Antwerp and Rotterdam Port Authorities ask new European Commission and Parliament to focus on the economic significance of ports

12 September 2019
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The energy transition and digitisation are the two strategic challenges facing large industrial ports. The European Union can offer port authorities and industrial clusters important incentives to achieve the transition toward the CO2-neutral ports of the future. That is why Antwerp and Rotterdam Port Authorities have taken the initiative to organise a joint event for European policy makers, with contributions from experts from the world of science, industry and logistics.

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‘The Added Value of Ports’ event takes place in Brussels on Wednesday, 11 September 2019. Speakers include Henrik Hololei (European Commission Director-General for Mobility and Transport), Christian Holzleitner (European Commission Head of Unit at Directorate-General for Climate Action) Jacques Vandermeiren (CEO Antwerp Port Authority) and Ronald Paul (COO Port of Rotterdam Authority).

The objective of this meeting is to alert the new European Commission and European Parliament to the economic significance of these ports and the contribution these ports can make to future European trade, transport and industry policy.

‘European Union support is essential for the infrastructure investments needed to realise the Energy Transition,’ stated Ronald Paul. ‘The development of infrastructure forms the basis of a successful energy transition. This means connecting production locations within and between industrial clusters. We need the European Union for this,’ stated Paul.

Jacques Vandermeiren: ‘Ports are leaders of the energy transition. Large port clusters are ideal places to realise the transition. We are counting on European Union support for supportive regulations and financial incentives for projects for which the business cases are inconclusive.’

Examples of projects that the European Union can facilitate include Carbon Capture and Storage, hydrogen infrastructure, the development of offshore wind farms on the North Sea and the strengthening of the Green Energy Grid for the landing of offshore wind power.

For the Port of Rotterdam Authority, the energy transition task is clear: working together with companies and other partners in three steps towards a CO2-neutral port by 2050.

Transition is one of the Port of Antwerp’s five strategic pillars. The Port of Antwerp Authority’s climate policy is part of this, with an action-oriented step-by-step plan based on the climate innovation and climate mitigation pillars.

The new European Commission formally enters into force on 1 November 2019 for a five-year period.