Port of Rotterdam: 10% decrease in CO2 emissions in 2023

In 2023, CO2 emissions in the port decreased by 2.2 Mton (10%) compared to 2022, the Port of Rotterdam Authority revealed.

Port of Rotterdam

As informed, the decrease was caused mainly by the two coal-fired power stations on the Maasvlakte. In 2023, these plants emitted a total of over 2 Mton (38%) less CO2 than in 2022. 

Together, the five energy plants produced 20% less electricity from fossil sources. Production from refineries remained stable due to high demand. COemissions increased slightly with 0.1 Mton.

Despite the lower gas prices in 2023, the production in the chemical industry did not recuperate. As a result, CO2 emissions decreased further by 0.2 Mton (5%), according to the port.

The port also noted that the emissions are one-third lower than in 2016, the peak year in terms of CO2 emissions in the port. In 2023, CO2 emission levels (20.3 Mton) dipped under those of the reference year 1990 (20.6 Mton) for the first time.

Port of Rotterdam

According to Rotterdam Port, In order to decrease CO2 emissions in the port by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990, in accordance with the European and Dutch ambitions, the port must achieve a CO2 reduction of 9.3 Mton by 2030.

The projects the industry, the Port of Rotterdam Authority and its partners are currently working on in the port add up to emissions of 8.1 Mton in 2030.

The main impact is caused by capturing CO2 and halting the use of coal in the production of electricity, and because of plans of companies in the port impacting emissions within the complex.

Specifically, the production of biofuels leads to an additional, considerable decrease in CO2 emissions outside of the port, yet it leads to more CO2 emissions within the complex, the port stated.

The port officials believe that the combination of capturing and storing CO2 in the Porthos project and subsequent CCS projects and hydrogen-based initiatives, along with the closing of the coal-fired power plants, are determining factors in achieving the 2030 goals.


The Port of Rotterdam Authority recently urged the European Union (EU) to work on stable policies and a vigorous stimulus of green energy and a circular economy. This comes at a time when the EU faces the challenge of reconciling the transition to a sustainable economy. Fit for 55 and REPowerEU are aimed at achieving this.

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