Port of Rotterdam appeals to EU for port-centric energy transition


Port of Rotterdam Authority calls upon the EU to position ports at the forefront of Europe’s energy transition for a sustainable future.

Port of Rotterdam appeals to EU for port-centric energy transition
Port of Rotterdam

The Port of Rotterdam Authority issued a call to the European Union, urging for strategic positioning of ports in the continent’s journey towards sustainability.

With initiatives like Fit for 55 and REPowerEU, the EU aims to balance the transition to a green economy with economic prosperity. Recognizing the pivotal role of ports in this transition, the Port of Rotterdam Authority stressed the importance of stable policies and robust support for green energy and circular economy initiatives in shaping Europe’s future.

“Put implementation of the energy transition centre stage and use European ports intelligently to secure strategic autonomy,” Boudewijn Siemons, CEO of the Port of Rotterdam Authority, said.

“Geopolitical tensions and increased pressure on industry demand a strong stance from the European Union. The port of Rotterdam has a large industrial complex and is a major hub for containers, energy and raw materials. Here, as in many other European ports, there is a confluence of major challenges, such as making international transport more sustainable, reliable supply chains for businesses and consumers and accelerating the sustainability of industry without losing competitiveness. Consequently, ports can and want to play an important role in future-proofing Europe. It is no accident that in Rotterdam we say: when the port is doing well, the European economy is doing well,” Siemons added.

Stimulus-based industrial policy

The Port Authority noted that many industrial companies in Rotterdam are keen to invest in making their production more sustainable, but have not yet made a final investment decision.

However, for them, it is crucial that the European investment climate offers sufficient securities and prospects for the future.

The European Emissions Trading System (ETS) encourages industry to become more sustainable and the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) reinforces a level playing field globally. Broad, stimulus-based European industrial policy is a necessary complement to maintaining commercial activity, especially if Europe wants to reduce its dependency on other countries and remain a leader in innovative, sustainable manufacturing, the port authority added.

Support for implementing the energy transition

Several Rotterdam-based public and private projects are underway to ensure that industry in Northwest Europe becomes more sustainable. These include storage of CO2 under the seabed, the import and production of hydrogen, and the expansion of the circular economy.

Namely, the port authority wants continued support from the EU for these types of projects and would like to see a more distinct focus at the European level on the link between the energy transition and the raw materials transition.

Therefore, The Port of Rotterdam is asking the EU to work on an approach based on acceleration areas in industrial clusters such as ports.

Growth of sustainable transport

The port of Rotterdam added that it was working hard to meet the growing demand for transport, and that it needs investments in infrastructure maintenance and capacity. In that respect, strengthening European rail and inland waterway capacity plays a major role, especially as climate change is having a major impact on the navigability of waterways.

The port has released a position paper on the matter, which can be accessed here.

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