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  December 14th, 2016 | Written by

Port of Rotterdam Aims to Lead in Energy Transition

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  • The port of Rotterdam includes a cluster of companies that make, store and use fossil fuels and chemical products.
  • Companies around the port of Rotterdam have knowledge about energy and CO2 reduction.
  • Rotterdam port wants to lead in the development of technologies to reduce industrial CO2 emissions to zero.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority wants to develop the port into the place where the energy transition takes shape. The authority is making efforts to develop initiatives that could contribute to the transition to a CO2 neutral economy.

The Port Authority believes that to be CO2 neutral by 2050, the Netherlands needs a wide range of different technologies and measures.

“The Netherlands is faced with the challenge of making the economy and society virtually CO2 neutral within 30 years,” said Allard Castelein, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority. The sooner we take this on the better.”

The port of Rotterdam, like other ports around the world, includes a cluster of companies that make, store and use fossil fuels and chemical products. “These companies emit a lot of CO2,” notes Castelein, “but also have a lot of knowledge about energy, energy-intensive production processes, and CO2 reduction. This makes the Port of Rotterdam exceptionally well-positioned to be an international leader in the development and large scale application of technologies to reduce industrial CO2 emissions virtually to zero.”

The Port of Rotterdam Authority intends to play a pioneering role and make the port an inspiring example for the global energy transition. “The knife cuts both ways,” said Castelein. “We are fighting climate change while making sure that Rotterdam’s port and industrial complex will continue to be a strong contributor to Dutch prosperity and employment after 2050.”

A good deal of research and experimentation is still needed to determine the optimal path to a CO2 neutral economy by 2050. “We will be working all out to find that route,” said Castelein. “We are confident that the Rotterdam industrial complex has a strong starting position. And we think that forging ad hoc coalitions for concrete projects is the best way to make progress.”

The Port Authority wants to help companies implement ways to reduce CO2 and/or introduce new, climate-neutral industry as much as possible. “We want maximum sharing of experience because this helps to accelerate the transition,” said Castelein. “Precisely because there is already so much energy-intensive industry here, this is the most logical place for companies to set up and scale up pilot projects. This will make the port a leader in the transition from fossil fuel based industry to clean fossil, renewable and circular. We can be both a field lab and flagship at once.”