Is the dust that EMO produces particulate matter and thus dangerous?
No, although dust can be annoying, it is not dangerous. As opposed to particulate matter, EMO’s dust may be a nuisance but it is not a public health hazard. Particulate matter is made up of small toxic particles released during incineration [coal combustion], which we can breathe into our lungs. However, the particles released at EMO are relatively large and coarse and so get stopped by the natural protection our body provides (nose and mucous membranes). Even though these coarse particles are not toxic, EMO is working hard on minimising the nuisance of dust , which is why sprinkler installations and sprinkler trucks continuously spray the area. Stored product is also covered by an innovative layer of cellulose, which stops the wind from carrying away the coarse particles.
What sort of demand does EMO expect to see for its products?
Expectations are that in coming decades we will keep on needing coal. For the most part, large power plants still use coal. Other sources of energy are still unable to satisfy the large demand for energy. There is a discernible trend towards using biomass as a source of energy. EMO is researching how it can play a role in storing and supplying this form of energy. Besides coal, EMO transships large quantities of iron ore. We do not expect this demand to fall due to innovative technology.
How much does EMO transship yearly?
As the unsurpassed market leader in Europe, EMO is a major coal and iron ore hub. We transship shipments arriving from all over the world through Rotterdam and out to the large European hinterland. With a surface area of 160 hectares, our terminal offers a storage capacity of seven million tonnes. Compared to other dry bulk terminals EMO is uniquely situated, along a 23 m deep waterway directly connected to the sea. EMO has the facilities, which the world’s largest bulk carriers need. All in all, EMO offers an unloading capacity of 42 million tonnes.
Can I work for EMO?
EMO is an impressive company to work for, known for its fantastic collegial ties. During the period of strong economic growth, right after EMO was established in 1973, we hired many workers in the same age group, most of whom will be retiring soon, which means our workforce will be shrinking in coming years. EMO is looking to replace those leaving the company and, to avoid repeating the present situation in the future, we are striving to replace our retiring employees with people of different ages. School leavers are certainly welcome but most of our vacancies require operational qualifications. For more information please see: Energising Your Talent.
Does EMO pose a danger for the local municipalities?
EMO stores and transships coal and iron ore only, products that are neither toxic nor explosive. The coal is compressed so it is virtually impossible for oxygen to penetrate it. Any dust particles released, despite our precautionary measures, do not pose a public health threat. They are not fine particles, which are a health hazard but coarse particles. The natural protection our body provides prevents these coarse particles from entering our lungs.
Coal is environmentally unfriendly. Are there no other solutions?
Coal is not as bad for the environment as often perceived. To a certain degree, coal is our future. An important percentage of our electricity comes from coal-fired power stations. Coal comes from primarily stable countries in contrast to the lands supplying oil or liquid gas, for instance Russia, which not so long ago shut down its European oil lines on a regular basis. Secure energy is vital. Expectations are that the oil supply will last 30 years while coal will be available for the next 150 years. The new generation of coal-fired power plants are far cleaner and more efficient than the old power stations. The Electrabel power station on the EMO site, for example, is being built according to the latest knowledge in carbon capture storage (CCS) and the use of biomass. New power stations are often built to replace older power stations.
Why does EMO need the site along the Hartel strip?
Due to the widening of the Amazone harbour and the loss of EMO land to accommodate Electrabel’s new power plant, in 2014 EMO plans to relocate part of its current activities to the Hartel strip, opposite the existing EMO terminal. Relocation to the new terminal will enable EMO to grow. In response to market developments, we expect to need more space in the future for coal and biomass storage. Products stored for longer periods can impede the logistical process of a terminal. Wooden pellets, biomass product and supplementary fuel for power stations require more storage space. The Hartel strip offers all the space we need and will lead to greater efficiency at the existing terminal. With the Hartel strip, the available space in the harbour will be used optimally, in accordance with the Rotterdam Port Authority’s strategy.