The energy transition is becoming increasingly concrete and requires huge investments, large amounts of CO2-free energy and the timely realization of suitable infrastructure with cross-border connections. The Scheldt-Delta region is home to one of the 5 industrial clusters in the Netherlands. The region extends from Bergen op Zoom towards the port area of ​​North Sea Port with Vlissingen, Terneuzen and along the Canal Zone to Ghent. The recently presented Cluster Energy Strategy 2022 report describes the Dutch part of the plans that the industry cluster wants to implement to achieve the CO2 reduction climate targets and provides an overview of the infrastructure to be developed in order to achieve this. 

Based on 40 concrete, innovative sustainability plans
Smart Delta Resources (SDR), the cross-border collaboration of industry, port and governments within the region, has formulated the decarbonisation route for the industry based on hydrogen, electrification, CO2 capture and reuse/storage, and residual heat. The Cluster Energy Strategy 2022 provides a picture of the sustainability strategy of the industry in the region, based on a bundling of 40 concrete, innovative sustainability plans. Several technologies and programs are needed to complement each other to ensure that the Scheldt-Delta region can operate climate-neutrally in 2050.

Some important conclusions from the report are: 

  • Reinforcement of the electricity network by TenneT is necessary to electrify the industry and enable green hydrogen production. The realization of a new 380 kV station near Borsele is planned for 2028 and the expansion of the 380 kV grid to Zeeuws-Vlaanderen will be necessary shortly after 2030. 
  • The Scheldt-Delta region currently houses the largest industrial hydrogen cluster in the Benelux. From 2024, the first electrolysers for the production of green hydrogen will come into operation. In addition, there are great opportunities for the import and transit of hydrogen in the form of ammonia and Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC).
  • Connecting the supply and demand of hydrogen requires a robust, cross-border hydrogen network, with timely connections to other clusters, storage in the Northern Netherlands and abroad. To this end, there is active cooperation with Gasunie and Fluxys. 
  • CO2 transport by ship for CCS (CO2 capture and storage) is a necessary step for many companies to make far-reaching CO2 reductions possible in the short term. 
  • Within the industrial cluster, a large amount of residual heat is available that can be used to heat the entire built environment of Zeeuws-Vlaanderen and Central Zeeland. 

Additional challenges due to energy crisis and nitrogen requirements 
It is of great importance that the industry in the region can become more sustainable while remaining competitive and innovative at the same time. After all, these companies offer enormous employment and are an important pivot in the regional ecosystem of industry, SMEs and residents. The industry feeds, heats, ensures that we can drive and supplies raw materials for almost everything we use in our daily lives. The implementation of the plans will reduce dependence on fossil fuels and raw materials. Moreover, the plans will lead to more new sustainable companies establishing themselves in the region.

However, in addition to the infrastructure challenges, there are now additional challenges due to the energy crisis and nitrogen requirements. In these difficult times - also for the industry - ambitions remain high and all 40 projects remain in development.

The Scheldt-Delta region: climate neutral and circular 
The projects of the members of Smart Delta Resources will provide more than a quarter of the CO2 reduction required by industry in 2030. The realization of these projects, the construction of the necessary infrastructure and the landfall and generation of sustainable energy also offers opportunities to make the transition to a more circular industry. This will attract new business activity, enabling the cluster to further increase its contribution to prosperity in the Scheldt-Delta region. 'Together for a future-proof industry.'


The report is only available in Dutch: report CES 2022


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