Ambitious CO2 reduction targets at Nieuwpoort
Belgium’s Jan De Nul Group has committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 15% a year during maintenance dredging works at the Nieupoort coastal marine.
Jan De Nul is believed to be the first company in the world to aspire to such a reduction in a commercial project. In collaboration with the Flemish government, the company also wants to include by 2020 a minimum requirement of 15% CO2 reduction in 80% of maintenance dredging contracts in Flanders.
Jan De Nul Group is focusing in particular on drop-in biofuel to achieve the ambitious CO2 reduction target. This is a high quality, sustainable replacement for fossil diesel made of vegetable oils and waste flows. Engines do not have to be adapted in order to use drop-in biofuel. Not only are CO2 emissions reduced, but far less fine dust is released in the air. Drop-in biofuel burns more efficiently than conventional diesel and, because it uses waste flows as a raw material, it is also beneficial to the ‘circular’ economy. Finally, it is a very clean fuel that is most suitable for high grade engines.
By choosing Jan De Nul for this project, the Agency for Maritime and Coastal Services (MDK) within the Department of Mobility and Public Works has showcased its pioneering profile within the Flemish government to achieve the reduction targets. Under the Paris Climate Agreement the Flemish government has committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 15% by 2020.
MDK chief executive officer Nathalie Balcaen said: “As a maritime authority within the Flemish government, we want to focus on reducing our environmental footprint in every possible way. We therefore pay particular attention to green criteria when we define specifications for the market. This already leads to concrete CO2 reduction today, particularly by paying attention to ecological performance during dredging works and to the contractors with whom we cooperate.
“The MDK pays attention not only to climate requirements when drawing up procurement contracts. We assume our responsibility in the way we work as well. We are greening our own vessels as well in order to reduce our CO2 emissions. For instance, we are in the process of building an electric boat.”
The announcement of targets comes shortly after the Flemish government’s decision to agree to a three year pilot project for testing the CO2 ‘performance ladder’ for government contracts.
By Larz Bourne
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