Tuesday, May 16, the first Circular Industry Day, organized by North Sea Port and Smart Delta Resources, took place in Vlissingen. For the first time, companies, governments and knowledge institutions were brought together to realize the circular economy in the region.

For numerous companies in North Sea Port, the circular economy is high on the agenda to develop the port in a sustainable way and achieve a climate-neutral port by 2050. The development of a circular economy requires intensive cooperation. To strengthen this collaboration, across the national border, North Sea Port and Smart Delta Resources brought companies, governments and knowledge institutions together at the first Circular Industry Day - a unique momentum.

Circular enterprise in North Sea Port offers enormous opportunities for all sectors. After all, in the circular economy, residual, waste and energy streams become new raw materials. By creating collaborations between companies and optimizing material flows, a circular ecosystem is created in which raw materials are reused.

The chairmen of Smart Delta Resources Netherlands and Flanders, Anton van Beek and Manfred Van Vlierberghe, respectively, said, "The industries working together in Smart Delta Resources are diverse and are among the world's innovative leaders. They are companies that provide everyone with products we use every day. Industry does need to start producing cleaner. We want to do that here in the port region. We like to take a pioneering role and dare to bet on the essential connection of circular economy and energy transition."

Daan Schalck, CEO North Sea Port: "The port authority wants to have a cluster space of 150 hectares available for circular projects by 2025 and to attract at least 10 innovative circular activities with innovative technologies or processes. These activities must be complementary to the seven cutting-edge sectors from our Strategic Plan so that they remain future-oriented: chemicals, steel, building materials, energy, automotive, food and (animal) feed, and value-added logistics."

Circular industry activities in the region

Many ports in Europe are committed to attracting circular projects. However, North Sea Port has a head start here: old processes, where, for example, oil and coal are used, are already being phased out. North Sea Port is transforming itself in phases towards a circular economy. At the Circular Industry Day, a lot of circular activities were highlighted. There is already very intensive cooperation at present. Some examples:

Sagro processes released streams into new raw materials and products, creating sustainable living environments. Circular demolition has been part of the process for years. Within the high reuse percentage of no less than 98%, they strive for as much one-to-one reuse as possible. Those reusable materials are utilized in the circular construction market or for future projects.

Neste is committed to accelerating the circular economy. For example, waste and residual streams are stored and pre-treated before being reprocessed into high-quality renewable raw materials and fuels in the refineries. Together with Ravago, Neste is planning the construction of an industrial plant in Vlissingen to convert non-recyclable plastic waste streams into valuable end products.

Enough has realized a plant in which the production process of sustainable proteins uses the bio-refinery at Cargill. This will create the most sustainable source of food proteins possible. By using their food streams in a circular way, Cargill and Enough are contributing to a more sustainable future.

Near Dow is Valuepark Terneuzen. Valuepark Terneuzen, a joint venture between Dow and North Sea Port, is pre-eminently the location where new initiatives can find a place to establish themselves. The space still available should provide a breeding ground for new chemical processes aimed at reusing current residual products and producing circular carbon.

Dow Terneuzen operates 16 chemical plants, including three world-class crackers that make the raw materials for products we use every day. These crackers can crack anything. By-products of oil and gas, such as naphtha. But also waste and biomaterials. Crackers are the greatest recycling machines available today, which can help toward a circular industry.

To contribute to a climate-neutral port in 2050, North Sea Port and ArcelorMittal are jointly developing the North-C Circular business park. This will strengthen economic activities around reducing ArcelorMittal's CO2 emissions, the transition from fossil to renewable raw materials, circular economy and collaborations with companies in the region.

Renewi gives new life to used materials every day. Of the 14 million tons of waste they process each year, 89% is recycled or used for energy recovery. In this way, Renewi extracts tomorrow's raw materials from today's waste and contributes to a more sustainable society.

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Listen to the Podcast with Anton van Beek

Listen to the Podcast via the link below, in which Maikel Harte talks to Anton van Beek about the sustainable ambition of Dow Terneuzen.