Eight programmes to deliver the strategic plan
Investing in circular value chains
The port authority wants to attract at least 10 innovative circular activities by 2025 and have a cluster space of 150 hectares available for circular projects.
The market for circular projects is large and growing fast. That means the port authority can target those circular activities that represent an enrichment to its existing offering. To this end, the port authority is working to provide sufficient space and the right infrastructure. Customers are encouraged to create closed cycles – turning waste into raw materials. And we are looking for new parties such as research institutions and start-ups that can contribute to circularity.
Investing in energy projects
Energy is becoming a mature cluster at North Sea Port. Companies currently still consume lot of energy, but they will have to operate in a climate-neutral way in the future. The port authority wants to help them get there. In the short and medium term, the focus will be on hydrogen, green electricity and heat exchange.
The high local demand for hydrogen and the ports favourable central location in Western Europe support its ambition to be a hub in the European hydrogen network. By 2025, 500 MW of green electricity will be converted into hydrogen annually in the port area. The creation of a high-voltage network and the landing of wind at sea are prerequisites for this. Electrification will also enable the provision of shore power for shipping. The port authority encourages heat exchange between companies, but it restricts itself to its core role: providing the necessary infrastructure.
Investing in climate
Total CO2 emissions in the port amount to 21.5 million tonnes per year. The target is to capture at least 3 million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2025. To this end, €50 million will be invested in infrastructure.
The Port Authority brings together customers, utilities, public authorities and civil society organisations to facilitate the capture, storage and reuse of CO2.
Strong logistics chains
The port aims to reduce the share of road transport in the modal split. This is being achieved - supported by digitalisation - by bundling cargo flows, increasing cooperation and tackling missing or unreliable links in the logistics chains.
North Sea Port is one of the largest port areas in the world and has an exceptionally favourable location in Western Europe. North Sea Port represents sustainable and efficient transport. After all, it lies at the intersection of maritime transport and hinterland connections by rail, inland waterway, road and pipeline. It is also part of several European transport corridors.
The New Lock in Terneuzen will become operational in the spring of 2023. In order to allow larger ships to sail towards Terneuzen and Ghent once it is open, the necessary modifications to the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal are being made. By 2025, New Panamax ships with a draught of up to 15 metres will be able to pass through the lock and ships up to 45 metres wide will be able to sail on to Rodenhuizedok without any nautical delays.
Work is also continuing on better rail access (Rail Ghent-Terneuzen) and the Seine-Scheldt connection is being further improved so that ships of 4,500 tonnes can sail as far as Paris. The R4 West and East ring road around Ghent will also be further upgraded to allow safer and more efficient traffic.
Future-proof port infrastructure not only needs to be safe, reliable and efficient, it is also important that it is properly utilised. When investing in infrastructure (such as sites, quays and roads), the port authority listens carefully to the companies.
Together with the companies, the port authority will develop the 'North Sea Portal' by 2023. Fast and secure exchange of data – including port authority data – will contribute to increased efficiency and synergy. Here, too, the port authority is primarily playing a connecting role, facilitating cooperation with Antwerp and Rotterdam. By 2025, the port management system will also be fully digitised.
Together with society
The port authority wants to show the world what it is doing, only undertake projects whose social added value is clear, visibly work to restore nature and set a good example. Only if there is sufficient support within society can the port authority fulfil its shareholders ambitions: safety, good health, smooth mobility and sufficient nature are important social values. In order to assure this 'licence to operate', the company maintains a continuous dialogue with its neighbours: companies, public authorities and local residents.
Connecting cooperating parties
By 2025, it will be abundantly clear that the port authority has taken on a connecting role and is appreciated for doing so. Whether the issue is the energy transition, creating closed cycles, climate investments, strong logistics chains, port infrastructure or digitisation, no company or public authority can do it alone. Cooperation is essential. It is no accident that North Sea Ports tagline is Together Smarter. With its central role, the port authority is very well placed to put the challenges on the agenda and to make the necessary connections between parties in order to identify solutions. Alongside other ports, public authorities and local residents, the companies are important partners for the management of public infrastructure.