April 18, 2023

Interview with Douglas van der Wiel: Advario entering the Port of Rotterdam

Earlier this month, Advario announced its entry into the Port of Rotterdam. How does our new site at the heart of the Botlek area fit within Advario’s growth strategy? Douglas van der Wiel, our Chief Growth Officer (CGO), shares his view. 

Douglas, why is the entry into the Port of Rotterdam such an important step for Advario? 

Douglas: “The Port of Rotterdam is one of Europe’s most significant ports, and a large manufacturing and energy hub. Furthermore, the port is extremely proactive and ambitious in fulfilling its role in the energy transition. It provides support to companies that focus on the energy products of the future such as gases, synthetic fuels, hydrogen, and hydrogen derivatives. The port’s ambition and approach fit very well with Advario’s strategy and focus, which is why it is important for us to be present in the port.”  

How does an Advario terminal in Rotterdam fit in our growth strategy? 

“In Europe, there will be significant demand for low carbon fuels, such as hydrogen and hydrogen derivatives. But the production of low carbon fuels will mainly happen in geographies where production is cheaper. For example, we expect that the United States and Middle East will be major producers of blue and green hydrogen, whilst Europe and North Asia will be major importers. To match the global supply with the European demand for the energy products of the future, sophisticated storage and logistics infrastructure will be crucial. Because of that, a world of opportunity is available for us in Europe. We already have a strong presence in the Port of Antwerp-Bruges. Establishing ourselves into the Port of Rotterdam strengthens Advario’s position in Europe, and places us well to make a difference for our customers and partners.” 

What does our presence in Rotterdam mean for our position in Antwerp? 

“In my opinion one strengthens the other. We expect the European market for new energy products to develop in a way that leaves ample space for a variety of industry players. The Port of Rotterdam as well as the Port of Antwerp-Bruges have the ambition to handle in excess of 20 million tonnes of hydrogen. Both actively work to become carbon neutral – as does Advario, by the way. 
Building the necessary storage and logistics infrastructure to make this transition possible is complex, capital intensive and takes time. But based on our experience and capability we believe Advario can actively contribute to the energy transition, by supporting our customers and partners. Therefore, both Rotterdam and Antwerp play a significant role in our growth strategy.  

Antwerp is the chemical heart of Europe and our two terminals in the Port of Antwerp-Bruges are deeply embedded in the petrochemical sector. At Advario Gas Terminal (AGT) and Advario Stolthaven Antwerp (ASA) we will have the opportunity to build the terminals of the future, focused on the products our clients and partners need.  

In Rotterdam, we have mature concept plans available – these were also part of our winning bid – but naturally we can be flexible and further adapt to our customers’ needs. Many of our worldwide partners have a presence in the port, and the port is home to more than a few future-focused players we would love to work with.” 

What do we have to offer to potential partners in Rotterdam? 

“The site we have acquired is large and has excellent positioning. It has waterfront access and is located at the heart of the Botlek, close to the hydrogen and CO2 backbones. As Advario, we have the experience and engineering capability needed to develop this site into something special.  

We have proven that we can safely build and operate complex storage infrastructure including large ammonia storage facilities. There are not many parties that can say that.  

Furthermore, I also think we have additional differentiating qualities. Advario is a partner that shares opportunity and risk; we have the resources to invest in projects and the willingness and flexible approach to think alongside our customers and partners. That is how we add value across our global portfolio; and that is what we bring to the Port of Rotterdam.” 

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