the production of energy necessary for industrialists and suggests solutions to them which fall under their sustainable development approach. Finally, Idex ensures the sustainable management of public and private buildings in order to optimize their energy efficiency.


Veolia Group Media Relations
Laurent Obadia - Sandrine Guendoul
Stéphane Galfré – Marie Bouvet
Tel. : + 33 1 71 75 17 50        Mobile: + 33 6 22 24 48 21
[email protected]

Analysts & Investor Relations
Ronald Wasylec - Ariane de Lamaze
Tél. : + 33 1 71 75 12 23/06 00
Terri Anne Powers (États-Unis)
Tél. : + 1 630 218 1627

Agence Réplique – Isabelle Laville,
01 40 86 31 53 – 06 25 47 18 03
[email protected]
Idex - Laetitia Nault, 01 47 12 44 13
[email protected]