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Interview Cora de Groot

Cora de Groot, Sustainability and CO2 Coordinator “It’s great to work as a proper team at Mourik. The working climate is open and supportive" Even though Cora is only 22 years old, her CV is impressive. She did Commercial Business Administration studies and the Top Class programme at University of Applied Sciences Utrecht at the same time, and together with other excellent students she did her minor in Switzerland. Cora was valedictorian. This difficult term does not signify a philosophy of life or a diet. It simply means that she was the best student of her year, with no less than three distinctions: highest average mark and with honours, best graduation thesis, and Top Class graduate. It is therefore no surprise that Mourik gave her 9 out of 10 for her graduation project about achieving, implementing and maintaining the CO2 Performance Ladder up to and including level 5 in business operations. Cora is now a versatile CSR talent at Mourik Infra: active promotion of CO2 reduction, EMVI plans for sustainability and stakeholder management, and a wide variety of certifications are some of her duties. She is furthermore the youngest and only female representative at the Central College of Experts of the CO2 Performance Ladder on behalf of the association of construction and infra companies Bouwend Nederland, and a member of the bitumen works section Bitumen Werken. These efforts do not go unnoticed. In 2014 Cora was nominated for Duurzame Jonge 100!, a list of one hundred young professionals initiating sustainability innovations. “The term 'pioneering business practices' often makes people think of internationalization and of expanding your market on a worldwide scale, but I think pioneering business practices start at a much earlier stage. Look beyond your own boundaries! A company can do this by involving the supply chain and the branch of industry in its business operations and by innovating together. They are some of our daily activities here at Mourik, and I am fortunate they are a major part of my work. As a sustainability coordinator, I try to influence the impact of what we do, and turn it into sustainable alternatives and solutions. And that is something I really can't do on my own," Cora adds enthusiastically. “It is an intensive process with colleagues, customers, industry peers, supply chain partners, experts but also end users and stakeholders. Good examples are the initiatives we set up with a number of our suppliers and subcontractors which regularly work for us and deliver goods to us. The objective of these initiatives is to arrive at joint sustainable alternatives, to raise awareness about CO2 emissions, and to investigate the options for reducing them. This collaboration is instructive and enriching for all parties. The goal is to look non-stop for the best way to run a company with the three Ps of People, Planet and Profit in balance, and with the most sustainable end result. That is what motivates me!"  

Mourik Technics is growing fast as Belgian buildings become more sustainable (press release)

