Watch Onze Haven (Our Port): North Sea Port sets its sights on the circular economy

Published on Mon 12 Sep 2022
Waste that becomes raw materials: working with all stakeholders towards a fully circular economy is a key focus area of our port. Our goal is to have eliminated our fossil fuel use by 2050, and we want to help all the companies in our port to achieve it, too.

Today, the concept of the circular economy goes far beyond simply reusing the metal from old ships. Our port companies are busy perfecting much more advanced processes, for example with the technology of the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant. One such example is Enough, a company that is producing plant-based proteins for meat substitutes. They source their raw material from the neighbours, the Cargill company, and their non-fermented sugars in turn end up at the bioethanol plant adjacent to them.

Two cows in four minutes

"Thanks to this technology, soon we'll be able to produce two cows' worth of protein every four minutes," says CEO Jim Laird with a smile. "The plant that we're building in the port area right now might just become the biggest protein factory in the world, certainly with the market going where it's going right now. We believe that our fermentation process is the most sustainable and most efficient way to produce proteins.

And that's the process that they perfected at Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant. Hendrik Waegeman explains how they do it: "The processes that companies develop at the laboratory scale, we scale up to the industrial scale. By reproducing the process as it would be applied in a factory, we can then optimise that process."

"Today, any company that wants to stay relevant just has to move with the circular economy," says Karel van den Berghe, who, as full professor of the circular economy at TU Delft, knows something about the subject. "You have to make sure that the materials can be used longer and more locally. That may well come with a cost, but it's one that earns itself back. And you not only create new jobs, but you save the planet in the process!"

How many locks are there in North Sea Port?

From the inland waterway vessels to the huge, seagoing ships: North Sea Port has locks everywhere you look. But how many there are exactly, and where you can find them – your best place to start is by watching this video!

Onze Haven, a report about North Sea Port that's also broadcast every two weeks on Wednesdays on the Nederlandse Omroep Zeeland (5:15 pm) and the East Flanders regional channel AVS (6:00 pm). You can also find all previous episodes on our YouTube channel.