Chemical cluster on steam

The economic necessity of greening
University of Groningen Edited by: Wiek van Gemert MA, Prof. Dr. Marijn Molema and Prof. Dr. Aleid Brouwer Courtesy of BA History students and Msc Social Geography students

The greening process has been underway for several years in 2014, but great momentum has not been gained. That year, however, the need for greening is once again underlined. The "Chemical Cluster on Steam" action plan shows that there is not only an ecological need, but also strong economic arguments for greening. After long opposition, the two ambitions seem to coincide for the first time.

Since the chemical sector around Delfzijl plays a significant role in regional employment, the province of Groningen wants to investigate the future sustainability of the sector. A working group led by Rein Willems, former member of the Upper House for the CDA and former president of Shell, will be appointed for this purpose. This Willems committee will produce a report in 2014 showing that greening the chemical industry in the northern Netherlands is not only desirable, but even necessary to remain profitable in the future.

Chemical Park Delfzijl

The committee comes up with a plan of action entitled "Chemical Cluster on Steam. In the report presenting this plan, the committee describes that Delfzijl's traditional chemical industry will face hiccups if no change occurs. These include rising energy prices and lack of new innovation initiatives. At the same time, the possibilities and opportunities of a northern Dutch chemical industry are praised, as long as efforts are made to green the sector. Only in this way can the province of Groningen be sure in the long term that it will continue to attract new companies to the chemical cluster. The greening process will gain additional momentum after this.