Groningen Seaports just got even greener

Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp, Eneco and Groningen Seaports opened a newly converted Eneco plant on Tuesday, which will supply steam from biomass to the chemical park at Delfzijl in the Netherlands, primarily for AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals site. The converted plant delivers twice as much sustainable energy for the same amount of biomass, resulting in a reduction of a whopping 100,000 tons of CO2 per year. AkzoNobel, Eneco and Groningen Seaports have jointly invested around €40 million in the project, with Eneco entering into a 12-year contract with AkzoNobel for the supply of bio-steam.

Steam powered salt production

Around 10 percent of total Dutch chemical production comes from Delfzijl and the industry is a major employer in the region. Eneco’s biomass plant is also the largest of its kind in the Netherlands. The newly converted plant generates both electricity and steam, by using around 300,000 tons of timber each year, scrapped from demolition projects and waste to
produce sustainable electricity and steam.

The wood is burned and the steam produced is transported to a nearby salt plant, through 2.7 kilometers of pipeline. The steam is then used to remove the salt brine from the water and produce salt, and this new process saves an incredible amount of energy consumption and CO2 output.

Leading the way in sustainable energy

With the new conversion, the plant is now able to double its output of energy, because the same amount of biomass now produces twice as much renewable energy. This means a reduction of 100,000 tons of CO2 per year, the equivalent of approximately one billion car kilometres or 12,500 households.

During the opening ceremony, Minister Kamp said: "The North of the Netherlands is leading the way in the transition to sustainable energy. The Northern provinces and municipalities were the first to have a plan for implementing the Dutch Energy Agreement. The chemical park in Delfzijl is underlining these ambitions by switching to sustainably produced steam.”

Minister Kamp also stresses that it’s not just good for the environment, but also for economic growth: “By doing this, the parties involved are not only investing in energy reduction and lower CO2 emissions, they are also contributing to the regional economy by enabling the sustainable growth of the chemical cluster.”

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