Dutch ports prepare for more biomass

The Port of Amsterdam in the Netherlands already handles 1.5 million metric tons (1.65 million tons) of biomass every year, but that’s not stopping it from making major handling, storage and infrastructure upgrades. By 2020, the port’s managing director of the commercial department, Koen Overtoom, believes the volume handled will expand to 13.4 million metric tons per year.

“The Port of Amsterdam is strong in energy,” Overtoom says. Most of the cargo shipped through the port consists of oil and coal, but based on several factors inside and outside of the Dutch country, Overtoom thinks the port’s role in handling biomass will only get stronger.

First, Overtoom points to the Dutch government’s 2011 energy report, which includes proposals to make biomass use mandatory in the country’s coal-fired energy plants. Second, the energy report calls for an increase in renewable energy from the 4 percent that has been used since 2010, to 14 percent by 2020. And third, Overtoom recognizes the impact other European countries’ energy strategies has on the Netherlands.

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