On June 29, 2018, a letter of intent was signed for the development of Chemport Industry Campus in Delfzijl. The aim of Chemport Industry Campus is to test and develop sustainable chemical products or processes on a larger scale to stimulate the greening of chemistry in the region. Talent development within educational institutions and industry will also have an important place here.
The letter of intent has been signed by Groningen Seaports, the University of Groningen, Hanzehogeschool Groningen, the Province of Groningen, Samenwerkende Bedrijven Eemsdelta, the Noordelijke Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij, DNV GL, AkzoNobel and the Economic Board Groningen. In the coming period, we will jointly explore how Chemport Industry Campus can best be shaped.
The signing stems from the Eems Delta Industry Agenda in which the regional business community, in close cooperation with the Province of Groningen, has set out the route for greening chemistry and energy. Various initiatives are underway in this area. For example, knowledge institutions are working closely with the chemical sector, and testing grounds have been developed where numerous new ideas for sustainable products and applications are emerging. An example of this is the Zernike Advanced Processing (ZAP) test environment on the Zernike Campus in Groningen, of which Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen is the lead agency on behalf of companies and knowledge institutions. ZAP responds to significantly reducing the use of fossil building blocks and provides a facility to test sustainable chemical products or processes.
While current facilities offer value for testing the production of new products or processes, they do not provide sufficient security for commercialization.
Before a new product or process can enter the market, it is necessary to produce on a larger scale. This scale-up phase brings with it new research questions. There is a growing demand from the market for large-scale test facilities and closer cooperation between companies and knowledge institutions to answer these knowledge questions. Chemport Industry Campus represents the next step in "scaling up" and professionalization of the innovation chain and should ultimately contribute to stimulating the growth of green chemistry and renewable energy.
The future of the chemical industry in all its activities is sustainability and greening. This is also the starting point of Chemport Europe, which came into existence in 2017. Under the motto "Changing the nature of chemistry," this partnership emphatically puts the chemical industry of the northern Netherlands on the map. Delfzijl is an industrial port with a strong chemical cluster that provides many jobs. It also offers a green energy mix of wind turbines, biomass, solar panels and hydropower. Chemport Industry Campus can give a strong boost to the energy and chemical transition in Delfzijl and thus strengthen the further economic and ecological development of the region.