In contrast to Delfzijl, Eemshaven is a young port albeit the largest seaport in the Northern Netherlands. The port is located roughly where the former port Emetha used to be. The Dutch economy underwent rapid growth in the 1950s and 1960s. The country’s strong industrial development required plenty of space, and one of the measures was to build a new seaport in the Northern Netherlands. That became the Eemshaven, located about 20 kilometres from the existing seaport in Delfzijl in the current municipality of Eemsmond. One of the reasons for deciding to build the seaport in the North was the surplus of labourers who previously worked in agriculture. On 8 February 1968 the Provincial Executive of Groningen decided to go ahead with the Eemshaven project. The basic plan covered building a port for vessels of up to 40,000 tonnes, which could later be extended to 70,000 tonnes.
The founders of the plan were the Groningen water-management engineers J. van Veen and N. Nanninga. The actual design of the port was produced by Johan van Veen. He designed the port in such a way that the harbour entrance extended into the Doekegat, a deep channel in the Wadden Sea. This design made it possible for vessels with a large draught, and therefore with a high tonnage, to gain access to Eemshaven. The first stage of the project was completed in 1973 and on 7 June of that year, together with the extension of the port of Delfzijl, Eemshaven was opened by Queen Juliana from the passenger ship “Rottum”.
In 1976 Eemshaven welcomed its first client – AG Ems, a shipping company transporting passengers to the German island of Borkum. Eemshaven was designed for large-scale activities in the oil refinery and base chemicals sector. However, the oil crisis threw a spanner in the works which meant the oil and chemical industry never got off the ground. During the 1990s interest in industry faded. By now there is plenty of logistics activity and the port has been transformed into an energy port with a focus on wind energy at sea, energy production and large energy consumers such as data centres.
OFFSHORE WIND AND DATA CENTRES
One of the most important industries at Eemshaven is energy. Large gas-fired power stations, a coal-fired power station and 90 wind turbines produce more than one third of all Dutch energy in Eemshaven (approx. 8000 MW). The port also plays a prominent role in the development of wind parks at sea during their construction and the subsequent maintenance of the wind turbines. With Google’s construction of Europe’s largest data centre, Eemshaven is clearly on the world map for data centres. Other sectors that thrive in Eemshaven include recycling, agribusiness and logistics.
FOREIGN COMPANIES IN EEMSHAVEN
A large number of foreign companies are located in Eemshaven. Engie, Tata Communications, Cement Sales North GmbH, AG Ems, RWE/Essent and Google are examples of foreign companies with a site in Eemshaven.
It goes without saying that many Dutch companies have chosen to locate in Eemshaven. Holland Malt, Theo Pouw, Nuon (Vattenfall), Royal Wagenborg Group, Wijnne Barends, Sealane Coldstorage, BKV Nederland BV, TenneT, Vopak and Orange Blue Terminals have been doing business here for years.
business manager logistics & offshore wind
Phone: +31 (0)65 393 9275
ROBERT VAN TUINEN
business manager energy- & dataport
Phone: +31 (0)62 224 3300