"Greening the chemical industry involves more than using biobased materials"

Roeland Kiewiet (ChemCom Industries) about Chemport Europe

What do companies, governments and education institutes expect from Chemport Europe? Roeland Kiewiet of ChemCom Industries applauds the fact that companies, education institutes and governments promote the same vision. "You have to make sure you are aligned, that you have one vision." He argues that the existing businesses should be valued highly in the ecosystem represented by Chemport Europe: "We shouldn't limit ourselves to biobased products, but opt for sustainable practices."

More critical mass

Chemport Europe was able to develop because companies, education institutes and governments share the same ambition: to promote the Northern Netherlands as a top region for green chemicals. Roeland Kiewiet: "It is good that we unite as a region. We've made sure we are all on the same page, with one vision and one interest. That's a condition for attracting investors. The more activity there is in Chemport Europe, the better this will be for all the businesses established here. We need critical mass."

Broad scope

Roeland Kiewiet argues for a broad scope. "It's good that we promote ourselves as Chemport Europe, and it makes sense that we opt for greening. But we also have to value the industry that provides mass in this region, and accounts for a lot of employment. I think the key lies in the fact that we shouldn't limit ourselves to biobased products, but also opt for the broader scope of sustainable practices.

For example, there are many businesses at Chemport Europe that are best in class in terms of energy integration, although they are still using fossil fuels.

And then there is our new product, a slow release fertilizer. This is a smart fertilizer which gives off its nutrients in precise doses, while traditional fertilizer tends to be washed away when it rains, so that part of it does not end up near the plant. Our product might not yet be biobased, but it most certainly is sustainable."