Port Esbjerg News Brief - March 2021
Welcome to the Port Esbjerg News Brief
“An amicable divorce.” This is the description of Brexit used by Flemming Nør-Pedersen, Executive Director with the Danish Agriculture and Food Council, in this newsletter. He uses the term because after the first couple of months, Danish food exports to the UK are higher than expected.
In this connection, it is worth mentioning that extensive preparations and close collaboration between customs and food authorities, industry associations, companies like Blue Water and DFDS and the port have really paid off. The result is that the BIP centre and the entire value chain and infrastructure were up and running at the end of last year. Despite a slow start, the centre is now handling increasing volumes of freight. The authorities also deserve praise for adapting quickly in accordance with the experience gained at the very beginning. That saves a lot of time.
This kind of foresight and planning is crucial when the going gets tough. Therefore, Port Esbjerg has entered into a collaboration with the Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce in order to help our partners across the North Sea getting ready for the end of their grace period later this year.
It inspires hope on both sides of the Channel that trade will return to the same level as before, even when Brexit is finally implemented.
Planning is equally crucial when considering the huge challenge that the EU has taken on, installing 111 GW of offshore wind power by 2030. That will be an almost five-fold increase of the current figure.
In this newsletter, our compatriot Kristian Ruby talks passionately about what it will take to achieve the EU’s ambitious targets for offshore wind power. He is the Secretary General of Eurelectric, which brings together the energy companies of Europe. The ports will play a critical role as part of the value chain and need to avoid becoming bottlenecks. At Port Esbjerg, we have focused on that for a number of years, which is one of the main reasons why we are planning to expand by nearly one million square metres. We have always been ahead of the curve, preparing for market demand. We need to stay ahead of the curve also going forward, so we are ready when the surge in demand for offshore wind materialises, because we want to be instrumental in achieving the EU targets and furthering the green transition.
None of us could have planned our way out of COVID-19. However, in collaboration with our customers, we managed to adjust so quickly that port calls and other activities could continue without compromising safety. Despite a big drop in the spring, we managed to handle freight volumes that were only about 2 per cent below the 2019 level. In these unprecedented times, we should be very pleased with that.
We hope you will enjoy the read.
Dennis Jul Pedersen