The new Energy Port will be situated on the sea-side of the North Sea Canal, just before the IJmuiden locks. The industrial estate offers major opportunities in relation to the energy transition and the top regional & national climate goals. Currently under development, the strategic location of this port will be crucial for the construction of offshore wind farms on the North Sea over the coming years. In addition, the Energy Port will strengthen the position of the North Sea Canal region as the Dutch hub for offshore wind.
In partnership with Tata Steel, Port of IJmuiden NV and Port of Amsterdam, AYOP commissioned Buck Consultants International to perform a quick scan for a sustainable energy transition in the North Sea Canal region back. Published in 2015, the Strengthening the Offshore Wind Energy cluster in the North Sea Canal region report led to a joint vision for the continued development of the offshore wind energy cluster. It also helped convince stakeholders of the former Averijhaven port to develop the strategically situated Energy Port, and give offshore wind a key role. The covenant partners were also persuaded of the timing and urgency. AYOP acted as a main ‘consultant’ to the stakeholders using our in-depth knowledge of offshore wind in this process.
The lobby by various parties, including AYOP, resulted in a conventant between the government and industry. The Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Province of North Holland, Velsen municipality, Tata Steel, Port of IJmuiden NV and Port of Amsterdam came to an agreement in April 2020 that the Averijhaven port near IJmuiden would be transformed into the new Energy Port. Although there are still many steps to be taken this was a significant first step for the AYOP members.
Interestingly, the five covenant partners include four AYOP members. They meet with relevant partners and stakeholders, enabling them to promote the interests of the offshore industry and our members. Moreover, the members Port of Amsterdam and Port of IJmuiden will operate the Energy Port on behalf of the other covenant partners.
Energy Port: the offshore port
The Energy Port will have a surface area of more than 15 hectares and will be a multifunctional port terminal. Both the premises of the current Averijhaven port and the adjacent five-hectare lot owned by Tata Steel will be used to create a public port area that includes a 580-metre quay, consisting of 200 metres of heavy-duty with a depth of 12.5 metres and 380 metres of standard quay (depth: 10.0 metres). The port’s location will allow it to play a major role in the (cost-)efficient construction and maintenance of (future) wind farms.
Next steps Energy port
The development of the Energiehaven is an infrastructural program with several, cohesive projects. The first project is dismantling or emptying a dredging depot.
The Energy Port was until recently in use as a dredging depot by the Dutch government. To transform the site into a port area, AYOP member Van Oord was commissioned by the government to empty the depot. Work began in 2021 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. Parallel to these activities, an Environmental Impact Assessment (MER) examined the effect of establishing the Energy Port. This research was based on the starting point that the port should fit into the existing environmental frameworks.
Watch the government video below on the first visible activity in August 2021: the placement of the Biesbosch cutter suction dredger weighing 390 tonnes.