Industrial ecology is a means of pooling and recycling emissions from industry to assist other companies and focus development on a virtuous circle. Port Salford in Greater Manchester (UK) is set to be extended using recycled construction materials, avoiding a significant amount of pollution that would otherwise be generated by concrete production. This port development mirrors other urban initiatives, including one in Brussels (Belgium), where city hall has selected 38 projects. These will also be actively supported by the port, which is providing land to store the recyclable materials. However, the idea is not limited only to European countries. Kenya has signed an ambitious partnership with the firm ENI to convert agricultural waste into biofuels in Mombasa, the country’s largest port city.
In port cities, carbon capture and storage will no doubt be central to the new circular economy. Why? Because not only do port cities usually host carbon-emitting industrial activities, but most storage facilities will be sited offshore! In Australia, Perth-based company Transborders Energy is set to launch an offshore project with Japanese partners. The constructors are already lining up, with the likes of K-Line or Stena Bulk having already created prototype carbon storage vessels. Port infrastructures will enable carbon to be centralised and then shipped to storage sites, as is the case with the Northern Lights project based in Bergen (Norway) and operated by Total, Shell, and Exxon-Mobil. Another project of interest is CinfraCap, currently being designed in Gothenburg (Sweden) by five Nordic firms. And of course, we have previously reported on the EU Commission-funded Porthos project in progress at the port of Rotterdam (Netherlands). Its operators are confident, and a progress update in December indicated that the project will be completed on time!