Deep decarbonisation pathways for the industrial cluster of the Port of Rotterdam

Panel: 4. Technology, products and system optimisation

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Sascha Samadi, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Germany
Clemens Schneider, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Germany
Stefan Lechtenböhmer, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Germany


The Port of Rotterdam is an important industrial cluster mainly comprising of oil refining, chemical manufacturing and power and steam generation. In 2015, the area accounted for 18 % of the Netherlands’ total CO2 emissions. The Port of Rotterdam Authority is aware that the port’s economy is heavily exposed to future global and EU decarbonization policies, as the bulk of its activities focuses on trading, handling, converting and using fossil fuels. Based on a study for the Port Authority, our paper explores possible pathways of how the industrial cluster can keep its strong market position in Europe and still reduce its CO2 emissions by 98 % by 2050. The "Biomass and CCS" scenario assumes that large amounts of biomass can be supplied sustainably and will be used in the port for power generation as well as for feedstock for refineries and the chemical industry. Fischer-Tropsch fuel generation plays an important role in this scenario, allowing the port to become a key cluster for the production of synthetic fuels and feedstocks in Western Europe. The "Closed Carbon Cycle" scenario assumes that renewables-based electricity will be used at the port to supply heat and hydrogen for the synthetic generation of feedstock for the chemical industry. The carbon required for the chemicals will stem from recycled waste. Technologies particularly needed in this scenario are water electrolysis and gasification or pyrolysis to capture carbon from waste, as well as technologies for the production of base chemicals from syngas. The paper compares both scenarios with regard to their respective technological choices and infrastructural changes. The scenarios’ particular opportunities and challenges are also discussed. Using possible future pathways of a major European petrochemical cluster as an example, the paper illustrates options for deep decarbonisation of energy intensive industries in the EU and beyond.


Download this presentation as pdf: 4-022-18_Samadi_pres.pdf

Download this paper as pdf: 4-022-18_Samadi.pdf