Outstanding annual results in 2017 for Groningen Seaports
The annual results of Groningen Seaports show yet another successful year. The transhipment volume of 12.4 million tonnes in the seaports is even better than what was achieved in 2016, which itself was a successful year. The issue of industrial land picked up at the end of the year: totalling 46.2 hectares. The preliminary profit forecast for the port authority is over 12 million euros. Cas König, CEO of Groningen Seaports N.V., announced this on Thursday, 11 January, during his New Year speech.
The conditions in the Eemsdelta region are currently highly favourable for suppliers and for employment. Here too, we are seeing a perceivable upturn in the economic cycle. Employment figures speak for themselves: they rose by 11.9% compared to the previous year (seaport monitor Erasmus).
Newcomers to Eemshaven include the companies Bek&Verburg and DHSS, and the arrival of Van Merksteijn was announced at the end of December, which will lead to the creation of 275 direct jobs.
Purified Metal Company (PMC) arrived in the Delfzijl seaport region, and the industrial site Fivelpoort welcomed BMN Bouwmaterialen. As well as the various new activities at Groningen’s seaports, things are also going extremely well for existing clients.
The first piece of land has already been issued in 2018: the sale of 0.5 hectares of land to Wijnne Barends at Eemshaven. There are also various companies such as BioMCN, Chemcom, PQ Zeolyst, KBM Master Alloys, EEW, PPG, Sealane, TenneT , Wijnne Barends and Holland Malt that either have a major expansion investment in the pipeline or are already in the process of expanding.
The seaports and the Eemsdelta region as a whole is being given a fantastic boost by the relaunch of Deflzijl’s aluminium company Aldel.
Green growth opportunities
In keeping with the Seaport Vision, opportunities for growth are found mainly in the ‘green area’. The shareholders of Groningen Seaports recently approved a 49% shareholding in the Netherlands’ biggest solar park: Sunport Delfzijl. This shareholding gives Groningen Seaports control of the delivery of green energy, which is increasingly becoming a decisive factor for the arrival of new activity in our region. If no green energy is available, there is a big chance that businesses will stay away. But our existing clients are also working on improving their green credentials.
Groningen Seaports made a start with building a hydrogen infrastructure at the AkzoNobel site in 2017. This takes the form of a very special plastic pipeline designed by the company itself. Unique in the world of hydrogen. The first vans and cars will shortly be refuelling on hydrogen. Other applications and additions to the infrastructure will follow in due course.
With Project ZERO, Groningen Seaports is hoping to achieve a 49% CO2 reduction together with various other companies in the seaport region. This will make it possible for Groningen Seaports to present itself as a green seaport and occupy a leading international position.
As well as the attention being paid to green industry, the environment is of course another focal point. In the context of Eems Dollard 2050, for example, nature projects such as clay formation (‘kleirijperij’), Marconi and the double dike at Holwierde have been initiated.
Groningen Seaports is looking to ensure that the rising and successful trend continues in 2018, with special attention being paid to employment. The biggest challenge in meeting these developments is to find sufficiently qualified personnel. This remains a matter of concern and the port authority will be taking its responsibility by actively recruiting young people for work and training at its seaports.
Overview of the industrial area of Delfzijl with Sunport Delfzijl, Aldel and chemical park. In the background Eemshaven.