The European Union (EU) is providing a huge grant for the further development of six inland ports in Limburg (NL). The inland ports in Venlo, Roermond, Leudal (Zevenellen) Stein (Chemelot Haven), Maastricht and Tilburg (partner on the freight corridor) can count on 7 million EUR from Europe for research and up to 120 million EUR in subsidies for expansion over the next three years.
The companies at the six inland ports are investing a total of 14 million EUR in research on port further development. Of this, 50% will be reimbursed by the EU grant. The studies must lead to an application for implementation within three years, of which 20% to 50% will also be reimbursed by the EU. In total, the business community plans to invest 240 million EUR in the six inland ports.
For the fourth time, the Dutch Province of Limburg has applied for the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) subsidy as lead agency from the national corridor approach. By joining forces between governments and companies, and jointly applying for a subsidy in Brussels, big steps can be taken within the top corridors.
Stephan Satijn (Deputy Province of Limburg for Economy, Land Management and Education) called the allocation of the CEF funds a huge step forward for the Limburg inland ports and creating conditions for the circular economy: “The fact that the EU is granting a subsidy for the fourth time shows the importance of the Limburg inland ports within the trans-European transport network. The investment of Limburg businesses in the ports combined with the European grant is a huge boost for the circular economy as well as the Modal Shift from road to water.”
Inland ports can act as circular transport hubs, storage locations for circular purposes and locations for accommodation of circular industry.
Objectives CEF funds
The allocated CEF funds will be used for implementation-oriented research into the construction and further development of inland ports. The application calls for special attention to be paid to sustainable construction when expanding in all ports on the corridor and the Albert Canal (BE). Research is also being conducted into transporting residual flows (such as waste) by water, which will potentially reduce the number of trucks crossing the A2 highway by hundreds of thousands.
Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij Midden-Limburg is developing a sustainable multifunctional and water-bound business park in the municipality of Leudal. The park should provide space for companies with activities such as storage, circular and bio-based business. This application also includes the multimodal connection from the port of Stein to Chemelot.
In the Willem Alexander port in Roermond, companies, the Limburg water board, municipality of Roermond and Province of Limburg will combine primary flood protection barriers with logistics quays for the first time. This will also keep entrepreneurs in this circular Port of Northern Europe dry feet. In the port in Venlo, as part of the flood protection plan, the marina will be relocated, allowing the north and south banks to be developed for businesses in circular economy.
From the corridor cooperation, the Provinces of Limburg, Gelderland, Brabant and South Holland, the Port of Rotterdam, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water and the Top Sector Logistics are working together under the Rhombus umbrella to provide a cross-border connection of the main ports of Rotterdam, Duisburg, Liège and Antwerp via the hinterland. On this corridor, 16 inland ports along the Meuse (NL) and Albert Canal (BE) are working together under the name Blueports on vision, policy, digitalisation, promotion, sustainability and joint deployment of European funds. This cross-border cooperation is essential for CEF subsidies. It enables optimal use of infrastructure within this area and reduces pressure on the main European (hinterland) road connections.