The world bioeconomy has a Port as one of its major players. That’s right: the Port of Rotterdam. “Under the Paris agreement on climate change, we have the complex task as a society and as a port and industrial complex of reducing CO2 emissions by 80 to 95% by 2050”, the Port of Rotterdam Authority writes in its new report “State of the Port”. Its mission statement is “to create economic and social value by working together with customers and stakeholders to realise sustainable growth in a world-class port”.
The ratification of the Paris agreement on climate change gave a powerful boost to the energy transition. The Port of Rotterdam Authority believes that the pace of this transition should be accelerated in the Netherlands and has the ambition to make the port area a frontrunner in the development and large-scale application of current and new technologies aimed at reducing the environmental impact of fossil-fuel consumption on the one hand, and fostering circular processes and the use of renewable energy on the other.
Therefore, last year the Port Authority worked hard on several projects in both areas. For example, an agreement was concluded with Shell for the delivery of residual heat to the city’s district heating system and the supply of industrial heat from the western part of the port to the Westland region and The Hague is being studied. As yet, not all the signals are green for Europe’s only project to capture and store CO2 on a large scale.
The most important hurdle is the continuing lack of political clarity regarding the phasing out of coal-fired power stations. For LNG, a much cleaner fuel than diesel and fuel oil, a quay has been built at the Gate terminal to supply bunker vessels. The completion of Sif Group’s plant for the production of monopiles (masts) for wind turbines stands out as an example of the efforts being made in the field of renewable energy. The development of wind farms at sea is providing opportunities to the offshore sector, which is suffering heavily from a lack of investment in oil extraction due to the continuing low oil price. Another relevant development is the possible construction of a waste-2-chemicals plant in the Botlek area to convert plastic waste into building blocks for the chemical industry.
“We are able to make such investments – states the Port of Rotterdam Authority – because 2016, like previous years, was a financially stable and healthy year. At 675.4 million euro, turnover remained fairly stable (-/- 0.2%), as did the EBITDA of 447.6 million euro (+ 2.1%). Our capacity to make investments in the port that enable sustainable economic and social value creation has therefore increased”.
by Giorgio Zani