The Rotterdam Port Authority defends the nitrogen bank

The Rotterdam Port Authority advocates the creation of a nitrogen bank. It gives the Port Authority the space it needs to make billions of investments. If there is no solution to the nitrogen problem, companies will look for a location outside of the Netherlands, according to the port authority. The design of the nitrogen bank aims to match the supply and demand of the nitrogen permits. In this way, the available space can be properly distributed.

Allard Castlin, president of the Rotterdam Port Authority, used the yearly numbers for 2020 to vent his alarm about the nitrogen profile. In his view, it has stopped now. “I worry about the investment climate, because companies have alternatives to do their investments elsewhere. They can go to other port cities, where they don’t realize the nitrogen problem,” Castlin says.

According to the CEO, the issue had not been resolved after two years of speaking. “It really doesn’t help to go 120 to 100 kilometers an hour. It’ll only be taken up in the new cabinet. We’ll be in the middle of 2022 before it gets legislated. It takes a really long time. Meanwhile, your nitrogen bank can expand, even We can continue to invest in the Netherlands’ earning potential. ”


The Rotterdam Port Authority aspires to make the entire port complex more sustainable. Last year, the company invested 265.8 million euros and will increase to a total of 1.5 billion euros in the next five years. To make this transformation, for example, a hydrogen network will be constructed and hydrogen production plants built.

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For example, Shell announced that it will build an electrolyzer (hydrogen plant) in Maasvlakte 2 that will go to its plant in Pernis with a pipeline not yet built. Hydrogen is used as fuel and as a raw material. For now, however, a nitrogen problem is hampering these construction projects. In order to obtain a permit, nitrogen emissions may only be a certain amount.

Castlin stated last year that it no longer had “scope” to compensate for nitrogen emissions. Castlin: “We can take parts of their permit from the agricultural sector, so that we have room to build.”

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