Groningen Seaports produced a positive close to the year 2023. The preliminary figures were announced at the New Year’s reception. It was announced that the port authority expects a profit of 5.5 million euros. This year’s turnover totals 51 million. A total of 46.6 hectares of land was allocated to businesses in 2023, nearly 10 hectares more than the previous year. Groningen Seaports also posted record transhipment figures with more than 14 million tonnes. This record was also due to the transhipment of liquid natural gas (LNG) in Eemshaven.
The financial figures for the past year have been affected significantly by the declining investment climate in the Netherlands. That has produced concerns. “With rising construction costs, higher interest rates, and limited availability of energy, financing has become a major challenge for businesses. The result is that businesses postpone their decision to actually locate in our area”, said Cas König, CEO of Groningen Seaports.
The year 2023 was undeniably special for Groningen Seaports. It was marked by the 50th anniversary of Eemshaven, and an opportunity to look back together on the successful development of the port in the week of 7 June. Last year, Eemshaven hit the news on multiple occasions. On 2 August, Eemshaven was designated as a so-called Port of Refuge and a day later the Fremantle Highway was towed into the port. König: “Although it is certainly fortuitous that we could receive this vessel, we were also concerned because it was unclear to what extent this heavily damaged vessel could cause consequential damage whilst it was in the port. Fortunately there was none, and the quay was available again on time”.
Plenty of activities and construction
Last year, the development in the ports and the adjacent industrial sites continued apace. For example, early last year, the Jan de Nul group occupied a large site behind the heavy-duty quay for construction of the 20th and 21st wind farm from Eemshaven. There were also many construction activities in the area that are still ongoing. Contitank, Avantium, North Water, and EEW are carrying out construction work in Delfzijl. In Eemshaven, there is construction work ongoing on the sites of QTS, Google, EDC, TKF, and DHSS.
Innovation and rejuvenation
It became clear at the New Year’s reception that there is no shortage of innovation and rejuvenation in the area. Uppact signed its contract with Groningen Seaports. The business of founders Jan Jaap Folmer and Michel Walstock will locate its DEMO factory at the Chemport Innovation Center, which was also the venue for the New Year’s reception this year. Uppact turns difficult-to-recycle plastic and fabric waste flows into strong and hundred-percent recyclable construction materials. In doing so, the company makes a contribution to a clean, green and, above all, circular world. At the New Year’s reception, it was also announced that the company SFP (Sustainable Fuel Plant) will locate in Delfzijl. This company develops systems for the production of sustainable energy. With these systems, SFP demonstrates that biogas is a good addition to the energy transition. In Delfzijl, SFP will occupy a site of nearly five hectares, leased out by Groningen Seaports.
Outlook for 2024
For 2024, Groningen Seaports sees an exciting challenge in the decline of the current investment climate. The circular and biobased economy continue to develop, which ensures the port authority still invests in the Oosterhorn-Zuid area. The energy transition moves with the times. “Despite a declining investment climate, there is still enormous interests in our land, both in Delfzijl and in Eemshaven. The developments, together with the interests in our land, means we expect to be making new business announcements in the coming year”, concluded König.