Hasselt, 13 May 2024 - Mourik Technics, which specialises in making buildings more sustainable in Belgium, is showing sharp and sustained growth two years after its establishment. The Hasselt-based company provides heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) for buildings. In 2023, turnover rose to EUR 13.5 million. That is a threefold increase compared to the previous year. Mourik Technics also expects to grow in 2024. For instance, Mourik Technics is supplying HVAC systems to Living Tomorrow's prestigious innovation campus in Vilvoorde. To facilitate this growth and continue to accelerate the energy transition, the demand for qualified personnel is also growing.  McKinsey calculated in a 2023 report that the built environment accounts for a quarter of global CO2 emissions. Houses, offices, hospitals, hotels and laboratories are built and then put into use. The realisation or redevelopment of buildings requires sustainable insulation, smart installations and thorough maintenance. This is to ensure a comfortable indoor climate and minimise CO2 emissions. Dirk Vanstraelen, director at Mourik Technics, explains: "Hot summers, cold winters and large fluctuations in humidity levels require a sustainable climate plan. In designing this, we cooperate emphatically with specialised design and consultancy firms. We then offer a total package of services in realisation and maintenance with an experienced team." Mourik Technics is part of contractor and family company Mourik, active in Belgium, the Netherlands and the rest of the world. This originally Dutch company is one of the leaders in environmental engineering and sustainability issues for construction and industry. Comfort and sustainability Vanstraelen: "With Mourik Technics, we contribute to accelerating the energy transition in Belgium. But the effect of our work must also be felt immediately. Because people want to work in a comfortable climate all year round. That is what we ensure. In addition, finely tuned climate control is highly necessary for certain industries, such as the pharmaceutical and food industries and within the healthcare sector. Thus we combine comfort, necessity and sustainability. Given the development of Mourik Technics, this is a golden combination." One of the projects Mourik Technics is working on is the prestigious Living Tomorrow innovation campus. At this site in Vilvoorde, an innovation hub consisting of a digital experience centre, a selection of meeting rooms, a voco-hotel and the restaurant Sapor led by top chef Marc Clement. Dirk Vanstraelen: "We are responsible for the HVAC work of this beautiful building. The entire climate control infrastructure in the 12-storey campus is provided by us." Energy transition increases demand for qualified people With the energy transition well underway in Belgium, Mourik Technics expects to grow further in 2024 and also expand its services. To achieve that growth in Belgium realise the Hasselt-based company is looking for maintenance technicians, mechanics and project leaders. "Working independently, a lot of variety and a close-knit team are just three benefits. In addition, you will be part of the energy transition and help build a climate-neutral Belgium. Be sure to drop by," concludes Dirk Vanstraelen. About Mourik: global player and family business in one Mourik is among the larger independent family-owned companies in the Netherlands. A B2B and B2G service provider in the fields of infrastructure, industry, construction, catalyst handling and environmental engineering. 90 years after its establishment, Mourik is a company with a turnover of EUR 647 million and more than 2,000 employees worldwide. Mourik offers customers in the public and private sectors a multidisciplinary package as a total solution. Mourik stands for healthy returns, continuity, safe working and sustainable enterprise. Innovativeness, entrepreneurial spirit, and hard-working, competent and committed employees make Mourik a future-oriented company. The company, headquartered in Groot- Ammers, is led by CEO Kees Jan Mourik.

Mourik develops electrically powered, sustainable and safe cleaning technology - press release

Jan Peter Noordermeer of Mourik: “The continued development of our cleaning technology in tanks fits well with our strategy of striving to work safely and sustainably.” In collaboration with a new technical partner, Mourik has made a step forward in reducing the environmental impact of tank cleaning operations. Existing non-entry tank cleaning equipment relies on diesel generators for power. The new cleaning technology designed and developed by Mourik is electrically powered, reducing CO2 emissions as well as reducing noise and odor pollution. Operated remotely, the non-entry system fully meets the stringent requirements when it comes to safety and sustainability.  The introduction of this electrically powered cleaning technique is in line with Mourik Industry’s sustainability ambition to only use emission-free equipment by 2030. This latest innovation follows the launch of the first emission-free hydrogen fueled excavator last year. Currently, nearly a quarter of the equipment at Mourik Industry is electrically powered. Jan Peter Noordermeer of Mourik Industry: “Our clients can use their green electricity on location to power the cleaning technology. This way we can operate, together with clients, our equipment even more sustainably.” Mourik Industry has a great deal of experience with non-entry tank cleaning (NETC) and with this experience, has been able to further refine and optimize the technology. Jan Peter Noordermeer: “The continued development of our cleaning technology in tanks is fully in line with our strategy of striving to work more safely and sustainably. This also fits as part of our mission to help our clients with smart solutions. With the enclosed construction of NETC, the emission restrictions are complied with and can be safely applied at many more locations...” How NETC works The new non-entry tank cleaning system consists of a cleaning tool that is equipped with an inspection camera and lighting. It cleans with a pressure of up to 40 bar and can be applied with virtually all, even slightly flammable products. The control room is located at a safe distance from the tank and from there, the cleaning process can be continuously monitored and measurements can be carried to keep track of the oxygen level. Recordings of the cleaning process are also made so that extra controls can take place if desired. During the cleaning process, the atmosphere in the tank can also be made inert. Should the limits be exceeded, the cleaning system will automatically shut itself down. During the cleaning procedure, entry into the tank is unnecessary unless final manual cleaning is required. The future of NETC At this moment, there are four remote-operated NETC cleaning systems operational at Mourik Industry. Ultimately by 2030, each and every one of our systems will be electrically powered. Do you want to know more about NETC? Please contact us.

