Port Esbjerg News Brief - December 2020

Welcome to the Port Esbjerg News Brief

Denmark has become the first of the large oil producing countries to set an end date to oil and gas extraction. While not a big surprise, this is a landmark decision in international energy policy. Whether you agree or disagree with the decision, I believe it is safe to say that knowing what the playing field will be like so many years in advance will benefit everyone. It is important to have proper time to adjust.

It is also important to remember that there will still be considerable activity and thousands of jobs in the oil and gas industry for many years to come. Work is well under way to redevelop the Tyra field, which will be back at full capacity before long.

On the other hand, that does not change the fact that the decision to stop the extraction of oil will have big implications for Esbjerg and for Denmark.

That is why it is important to remember that green has been shining brighter than black in Esbjerg for some time. Our port ranks as #1 in Europe in terms of the amount of wind power shipped and today, 50 per cent of operations at the port of Esbjerg relate to offshore wind.

We already knew that time was running out for oil, which is why, acting with due care and diligence, we have contributed to creating fantastic synergies between these two offshore industries. It has been a major factor in developing the port of Esbjerg, and those synergies will continue to be a great asset in the future.

The synergies become even more relevant considering the additional support the EU is providing for the green transition through its recently announced ambition of increasing offshore wind capacity 25-fold by 2050. As Europe’s largest offshore wind port, we must be ready for this gigantic transition.

In this News Brief, Giles Dickson, CEO of Wind Europe, explains that he sees the port of Esbjerg retaining its leading position, to which we can only add that we also see reasonable prospects on the horizon. We are capable of meeting the needs in the market for infrastructure and competences.

However, it won't appear out of thin air. Many ports around Europe will do all they can to get to the front of the line, so we must continue to develop our infrastructure and retain our focus on recruiting qualified labour. Once we do that, there will be plenty of jobs in the green transition. According to a recent report, Danish Energy believes the green transition will create 290,000 Danish jobs over the next ten years, and obviously this is something that will benefit Esbjerg immensely.

Other stories in this News Brief deal with the many green initiatives at the harbour, including the shore-to-ship power connections that will be in operation very soon and the fact that monitoring of carbon emissions has now become so advanced that we can register if a lighting system is lit in the daytime for no reason.

I wish to thank everyone for their support and cooperation in a year that unfolded in a way that no one could ever have predicted even in their wildest imagination. Fortunately, most of the companies operating at the port of Esbjerg have proven robust during a year full of unpredictable and dramatic events. We are all hoping for smoother waters in 2021.

Right now, unfortunately, Brexit still remains a big unknown. We are hoping for a deal, but regardless of what happens, Esbjerg and Denmark stand well prepared.

When Denmark emerges from lockdown in the new year, I can recommend a visit to Det Gule Palæ at the harbour front. It currently houses an exhibition that tells big parts of the fascinating story of Esbjerg, and while we all wait for the country to reopen, you can read about it in this News Brief.

We hope you will enjoy the read.

Dennis Jul Pedersen


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