New heating installation at Brussels Airport will reduce carbon emissions by 70% - This will be the largest Net Zero Carbon installation in Belgium


Brussels Airport Company plans to replace its central heating installation by early 2027 with a Net Zero Carbon installation, which will heat the terminal buildings without emitting carbon dioxide. Currently, a gas-fired boiler plant is used to heat the airport buildings. The boiler plant was optimised several times over the years. Replacing it by an innovative alternative that does not use gas is an essential step in the journey towards net zero carbon emissions as it will reduce Brussels Airport Company’s total carbon emissions by around 70% (based on figures 2021).  

Brussels Airport Company has been carbon neutral for its own emissions as airport operator since 2018. For all the buildings and infrastructure managed by Brussels Airport Company, its own activities as a company and the fleet of operational vehicles, use is already being made of green energy. Any remaining emissions are offset. The ambition of Brussels Airport Company is to achieve net zero carbon emissions for its own activities by no later than 2050, and to do everything in its power to achieve that ambition faster. 

Today, the airport buildings in the area around the terminal are heated centrally by a gas-fired boiler plant. This heating plant provides energy to, among other things, the passenger terminal and piers and to various buildings in the vicinity of the terminal. This central heating plant has already been upgraded several times to make it more environmentally friendly. For example, two large cogeneration systems have been installed, which are far more efficient and also produce electricity alongside heat. Despite of these upgrades, the boiler plant continues to emit carbon dioxide. 

That is why Brussels Airport Company decided to opt for a heating installation that uses no gas at all but is developed as a Net Zero Carbon installation, without CO2 emissions.  

“This new heating installation is a major step in our ambition as airport operator to achieve net zero carbon emissions. This gas-free installation will allow us to cut down our carbon emissions by about 70%. An investment that is also a first in Belgium, a such an installation on this scale (a total power of 21megawatts) has never before been built in our country.”, says Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company.  

A tendering process is being conducted for the implementation of this project, inviting candidates to submit a bid for the development of the new heating installation based on the latest technologies.  The aim is to begin construction in 2025 and to have the heating installation operational by early 2027. This considerable investment once again shows that Brussels Airport Company is committed to reducing its carbon footprint through concrete initiatives that will yield concrete results within three years. Other initiatives to reduce the remaining 30% of carbon emissions are being examined.