Interview Kees Jan Mourik

Kees Jan Mourik, Chairman of the Board of Management He has been the new chief executive since January 2013. Kees Jan Mourik has found that collaboration between the various Mourik companies is becoming increasingly important. This is all the reason he needs to ‘keep a tight hold on the strings’ in this field more than in any other. Kees Jan provides his vision on this and other strategic issues.   "Great companies that join forces" ‘We have a fantastic set of companies that join forces to tackle multidisciplinary projects. This offers our clients decisive advantages. The Mourik mentality of “putting our backs into it” is highly valued. Therefore, I want to hold on to and stimulate this unique Mourik culture in collaboration with our employees, who live up to it.’   Feeling with the shop floor ‘Here, this is a typical project of ours that illustrates the power of the collaboration between the various disciplines within Mourik.’ Kees Jan is talking about the turn-key project Wilmar Autoroute, which several Mourik companies are collaborating on. He can talk endlessly about countless Mourik projects, sometimes going into the technical details and innovations, to emphasise the added value of an integrated approach. In 2012 the formation of divisions within Mourik took centre stage. ‘We have found that the various forms of collaboration are continuously developing, within the company, between client and contractor, but also between contractors. Looking at Mourik, you will see more than just a group of companies that offer the same services, but rather a nice combination of technical companies with a lot of diversity, a number of which work in niche markets. Every company is quite independent and has its own responsibility. We purposely stimulate this to promote entrepreneurship and in connection with specific technologies, products, services and markets. We provide, as Board of Directors, the general framework and aim for synergy between the Mourik companies, and safeguard entrepreneurship. My role in this? I keep an eye on the big picture and strive to always know what is going on out in the field, am a connecting factor and have an eye for current innovations. Having been appointed president in January 2013, I am also the one who takes the final decisions where necessary. But first, I want to know exactly where things stand.’   Leadership Being the chief executive can be a lonely affair. Managing a complex technical company is not always easy. ‘Even if I do say so myself, I am an accessible and approachable leader,’ Kees Jan says with a smile. ‘Since I joined the Board of Directors almost five years ago, I have invested a lot of time and effort in making contact with people. I regularly make safety rounds with the head of Corporate Safety and visit projects. In addition, I want to know about the strategic details and be able to talk to our people on a project level. What determines the cost price? How do you ensure that there is a compliance policy? I think feeling with the shop floor is just as important as management experience. Of course, I bear ultimate responsibility for the general course of affairs. My three personal areas of interest in this are Purchase, Innovation and Safety.’ Though sustainability is not explicitly included in that list, Kees Jan leaves no room for doubt about his view on this: ‘To me, that is not a separate subject, nor a hype. Sustainability is simply interwoven in our operational management and is part of running a good company.’   Returns ‘But when all is said and done, money needs to be made. This means a healthy return is required. However, in my view “return” is more than just the figure at the bottom of the page. The sentimental value I attach to the return is motivation, dedication, loyalty and the safety of the people who work at Mourik. Our social policy reflects that too. After all, we are a family business and we value our people. Sustainable employability is a nice term, but what it comes down to is that all employees can do their job in good health and fitness and make it to retirement. An active health policy plays an important part in this. In addition, we give our people every opportunity to develop.’ ‘My personal goal on the horizon? I want the Mourik ship to continue sailing in the right direction, even in rough seas, and I want us to continue doing the things we are good at and get even better at them.’ ‘A good operating result is important, but I want to look beyond that. I also want us to extend our horizon, through innovation, new markets, work methods and collaborations. I want us to be a modern company with an eye for social developments. I stand for Mourik's continuity.’

