17. December 2019

DOCKLAND: A cross-sectoral, sustainable clustering environment

Innovative industrial co-siting at the Port of Oostende, Belgium, helps ensuring optimal land-use in ports. But more importantly, it supports business development by offering an area with an overarching environmental permit and safety policy, shared infrastructure, facilities and logistics leading to optimized cost structures and opportunities for circular initiatives.

Companies belonging to renewable energy -, storage-, chemical and logistic sector involved in activities with hazardous products are inclined to meet high level safety standards and are thereby subject to permanent control and reporting mechanisms set by the national, regional and local legislators.  Dockland offers a robust and sustainable environment in the interest of all stakeholders to preserve business continuity and guarantee opportunities for accelerated entrepreneurial growth within port areas.

Fast entrance to Docklands’ clustered environment at the Port of Oostende is enabled due to the overarching environmental permit which is providing opportunities for companies aiming to easily realize new business projects. This can be opposed to a stand-alone initiative which is much more time consuming. Furthermore, Dockland offers the opportunity to gain access to port areas even with smaller area demands and thus realizing low-barrier access to a prime logistic location in port areas that would otherwise be less accessible, especially for SME’s.

Sustainable, clustering environment

Approximately 100.000 m2 land at the Port of Oostende will be the location of co-siting. The location at the Port of Oostende ensures an efficient and cost-effective use of land through smart location of operational units and shared facilities. In addition, companies can profit from the benefits of a prime logistic location connected to the main rail, water and highway networks, all organized in a sustainable way.

Due to the applied clustering master planning land use  is optimized  and leads to a substantial increase of the added value per square meters as a result of shared infrastructure and logistic areas. Making use of this shared infrastructure and utilities leads to important cost-reductions compared to a stand-alone situation, while responding to the current societal needs.

At the same time companies can focus on their core activities and take advantage of clustering opportunities to reduce their CO2 footprint. Cooperation at Dockland will stimulate networking, circular use of resources and opportunities for innovation.

The future of DOCKLAND

A specialized working group in Dockland is managing the complicated administrative task of applying for a permit to cover one site which includes a risk assessment.

However, hopes are high. The neighboring environment, schools and universities were invited to Dockland for an introduction of its facilities and its future plans. The Port of Oostende encouraged the visitors to ask any questions and the business case was well received.

Docklands’ expectation is that they will receive an approved environmental permit in 2021, and companies are already showing great interest about the possibilities and future prospects.