The Port of Hirtshals wants to attract green pattern breakers

The Port of Hirtshals has recently completed a land expansion which has created 106.000 m² of vacant commercial land for new companies. Here you have direct access to the European motorway network and sea lanes - and a reduction in your carbon footprint.

The location of the port combined with an efficient infrastructure and a solid logistics system will make the Port of Hirtshals a green turntable for companies in transport and logistics as well as in fishery and maritime service.

- Whether Danish and foreign companies are going to their Southern or Northern markets, the Port of Hirtshals can play an important role. A low carbon footprint comes from our geographical location - calculations have shown reductions of approx. 20 % depending on the length of the route - but in addition, our services and offers match the companies that will benefit from establishing themselves in Hirtshals, says Jens Kirketerp Jensen, managing director of the Port of Hirtshals.

The Port of Hirtshals is only 20 minutes away from the sea lanes between the European west coast, Great Britain, Scandinavia and the Baltics, close to some of Europe's best fishing spots, and right at the beginning of the E39 motorway and the railway.

Break the patterns - it pays off
The Port of Hirtshals' task will be to change the transport patterns used for cargo transport today, and according to the managing director, it will not be an easy task to break these well-established patterns.

- We are working on highlighting the opportunities of changing transport corridor and telling about the advantages of moving the cargo away from the road network to the blue motorway on at sea - including a significant lower carbon footprint, but I also recognise unfamiliar terrain can be worrisome, says Jens Kirketerp Jensen.

Strictly objective, the transport of cargo from its place of origin to its destination is a choice between two different transport solutions which are equally fast and cost about the same. However, with full or partial sea transport, the cargo owner can send products to the market with a documented lower carbon footprint which today is a crucial competitive parameter at e.g. the consumer market.

Today, the European hinterland infrastructure provides companies - especially logistics companies - with a range of corridors for cargo transport. The Port of Hirtshals sees itself as a part of the corridor that connects Southern and Central Europe with Scandinavia and the North Atlantic markets.

- The Danish bridges Øresund and Storebælt play a crucial role in the cargo transport between North and South today. The cargo is transported by lorry e.g. to Oslo, and from there the same cargo is transported on the Norwegian road network to their final destination. In this case, it will be an advantage to ship the cargo from Hirtshals and sail it directly up the coast to its destination in Norway, as it is both efficient and carbon emission reducing, says Jens Kirketerp Jensen.

Aalborg University has analysed the carbon footprint of the different corridors between Hitra, an island south of the inlet to Trondheim Fjord, and destinations on the European continent.

The analyses have given following results:
  • The carbon footprint of road transport between Hitra and Western France is 244.56 kg CO2-eq per tonne of cargo.
  • The carbon footprint of transport using a western corridor with sailing between Hitra and Hirtshals and afterwards to Western France is at 196.25 kg CO2-eq per tonne of cargo.
- By using sea transport between Hitra and Hirtshals, a reduction of 24.6 % is achieved, and that counts on today's climate agenda, states Jens Kirketerp Jensen.

Electricity self-sufficiency
For the companies that choose to establish themselves at the Port of Hirtshals, the geographical location can make a difference from day one. At the same time, there are also other relevant green parameters.

- At the moment, Hirtshals Havnefond is installing four wind turbines at the port, and the public turbine is already oversubscribed by more than 100 %, but if a company is interested, it can invest in one of the other three turbines and produce its own electricity and thus get documented green energy. For many companies this will probably be a step towards becoming CO2-neutral, and it can also be used in the company's marketing activities, Jens Kirketerp Jensen points out.

Companies with their own wind turbine also avoid selected charges for the electricity network, which can amount to large sums, and the companies can also sell any excess electricity on the electricity exchange.

At the Port of Hirtshals the wings of the wind turbines are soon in place. Both citizens and companies are going to benefit from the green energy.