Angara and Mourik enter into partnership to significantly drive decarbonization - press release

Petra Koselka, CEO of Angara, says: “The partnership with Mourik is strategic for Angara, as we plan to focus in the short term on delivering decarbonization opportunities in Europe and GCC and aim to develop a network of strong, industry leading implementation partners. Angara Global Ltd. and Mourik Industry B.V. have signed an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) to accelerate the implementation of Angara’s technology in Europe after a first successful joint pilot project.Angara’s patented suite of technologies enables highly emitting industries, like refineries, to significantly decarbonize by offering an innovative, AI-enabled dynamic fouling removal approach. This technology complements Mourik’s offering to its existing and prospective clients and underscores its strategy of innovation and sustainability.Recently, Angara and Mourik jointly executed a project for a large European refinery and the results were highly encouraging. Across 10 heat exchangers, the calculated annual savings were Euro 3.0M and 10kt of CO2, with the project delivered 100% safe. Based on this positive cooperation, a European partnership has now been formed. ANGARA’s technology has been evaluated by DNV GL, receiving a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 8+.Petra Koselka, CEO of Angara, says: “The partnership with Mourik is strategic for Angara, as we plan to focus in the short term on delivering decarbonization opportunities in Europe and GCC and aim to develop a network of strong, industry leading implementation partners. We expect to certify Mourik as a fully accredited user of our technology and we look forward to a great future together”.Simon Kramer, Commercial Director at Mourik’s Industry division, explains: “As a leading provider of industrial services Mourik aims to offer innovative solutions that contribute to the sustainability targets of its clients. As preferred partner of Angara we see an opportunity to put our specialist expertise in use to support the decarbonization of the industry, next to providing a wider range of other solutions such as non-entry tank cleaning”.Mourik and Angara are committed to cooperating in driving decarbonization by providing clients with innovative professional maintenance of heat exchange equipment enabling optimal heat transfer, reducing costs, maximizing workforce safety and reducing CO2 emissions under the umbrella of the DecarbonX Program.

Mourik Infra B.V. (Echt)

Mourik Infra in Echt’s activities cover a wide range of often simple and project-oriented activities. Our work consists of Cleaning and Steel Construction, including steel tanks, traffic portals for trunk roads and steel bridges, and the renovation of dams and sluices. To carry out these activities, Mourik Infra in Echt has spacious and well-equipped production halls with a hoisting capacity of 40 tons, which are managed by experienced and skilled project managers. We are a reliable partner that creates added value with a wide range of services in several technical disciplines, making optimal use of the synergy between the various Mourik companies. More and more often, our projects are multidisciplinary and huge demands are made on process control.   Total solutions The trend towards new forms of cooperation and total concepts is set to continue. Mourik Infra in Echt has already built up a wealth of experience in this area, but we also fully realise that we must intensify our store of knowledge. In this framework, we want to develop into a proactive, versatile and flexible partner who contributes to the thought process − in short, a partner that offers more than just people and equipment and that works with the client to realise the target they have set together. Our projects are becoming increasingly more complex and require us not just to design solutions according to specific standards, but also to work and think ‘outside the box’.   People, Materials & Equipment Around 100 qualified employees Advanced fleet: 1 high-pressure vehicle (up to 600 horsepower, 2000 bar), 2 vacuum vehicles (ADR/VLG, 2,000-5,000 m³ per hour), 4 combined vehicles (vacuum and high-pressure), 1 vacupress unit (5,000 m³ per hour) Yaskawa Motoman welding robot, type MH50-20 Expertise, solution power, flexibility, proactive Certified management control systems Optimal system, knowledge and skill in the field of process control Extensive attention to innovation and the need for sustainability.   Strong in development The great majority of the company’s contracts relate to the national and regional infrastructure sector, including transport-based bearing constructions, new construction projects and the maintenance of wet engineering structures, such as sluices. In this area, a possible shift towards the larger maintenance contracts may soon take place. The expertise built up by Mourik Infra in Echt in this infrastructure sector is so specific that the company is now already fulfilling a specific role. Mourik Infra in Echt believes it is very important to innovate in order to capitalise on the increasing need for sustainability. Amongst other things, this means that we are now using a different working method. We are working and thinking together with our clients. We also believe in the importance of transparency and demonstrability and of bringing our own knowledge and experience to the table in order to come up with the best possible results for our clients now and in the future. To make these types of processes demonstrable, we have obtained certifications such as the ISO 14001, the CSR Performance ladder and the CO2 ladder. In addition, we have been certified for ISO 9001 and VCA** for some time. In late 2011, Mourik Limburg was the first company in the Netherlands to obtain NEN EN 1090-2 certification for steel companies. This certification is due to become mandatory in the future, which clearly shows that we are leading the way in this area. All of this means that we will always invest in quality, knowledge and skill. After all, these are the essential success factors in which we aim to stand out in the market. 

