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EcoSheetPile™ Plus helps the Seine-Nord Europe Canal to reduce its environmental impact

The Seine-North Europe Canal is a central link in the Seine-Escaut waterway system. It will enable wide-gauge barges to travel between France, Belgium and the Netherlands, reaching an annual transport volume of 15 million tonnes of goods. The Société du Canal Seine-Nord-Europe asserts that its ambition is to make this canal a flagship project for environmentally sustainable transport, and the energy transition, which is also in tune with local issues. By replacing a million lorry journeys a year, it will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Two public transhipment platforms are currently under construction at Pimprez and Ribécourt-Dreslincourt. Eventually, they will be linked to the local road network and then to the rail network.

The Ribécourt-Dreslincourt quay © NGE Fondations


EcoSheetPile™ Plus sheet piles for the Ribécourt and Pimprez quay walls: almost 4,000 tonnes of CO2-eq saved

EcoSheetPile™ Plus low carbon-emissions steel sheet piles were selected for these projects. They are produced in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg from 100% recycled steel, using the electric arc furnace process in ArcelorMittal's steelworks and rolling mills, powered exclusively by electricity generated from renewable wind or solar sources. This product range benefits from an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) issued by the Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V. (IBU) in Germany, and based on a life cycle analysis carried out in accordance with standard NF EN 15804. The EcoSheetPile™ Plus range is part of the ArcelorMittal Group's XCarb® brand, which brings together all its low-carbon steel products and activities.

A life cycle assessment (LCA) [1] for sheet piles at the Pimprez and Ribécourt-Dreslincourt quay walls has been carried out to calculate greenhouse gas emissions during their manufacturing. It was carried out on the basis of 3 official EPDs: (1) EcoSheetPile™ Plus made through the electrical route with renewable electricity, (2) EcoSheetPile™ made through the electrical route with standard energy mix, and (3) products from steel made through the primary route from coal and iron ore. [ ]

It was calculated that these nearly 2,000 tonnes of low carbon-emissions sheet piling prevented the emission of around 4,000 tonnes of CO2-eq. compared with sheet piles that would have been produced by the primary route using iron ore and coal (716 tonnes of CO2-eq. compared with 4,724 tonnes of CO2-eq. for the primary route). The exclusive use of electricity from renewable sources reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 29% compared with the standard energy mix for the electric furnace process in Luxembourg (716 tonnes of CO2-eq. compared with 1,007 tonnes).

François Fohl, environmental specialist at ArcelorMittal Sheet Piling, confirms the value of life cycle analyses (LCA): "Our interactions with project owners, designers and contractors have convinced us of the need to better assess the contribution of our products to the environmental impact of each project. We developed a very practical LCA tool for our steel sheet piles, based on the emissions values published in their official Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). We are now able to provide a detailed and accurate assessment of the global warming potential of the steel sheet piles we supply to each project, from the production of steel to the end-of-life of the infrastructure. With our support, project stakeholders now have all the data they need to optimise the design and reduce the environmental impact of their projects."



[1] Modules A1-A3 according to EN 15804: raw materials supply, transport, manufacturing.

Full article: Marc Gratier de Saint Louis, sales engineer, ArcelorMittal Sheet Piling, for SolscopeMag June 2023.

About the project

Client: Société du CSNE

Consortium: Principal: Guintoli

Co-contractors: NGE FONDATIONS, SPIE Batignolles Nord, SPIE Fondations

Project management: Project management consortium: Artelia Eau et Environnement, Arcadis ERG, Tractebel Engineering, Luc Weizmann Architecte

Contract value: Total turnover €8.6m (€2.4m NGE Fondations and €2.8m Spie)

Timeframe: 18 months, including a 2-month preparation period

Start-up in June 2021