The road to a CO₂-neutral future is no easy task for an industrial logistics complex that operates on a global scale. It concerns a radical transition, in which many interests are at stake.
As part of the national climate agreement, a working group with representatives from the business community, science, administration and social organisations has also set out a route for the Rotterdam-Moerdijk industrial area that introduces far-reaching innovation.
At the same time existing industry in the region is being given the time it needs to make adjustments to its business processes. This will enable the regional economy to be sustained, levels of employment to be maintained and a new international competitiveness to be created. In short, the energy transition strengthens the business climate in the Port of Rotterdam.
The designed route - set out in more detail in the ‘Three steps towards achieving a sustainable industry cluster in Rotterdam-Moerdijk by 2050’ report - indicates clearly that the first step is to ensure the highest possible efficiency and to optimise the existing energy system. After this, the second step builds a new energy system though electrification and the use of hydrogen.
Ultimately, on its own, this will not be enough to build a CO₂-neutral future. Transitioning from a fossil fuel-based energy system using mainly coal, oil and natural gas, to a new energy system based mainly on green electricity for electrification and hydrogen will not be enough. A final step is needed for this.
This third phase is to incorporate the new energy system within a circular economy. The focus here lies on generating the highest possible value with the fewest raw materials. This particularly requires optimising the use of raw materials in the production chain. It also demands an integrated approach and the cooperation of parties throughout the production chain: obtaining raw materials, product design, production process, repair, reuse and recycling.
The Port of Rotterdam Authority is placing a strong focus on obtaining an international position as Waste-to-Value Port with many existing circular economy companies and new projects. The Rotterdam port area is an attractive region in which to give shape to the circular economy. The extensive network connections with the hinterland offer a strong starting position to add value to waste streams and to reuse these.