An ecosystem for green chemistry. That's what Chemport Europe is. The goal of this ecosystem? To accelerate the green economy and put the region's chemical sector on the global map.
Do green economy and chemical sector sound like two terms that don't go together? Nothing could be further from the truth. Without chemistry, we are nowhere. And to make the sector future-proof, we need to work on greening. That goal also fits in with the Eems Delta industrial agenda; to be CO2 neutral by 2050. For this, all parties involved need each other.
Coalition of the willing
Those parties therefore form a committed group. A coalition of the willing. They all want to achieve something, companies, knowledge institutions and governments, and it is difficult to do this alone. The NOM is a regional linking factor. NOM was also actively involved in drawing up the value proposition for Chemport Europe. Chemport Europe is a multi-year initiative. There is no end date; the projects within Chemport Europe usually have a clear head and tail.
Pilot plant biorefinery
One of Chemport Europe's success stories? A pilot plant for biorefining wood in Delfzijl. Technology company Avantium uses this plant to convert residual wood into pure glucose, mixed sugars and lignin. How? Using hydrochloric acid from an AkzoNobel plant in Delfzijl. The residual wood, bark, branches and saw waste, comes from the Forestry Commission. The sugars serve as raw material for all kinds of products and lignin can be converted into steam and electricity, a way to replace fossil raw materials.
License to operate
So what makes the northern Netherlands so interesting for the future-oriented chemical industry? Raw material flexibility. There is a lot of agriculture and forest, and if you still prefer to import raw materials, you can do so through a port. Whoever wants to be involved in Chemport Europe must want to green up. Greening is a prerequisite for the industry in the longer term. "The license to operate," says Errit Bekkering of the NOM, one of the initiators of Chemport Europe. And do you, as a company, want to do something with green chemistry in Europe? Then the doors of the Chemport Europe ecosystem are wide open for you.