Jan De Nul Targets 15% CO₂ Reduction In A Year
Jan De Nul Group has committed to reduce CO₂ emissions by 15% in a year during maintenance dredging works at the Nieuwpoort coastal marina. This company is going to be the first dredging company in the world which aspires to a huge reduction in a commercial application for a project. The company has collaborated with the Flemish government and wants to include a minimum requirement of 15% CO₂ reduction in 80% of maintenance dredging contracts in Flanders by the year 2020.
The Flemish governmental Agency for Maritime and Coastal Services gave the market maximum opportunities to focus on CO₂ reduction through innovation when the tender invitation for the maintenance dredging works in the Nieuwpoort coastal marina was issued. With the promise of reducing CO₂ emissions by 15% annually, Jan De Nul Group won the contract. It is the first time that a dredging company has aspired to such a CO₂ emission reduction target in a commercial application for a project.
For achieving the ambitious CO₂ reduction target, Jan De Nul Group is particularly focusing on drop-in biofuel. This fuel is made up of made of vegetable oils or waste flows and is of high quality, thus it is a sustainable replacement of fossil diesel. The most important feature that it holds is that, the engines do not have to be adapted in order to use it. Furthermore, not only CO₂ emissions will be reduced, but also fine dust that is released in the air will be reduced. Drop-in biofuel also burns a lot more efficiently as compared to conventional diesel. It is also beneficial to the circular economy as the drop-in biofuel uses waste flows as a raw material. It is suitable for high-grade engines and is also very clean and sustainable fuel.
With this approach and by choosing Jan De Nul Group, the Agency for Maritime and Coastal Services (known by the Dutch initials 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, our country has committed to reducing CO₂ emissions by 15% by 2020.
Nathalie Balcaen, chief executive officer of the MDK 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,” Nathalie Balcaen continues. “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.”
Reducing CO₂ sector-wide
Jan De Nul Group’s aspiration is also attached to this project to play a developing role and to raise a sector-wide CO₂ emission reduction program. The dredging company wants to have a minimum 15% CO₂ reduction requirement introduced in 80% of maintenance dredging contracts in Flanders by 2022. “We want to make the utmost effort and, in doing so, inspire other companies in our sector to focus on energy or CO₂ reduction measures,” Bart Praet, Head of Dredging Works Benelux department at Jan De Nul Group, says. “We are therefore delighted to be engaged in dialogue with the Flemish government and the non-profit organization Vlaamse Waterbouwers VZW, and are working closely together with Zero Emission Solutions and the advanced sustainable fuel sector.”
The announcement of the 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. This ladder was developed in 2009 in the Netherlands as an instrument and certification scheme to stimulate CO₂ reduction and turned out to be very successful. The Flemish pilot project will kick off in September 2019 and last until September 2022. The expected result is that contractors will be awarded contracts if they offer maximum quality, minimal CO₂ emissions, and a fair price.
“We are convinced that Jan De Nul can play an absolute pioneering role,” adds Bart Praet. “We want to be one of the first contractors to make a significant contribution to the Flemish pilot project as well as one of the first to achieve actual CO₂ reduction in a project.”
Bart Praet: “Our project in Nieuwpoort is a concrete example of how we wish to launch a dialogue on reduction requirements. We want to encourage our sector to quickly and forcefully come up with energy and CO₂ reduction measures through innovation.”