CO2 emissions from industry and power plants in the port of Rotterdam fell by 1 million tonnes (Mtonne; 4.2 per cent) in 2022 compared to 2021. Emissions thus returned to 2020 levels after an increase in 2021.
The decrease was mainly caused by chemicals and industrial gas producers. Due to high natural gas prices, they scaled back their production. As a result, they emitted a total of 0.8 Mtonnes (sixteen per cent) less CO2 than in 2021.
The high gas prices also caused the three gas-fired power plants in the port area to reduce operating hours, while the two coal-fired plants made more hours. The coal-fired power plants were given room to do this by the government by lifting the 35 per cent capacity limitation after the war in Ukraine broke out. CO2 emissions from the coal plants increased by six per cent (+0.3 Mtonne).
However, this was more than offset by a sixteen per cent drop in gas power plants (-0.4 Mtonne). Altogether, coal and gas power plants generated less electricity than the previous year, because more and more electricity in the Netherlands is produced by wind turbines and solar panels.
Production at refineries remained stable due to high demand for diesel, with CO2 emissions decreasing slightly (0.1 Mtonne, minus one per cent).
Reducing CO2 emissions by 55 per cent
In order to reduce CO2 emissions in the port by 55 per cent in 2030 compared to 1990, in line with the European and Dutch ambition, an annual CO2 reduction of 13.2 Mtonnes must take place in the port. Projects that industry, the Port Authority and partners are now working on in the port area add up to an annual reduction of 13.7 Mtonnes.
These include projects such as CO2 capture and storage (Porthos), electrification of industry and use of shore power for shipping. Production of biofuels in particular leads to a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions outside the port on top of this. Altogether, with projects in preparation and implementation, industry can achieve over forty per cent of the Dutch CO2 reduction target by 2030. This still excludes the import of hydrogen as an alternative to fossil energy.