Port of Belledune’s new “green” vision for an energy wise New Brunswick

Posted on February 02, 2023 | Sponsored Content | 0 Comments

 

Port of Belledune, New Brunswick

 

As the world continues to demand cleaner and more sustainable businesses, the Belledune Port Authority (BPA) is not only listening—it’s rising to the challenge with a bold vision to attract and develop green industry fuelled by renewable energy in Northern New Brunswick.

“We are transforming to diversify, grow, and green our business with a brand-new plan for the future,” says BPA President and CEO Denis Caron. “This plan supports our determination to green our current operations and also our long-term ambition to build a Green Energy Hub that attracts clean industry and enables large-scale production of renewable energy, specifically green hydrogen.”

The result of a two-year research and planning process that included input from experts in marine transportation, green energy, community and industry stakeholders, and Indigenous rights holders, the Port’s new Master Development Plan 2022-2052 lays out a 30-year roadmap to transition away from declining traditional industries toward a more diverse, dynamic future while supporting a green economic transition for New Brunswick.

Phase One of the process, which began last year, involves securing new maritime-dependent industrial users to take advantage of existing infrastructure and drive additional cargo; greening port operations as much as possible; and establishing a cluster of industrial activity that includes import/export of processed materials with traditional liquid and dry bulk.

Crucially, it also entails exploring opportunities to develop a Green Energy Hub through new partnerships, and agreements, and by working with regulators to lay the foundation for first-of-their-kind developments in New Brunswick.

 

Denis Caron, President & CEO, Belledune Port Authority

 

Says Caron: “Through the creation of a Green Energy Hub, we will prioritize green development that complements other activities at the Port. This is a special development site intended to attract sustainable industry powered by clean and green energy. ”

In fact, with new deals signed, the Port is well on its way.

Last month’s agreement in principle with U.S.-based Cross River Infrastructure Partners will develop a zero-carbon hydrogen production facility at Belledune to serve domestic and European energy markets. The initiative has support from the New Brunswick government, NB Power, and local Indigenous rights holders. The partners are also pursuing the use of advanced small nuclear reactors as a power source for expanded hydrogen production and other industries based at the Port, which may include metal fabrication and advanced manufacturing.

The BPA has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the German-based Port of Wilhelmshaven to collaborate on the movement of dry and liquid bulk commodities, and manufactured goods with a focus on clean fuels and green products.

What’s more, last year saw a 63 per cent increase in biomass shipments from the port. Along with a focus on programing all terminals to their maximum practical capacity, this enabled it to exceed its net-profit target.

As part of Canada’s Port Authority network, the BPA manages the infrastructure and assets of the Port of Belledune. Its objectives include not only advancing the growth and prosperity of the economy in both Canada and New  Brunswick, but also fulfilling public policy objectives. “We anticipate significant First Nations and community interest in this project and will ensure the proponents provide informative and timely engagement opportunities for northern New  Brunswickers,” says Caron. “Maintaining and sustaining these relationships is critical to our collective success.”

Situated on the Atlantic Ocean, the Port of Belledune offers four marine terminals, 1,600 acres of industrial-zoned land and some of the shortest sea shipping routes to Europe. Now, with the new Green Energy Hub, it’s working to enhance and augment those advantages—to, as Caron says, “bring the vision to life.”

He adds: “With our new Master Development Plan and the support of our government, community, and Indigenous rights holders, we are confident that our Port can transform to deliver a cleaner, brighter future.”

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