Shell invests in Mourik's plastic waste-to-chemicals technology company BlueAlp

Today Shell and BlueAlp, a Mourik subsidiary, announced Shell became a shareholder in BlueAlp to invest in innovative technology recycling plastic waste to sustainable chemicals. Read the press release below: The investment will help deliver Shell’s ambition to recycle 1 million tonnes of plastic waste a year in its global chemicals plants by 2025 BlueAlp technology will support early use of pyrolysis oil in Shell’s European and Asian facilities Shell to deploy its proprietary technology to upgrade pyrolysis oil purity Shell Ventures BV and BlueAlp Holding BV today announced a strategic partnership to develop, scale and deploy BlueAlp’s plastic waste to chemical feedstock technology. The technology transforms plastic waste which is tough to recycle into a recycled feedstock (i.e. pyrolysis oil) that can be used to make sustainable chemicals. Shell has taken a 21.25% equity stake in BlueAlp as part of the agreement. “With BlueAlp’s innovative technology and Shell’s size and experience we can advance the plastic waste recycling technology needed to meet growing customer demand for sustainable chemicals. This partnership is one of the important steps Shell is taking to reach our ambition of recycling one million tonnes of plastics waste a year in our global chemicals plants by 2025,’’ said Robin Mooldijk, Executive Vice President of Shell Chemicals and Products. “We are also working across the value chain to provide our customers with a secure supply of high-quality circular products including collaborating with industry partners to drive the development of the infrastructure needed to collect and sort plastic waste.” Under the agreement, Shell and BlueAlp will form a joint-venture company to build two new conversion units in The Netherlands, which are forecast to convert more than 30 KT of plastic waste per year. The units are planned to be operational in 2023 and will supply 100% of their pyrolysis oil as feedstock to Shell’s Moerdijk and Rhineland crackers. Shell is exploring licensing a further two units for deployment within Asia to supply the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Singapore. “BlueAlp’s aim is to efficiently transform plastic waste into a useable and economic product, and we have developed an exciting and innovative technology. With Shell as a strategic partner, I believe BlueAlp has a great opportunity to grow into a global leader in the pyrolysis market” said Chris van der Ree, CTO of BlueAlp. “Our immediate focus is to increase the technology’s current processing capacity and then license our technology to third-parties. This I expect will help communities worldwide put hard to recycle plastic waste to better use.” BlueAlp’s technology has already been developed to a commercial scale. Shell’s technology team, based in Amsterdam, will now work with BlueAlp to further improve and scale-up the technology’s capacity to recycle larger volumes of plastic waste. Production of larger volumes of pyrolysis oil are also hindered by inconsistent purity of feedstocks. Shell plans to deploy its own technology to upgrade the purity of pyrolysis oil at its assets. These technology developments are pivotal to achieving circularity by turning hard to recycle plastic waste into sustainable chemicals. With today’s announcement Shell will be able to support more of its customers to achieve their sustainability goals. It follows a successful pilot using pyrolysis oil at Moerdijk petrochemicals plant in August 2021; and the increased use of recycled feed at Shell’s Norco petrochemical complex in the U.S. since November 2019. BlueAlp’s other shareholders include Dutch family owned Mourik, Rumali and Den Hartog companies and the Belgium Renasci company. Video link