As Europe will then no longer be self-sufficient, imports by sea will have to cover the growth in demand. The demand for biomass is also closely related to European legislation and regulations on CO2 emissions.

European hub

E.ON power plant in the Port of Rotterdam.

biomass, by 2023. In Belgium and the United Kingdom, other Re- newable Energy incentive policies are in place. In addition, although in Germany, Austria and Italy there are no plans yet for co-firing, wood pellets are used on a large scale for residential and commer- cial heating. These developments depend heavily on government policy in the individual member states of the EU, but demand for biomass is expected to increase in The Netherlands, Belgium, Den- mark, Germany, Austria, Italy and the United Kingdom, even after BREXIT. In North-West Europe, de- mand is currently about 44 million tonnes (2015). In the most favour- able scenario, this could increase to almost 100 million tonnes.

The port of Rotterdam holds a unique position directly linked to the sea, with excellent hinterland connections. The necessary storage and transhipment facilities are available, as is the security of feedstock. All necessary transport options and intermodal connections for incoming and outgoing biomass are present. In addition to this, various assistance programmes are available, in which the Port of Rotterdam offers cluster opportunities and encourages the trade in raw materials, semi-manufactured and residual products. By using biomass for co-firing in existing and new coal-fired power plants, the CO2 footprint of these power plants will be reduced. Biomass is not only a new opportunity for power production in the port of Rotterdam itself, but also for other coal-fired power plants in Europe. The power plants on the Maasvlakte will generate a large steady supply of biomass (wood pellets) for Rotterdam. The combination of this ‘captive’ cargo with distribution of biomass to power plants both in the hinterland of Rotterdam as in the United Kingdom, Belgium and Scandinavia creates economies of scale.

The central location of the port offers unique opportunities for pellet suppliers, power producers and/or biomass traders to build up storage capacity from where the North-West European market can be supplied. The concentration of handling in a central location also offers the possibility to increase the size of shipments by deploying Panamax ships.

All these economies of scale will help to push down the delivered cost of biomass in Europe. Rotterdam Bio Port

The future belongs to a clean, sustainable port. That’s why the

Close-up view of pellets for co-firing in power plants. Spring 2017 9 9


Wood pellets stored in dry bulk warehouse.

port of Rotterdam is striving to fur- ther expand its prominent role as a sustainable European energy port. The port business community and the Port of Rotterdam Authority are front-runners when it comes to developing initiatives for mak- ing businesses as energy-efficient as possible, making fossil energy ‘cleaner’, tapping into new sources of energy and drastically reducing emissions of CO2.

The Port Authority sees a great future for biofuels, bio-energy and bio-based chemicals.

That’s why it is providing space and facilities, for instance, with Rotterdam Bio Port, in which all bio-based activities are brought together. The Port of Rotterdam acknowledges the huge benefits biomass can have. This strength lies in the combination of three market segments, including en- ergy, heat and bio-refining: • The creation of large seaborne import volumes.

• The economies of scale to re- duce logistic costs.

• Structural demand for (imported) biomass beyond 2020.

This, in turn, gives confidence for both the port authority and stevedoring companies to invest in the necessary infrastructure and storage capacity. Sustainability

Rotterdam is Europe’s number one energy port. At the same time, it attaches great importance to the sustainable development of the port and city. For this reason, the port of Rotterdam is part of the Rotterdam Climate Initiative (www.rotterdamcli-

Together with companies in the port area, projects are being developed that contribute to the sustainability of the industrial complex, which have an important link to Rotterdam Bio Port. These include: • The development of a CO2 hub – capture, transport, storage and re-use of greenhouse gases.

• Usage of waste heat from and by power plants and industry.

• Providing space for various wind- farm and solar projects. More information from

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