4. November 2016

De-carbonising port business had its beginning in Denmark

On the 3rd of November participants from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Scotland met in Denmark to talk about how the DUAL Ports project will help to reduce CO2 emissions by de-carbonising port operations in the North Sea region.

The meeting was initiated by Belgium’s Wim Stubble, who is Business Development Manager in the Port of Ostend and project leader the DUAL Ports project. The mayors of both Vordingborg Municipality and Guldborgsund Municipality put weight on the importance of a green future and expressed their optimism that DUAL Ports will create both economic and environmental results. DUAL Ports is a part of the Interreg North Sea Region Programme (NSR). Christian Byrith of the NSR attended the meeting, with the purpose to talk about the aim of projects such as the DUAL Ports. In the process since the Secretariat approved the first project in 1997, it has gone from examining various issues, to now having to explore possible solutions – “DUAL Ports is all about DOING something – something that yields tangible results”. DUAL Ports must therefore create noticeable results, which can be transferred and used by other commercial ports in the region.

DUAL Ports consists of 8 pilot projects, of which five of them were reviewed at the kickoff meeting; i.e. SOIL, LOW CARBON HARBOUR PLAN, LED, HYDROGEN and LNG. Five different countries have committed to the DUAL Ports project, each represented by Regional Entrepreneurial Ports (REP’s), cooperating with research institutions, as well as public and private companies. Paul Gerard is the CEO of the Port of Ostend. He finished the meeting off focusing on an important point; that the smaller ports participating in the DUAL Ports do not have to compete with larger industrial ports, but, on the contrary, should be a complement to the big players. There is a large market potential, which, for various reasons, are not covered by the major ports, and the DUAL Ports must help to save the smaller ports from both economic and environmental costs, making them more sustainable and robust for the future.