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Startup ReefSystems installs artificial reef in IJmuiden

The Amsterdam Startup ReefSystems, based in Prodock, installed artificial reefs in IJmuiden on Monday 26 October to promote biodiversity.

With these reefs ReefSystems creates habitats, a natural habitat, to stimulate the growth of local marine life. With this installation ReefSystems hopes to take a step towards larger reef installations at wind farms in the North Sea.

ReefSystems' various microhabitats provide food, shelter and breeding grounds for a wide variety of species, allowing populations to grow again and restoring local ecosystems. The reef installation near IJmuiden is the first of three installations of the overarching North Sea Canal project. Wednesday 28 October a reef was installed near the Moezelhaven (brackish water) and on 3 November a reef near the Amsterdam Marine area (sweeter water).

ReefSystems designs and produces systems that promote biodiversity. In this case an artificial reef; the 'Modular Sealife System', as the founders call it. In collaboration with Port of Amsterdam, Rijkswaterstaat and Wageningen University, it stimulates the growth of various underwater populations in the North Sea Canal. Lack of habitats is, after fishing, blocking migratory routes and pollution, the biggest cause of declining biodiversity. The installation of artificial reefs creates new habitats for local and migratory fish species, crustaceans and shellfish.

Port of Amsterdam has been an active member of the North Sea Canal Fish Migration Working Group for many years. Together with the province of North Holland, Hoogheemraadschappen Hollands Noorderkwartier and Rijnland, Waterschap Amstel, Gooi and Vecht, Rijkswaterstaat, Municipality of Amsterdam and Sportvisserij MidWest Nederland. This group is trying to strengthen fish migration.

Floating battery as clean energy source for city and port

Under the name Project Clean Amsterdam, Skoon Energy and Port of Amsterdam are launching a floating battery that provides the city and port with clean energy. In this way, the two companies contribute to relieving the burden on the electricity network.

Because the battery is on a ship, green power is now available everywhere from the water.

Skoon is the platform where the use of mobile batteries is optimised by bringing supply and demand together. The platform offers all kinds of services to make the partial concept of temporary clean energy supplies as accessible as possible.

Port of Amsterdam uses the mobile battery to absorb temporary peaks in the shore-based power network. These peaks occur mainly in April and May. More river cruise ships will be visiting Amsterdam for the opening of the Keukenhof. The available shore-based power supply is not always sufficient. As a result, the moored ships turn on their diesel generators. This causes noise nuisance and extra emissions.

The battery supplies green power at peak times like these and does not cause any noise nuisance. The battery uses sustainable energy sources from the port such as Wind Farm Ruigoord, solar panels and energy from biomass from AEB. In this way it contributes to the ambition of Port of Amsterdam for a zero emission port.

Robin Schipper, innovation manager at Port of Amsterdam: "With this project we can absorb the peaks in the use of shore power for river cruise ships. With the current power connection we can now supply eight ships with shore power at one location, while power is required for ten ships. There are several times in a day when ships temporarily require more power. By switching on the battery at those moments, we create an extra buffer in the available capacity of the grid manager. Together with Skoon and Zoev City, we will also use the battery for the inner city of Amsterdam".

Daan Geldermans, co-founder of Skoon: "The possibilities of using mobile batteries are endless. For example, if there is work on the quays and bridges in Amsterdam, they can replace polluting diesel generators. Zoev City's electrically powered ship takes care of the transport of the battery. In this way we reduce pressure on the congested road network in Amsterdam and do not take up parking spaces. In addition, the battery substantially reduces noise pollution and emissions in the city. The floating battery is faster, smarter and cleaner!

Over the next six months, the floating battery will be used for a fortnight in the port, followed by two weeks of work in the city. Construction sites, events and film sets often need temporary power supplies. Traditionally, diesel generators are then used. With a growing network of mobile batteries and available grid connections, the step to an emission-free solution is a lot easier. Zoev City can deliver the battery to the city's capillaries via the canals.

There will also be a demonstration container on the Ruijterkade, near the harbour building. The joint task of the port and the city in the energy transition will be made tangible here on the basis of this project.

More about Project Clean Amsterdam

Port of Amsterdam’s approach to noise pollution is unique and has been rewarded

Press release

The beeps emitted by reversing vehicles of the businesses in the port area are safe but annoying. This detracted from the quality of life for the inhabitants of Zaanstad and Westzaan. Port of Amsterdam devised a solution, which has now won the Golden Decibel Award.

The Golden Decibel Award is initiated by the 'Stichting Geluidshinder' (Dutch Noise Abatement Foundation).

Port of Amsterdam launched the project HoorbaarMinder ('Hear the Difference') in November 2015. Its goal is to replace the beeping noises generated by vehicle alarm systems (including noises activated while a vehicle is reversing) in the Amsterdam port area, such as lorries, shovels, cranes and fork-lift trucks, with a hissing sound. This sound can be easily detected at short distances from reversing vehicles, but fades into the background at greater distances.

A total of 267 such alarm systems have now been replaced at 24 businesses. The objective is to replace all these vehicle alarm systems in the Amsterdam port area.

Tackling noise pollution

The HoorbaarMinder project has now won the Golden Decibel Award. This award is an initiative of Innonoise Foundation and the Dutch Noise Abatement Foundation. By presenting a range of various awards, the initiators aim to increase awareness of the problem of noise pollution and the need to find solutions for it. The project was lauded for its systematic and methodical approach.

Only port worldwide

Port of Amsterdam is the first European port and possibly the first port worldwide to make this innovative solution widely available to all businesses in the port area, and is also rolling it out to the ports in the North Sea Canal Area.

‘Raspy-voiced cricket’

Hans Lalk, Assendelft resident and board member of several interest groups: ‘We are satisfied with the new alarm systems. The tonal alarms in all reversing vehicles have been replaced with a more discreet hissing sound – not unlike that produced by a raspy-voiced cricket.’ Perhaps this project can also contribute to reducing noise pollution in the city .

Watch the video on HoorbaarMinder

Exchanging employees via 'Havenspot' platform

At the moment the world is at a standstill or is running at more than full speed. Also in the Amsterdam port in this time of corona crisis, as everywhere in the country, there are companies where the employees are out of work or companies where they just can't handle the work.

To respond to this, Port of Amsterdam, together with Watertalent, has taken the initiative to bring online employers into contact with each other.

For this new initiative an online employment platform was set up without profit motive, by Watertalent with the name 'Havenspot'. With this peer-to-peer hire and loan, employees remain on the payroll of their own employer who, at a mutually agreed rate, can temporarily perform work for another employer.

The advantage is that when the market picks up again, employees can resume working for their own employer without being laid off or having to make use of government schemes. Companies (inside and outside the ports) can make use of this new labour market platform by registering at Havenspot and indicating whether they are looking for or offering employees. The companies will then be put in contact with each other to make agreements about the exchange.

Matty van den Berg, co-founder of Watertalent: 'We are pleased with Port of Amsterdam's proactive attitude to support the port business community in this way. In the short timeframe of 1.5 weeks this platform has been realised, which has been made possible in part thanks to the support of Port of Amsterdam'.

Koen Overtoom, CEO of Port of Amsterdam: 'The port and the companies in the port fulfil an important vital function in this day and age. We therefore also think along with the companies in this time of crisis. Port spotlight is an example of this. As a matchmaker we want to offer the companies a helping hand. This initiative helps us to get through these times together'.

Go to Havenspot (in Dutch)