Port of Amsterdam — Words and Actions

Ports are continually changing in tandem with economic and social developments. This has and always will be the case. The Port of Amsterdam has undergone multiple transformations through the centuries – from a herring harbour into a staple market and ultimately into an energy port.

Koen Overtoom, CEO Port of Amsterdam, explains:

“We are now in a new phase: one in which we are focusing on circular and biobased activities and renewable energy. It started in 2008 with words. That‘s when we decided not to locate any new fossil fuel terminals in our port. This is because we saw back then that the energy landscape was undergoing a transition and that we had to diversify further. “We recognized the circular opportunities for the businesses in our area. We began collaborating intensively with the waste energy and water Purification Company Clean Capital with the aim of converting residual materials and business waste into sustainable energy and raw materials.

Your clients hold the key to successful change. You must join forces with them. You need their infrastructure, knowledge and entrepreneurship to enable an energy transition. Our coal strategy is an excellent example. We announced in March 2017 that we are moving towards becoming a coalfree port in 2030.

Now one of the dry bulk terminals with a predominant position in coal has freed up:

  • 28 football fields
  • (20 %) of space for alt of space for alternative bulk this quarter

This was not an easy undertaking. It required having empathy and respect for each other and, above all, being convinced that together we could make the Port of Amsterdam and consequently the world a little bit better. That does not take many words, but a world of actions. Actions speak louder than words. Industry’s view of Koen Overtoom, CEO of the Port of Amsterdam, is provided by one of the firms affiliated with the Dutch maritime network organization Maritime by Holland.


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