In Depth: Heat from the Port no Longer Goes to Waste

Image Courtesy: Edwin Ridderhof

Joining forces under the banner Warmtealliantie Zuid-Holland (Zuid-Holland Heat Alliance), five parties including the Port of Rotterdam signed a letter of intent regarding the realisation of the main infrastructure for distributing heat to a variety of users, including private households, horticultural firms and companies in the province of Zuid-Holland.

Through the initiative, the Port of Rotterdam Authority, Gasunie, the Province of Zuid-Holland, Eneco and Warmtebedrijf Rotterdam have given a major boost to the energy transition process in Zuid-Holland. It is related to the introduction of a new, low-carbon energy supply.

The companies in Rotterdam’s port area produce a large amount of industrial residual heat. An initial inventory indicates that the residual heat generated in the Port of Rotterdam alone could potentially fulfill the annual heat requirement of over 500,000 households.

This significantly contributes to the region’s environmental performance and could play a major role in achieving the adopted climate targets. After all, the use and re-use of heat can help reduce the volume of fossil fuels used for heating. This could result in a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions.

The new heat network is presently still in the development stage. A joint team set up by the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Gasunie is working in close collaboration with the provincial administration. The team is also connecting with projects that are currently being undertaken by Eneco and Warmtebedrijf Rotterdam.

These collaborations have formed the germ for the new Zuid-Holland Heat Alliance. The parties now aim to bundle existing and new pipelines into a main infrastructure for the province of Zuid-Holland. They wish to set up an open distribution network, which is supervised by an independent network manager and which every heat supplier can connect to.

Heat distributed via this network can be supplied to private households for heating and warm water, to local horticulture for the heating of greenhouses and to companies that require heat in their production processes.

The senior-level consultation platform for the Zuid-Holland Heat Alliance is chaired by Han Weber, who is a Member of the Provincial Executive of the Province of Zuid-Holland. Weber is very enthusiastic about the initiative.

“This project aligns perfectly with the course charted by the provincial administration. We have stated our ambition to make our built-up environment energy-neutral by 2035, and our greenhouse sector energy-neutral by 2050. The use and re-use of heat will play a crucial role in achieving these targets,” Weber said.

Earlier this year, the Provincial Executive already submitted a proposal regarding the establishment of a heat participation fund to the States-Provincial of Zuid-Holland. With a total budget of EUR 65 million, this fund is intended to support other initiatives in addition to the development of a main infrastructure for heat – geothermal projects, for example – and to put residual heat from industrial processes to good use, rather than simply release it into the atmosphere.

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