Construct Masters’ River Skimmer removes waste out of Dok Noord in Ghent: “A unique project”

On Friday 28 October, the second River Skimmer was launched in Ghent. 2.5 years ago, the first version was installed in Merksem, now it was Ghent‘s turn. Like the first River Skimmer, this one was also designed by Construct Masters.

River Skimmer 2.0 in Ghent

The River Skimmer 2.0 is an improved version of the first River Skimmer. Thanks to innovative technology, it collects floating waste non-stop, effectively cleaning the water.

CEO and founder of River Cleanup Thomas De Groote launched the machine in the presence of Ghent mayor Mathias De Clercq. “We estimate that we can remove 1 ton of plastic from the water per year with the River Skimmer. That is our goal,” says Thomas De Groote.

The River Skimmer in Ghent was designed by Construct Masters in support of River Cleanup.

So how does this version differ from the first one? “The River Skimmer 2.0 is twice the size, has 2 motors, works with a different floating system and has a more effective shut-down valve. The overall ergonomics and safety of the machine have also been further enhanced.”

River Skimmer Ghent: developed in support of River Cleanup

Our specialists at Construct Masters developed a larger River Skimmer for Ghent at the request of the organisation River Cleanup. Steven Lozie, manager at Construct Masters, explains. “Together with the Construct Masters team, we took care of the design and development of the machine. Afterwards, we put the River Skimmer in the water in Ghent.”

Thomas De Groote of River Cleanup posing with the River Skimmer in Ghent, a machine designed by Construct Masters.

“For Construct Masters, this is rather an exceptional project that we took on anyway in support of the River Cleanup. One of the key elements of the River Skimmer? We had to make sure it needs almost no maintenance. This machine also has a dual motor, so the capacity is much greater.”

“Solutions instead of problems”

Thomas De Groote is very pleased with the cooperation with Construct Masters. “That went very smoothly. Steven Lozie was in charge of the overall coordination and fine-tuning of the project. Everything was very professional, results-oriented and they always thought in terms of solutions instead of problems.”

“In addition, the River Skimmer is also a unique project. It is something that no one has ever done before, so in that sense, it is also difficult to make something in unknown territory that is relevant and to make sure it actually does what it was designed to do.”

River Skimmer in Ghent

The collaboration may well open new doors in the future. “Talks about a third version are still ongoing. First we will see how this version does and an evaluation will follow.”

CO2 neutral

Also, the River Skimmer is completely CO2 neutral. “Based on the power of the motors, we calculate how much energy this absorbs,” says Thomas De Groote. “As a result, we know how much CO2 emissions this requires. Together with CO2logic, we ensure that these emissions are fully offset by reducing emissions elsewhere on the planet.”

The follow-up will be done by the DOKano organisation, which has used canoes to collect waste from Dok Noord on several occasions in the past. The waste collected by the River Skimmer will be processed by our customer and partner Renewi, allowing the river plastics and other valuable materials to get a second life.

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