This week, Port of Amsterdam, Zeehaven IJmuiden, municipality of Velsen and the province of Noord-Holland signed a cooperation agreement with the State and Tata Steel to start the design phase of the Energiehaven IJmond. This energy port is intended for the construction of offshore wind farms.
Offshore wind farms play an important role in the Dutch energy transition. To meet the Dutch climate goals, 21 GW of offshore wind capacity must be built by 2030. The national government has expressed the ambition to increase this even to 70 GW by 2050.
Special installation ports are needed to build these wind farms. Wind turbines are getting increasingly bigger and so are the vessels used. In the Netherlands, currently only the ports of Groningen and Vlissingen can receive these vessels, but not all Dutch wind farms can be built from there.
That is why the collaborating parties are working on the Energiehaven IJmond: a port site of about 15 hectares specifically intended for the construction of offshore wind farms. The site is conveniently located outside the IJmuiden locks and close to the wind farms yet to be constructed. From the Energiehaven, 15 to 20 GW of offshore wind farms can be built until 2050.
The signing of the covenant starts the design phase and brings the realisation of the Energy Port another step closer. In 2024, the cooperating parties will work out exactly what the port site and deep-sea quay will look like and how it can be built. At the same time, the State is continuing to work on dismantling the former dredging depot that is currently there. Once the design phase is completed and there are sufficient financial resources, a tender procedure for the construction of the port can be started.
Major societal benefits but financial support from central government necessary
A Social Cost Benefit Analysis (SCBA) was carried out for this project in 2023. The analysis estimates the positive and negative effects of a project on welfare in the Netherlands. In the case of the IJmond Energy Port, the SCBA ratio is 1.9. This means that according to this analysis the social benefits of the Energiehaven far exceed the social costs.
The Energiehaven project does face a so-called ‘unprofitable top’. This means that the investment in the Energiehaven will not pay for itself and additional funding will be required to realise the project. The consortium is in talks with Europe and the State about a financial contribution. A European grant has already been awarded in 2023 for the design phase. In 2024, the consortium and the central government will explore options for covering the non-profitable top. Source: Province of Noord-Holland