North Sea Port

From Global Energy Monitor

The North Sea Port is a cross-border port in The Netherlands and Belgium. It is the result of a 2018 merger between the Dutch Zeeland Seaports (Vlissingen and Terneuzen) and the Flemish/Belgian Port of Ghent.[1][2]

The port is home to storage and transshipment companies that handle various cargo flows, including coal. Approximately 62 million tons of maritime cargo are transshipped annually through the North Sea Port annually.[3][4] In 2017, Zeeland Seaports (Vlissingen and Terneuzen) reportedly handled 2.4 million tonnes of coal.[5]


Zeeland Seaports consists of the Port of Terneuzen south of the Western Scheldt and the Port of Vlissingen north of the Western Scheldt. The Western Scheldt, the estuary of the Scheldt river, is located in the province of Zeeland in the southwestern Netherlands. With an open connection to the North Sea, Zeeland Seaports is located between Rotterdam and Antwerp. The Port of Ghent is located in Ghent, East Flanders, in the Flemish Region of Belgium, about 58 kilometers from the North Sea via the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal.[2]

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North Sea Port has eight public shareholders. On the Dutch side, they are the province of Zeeland (25%) and Borssele, Terneuzen and Vlissingen municipalities (8.33% each). On the Flemish side, they are the city of Ghent (48.52%), the municipalities of Evergem (0.03%) and Zelzate (0.005%) and the province of East Flanders (1.444%).[6]

Zeeland Seaports was the port authority for the many harbors, quays, and berths in the Terneuzen-Vlissengen area. Zeeland Seaports was an independent non-profit organization resulting from the 1998 merger of the ports of Terneuzen and Vlissingen. Zeeland Seaports' area of responsibility covered the Borsele, Terneuzen, and Vlissingen municipalities who were shareholders with the Province of Zeeland.[2]


In 2008, Zeeland Seaports handled 33.2 million tons of sea-borne cargo and 28.7 million tons of inland cargo. It included 24.8 million tons of imports and over 8.4 million tons of exports. Imports included 9.3 million tons of dry bulk, 8.4 million tons of liquid bulk, 6 million tons of general cargo, 1.1 million tons of roll-on/roll-off cargoes, and 79 thousand tons of containerized cargo. Exports included 2.9 million tons of dry bulk, 2.6 million tons of liquid bulk, 1.6 million tons of general cargo, 1.1 million tons of roll-on/roll-off cargo, and 92 thousand tons of containerized cargo.[2]

Imports passing through Zeeland Seaports were dominated by oil products, agricultural products, and solid fuels. Zeeland Seaports also handled chemical products, minerals, fertilizers, metal products, ores and metal residues, and other goods. Exports passing through Zeeland Seaports included fertilizers, solid fuels, other goods, and small volumes of metal products and ores.[2]

Zeeland Seaport's handbooks advertised that it was home to companies specializing in coal storage and transshipment.[7][8]

In 2017, Zeeland Seaports (Vlissingen and Terneuzen) reportedly handled 2.4 million tonnes of coal.[5]


The Port of Terneuzen, at the entrance to the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal, covers two thousand hectares. The Port previously welcomed 2,500 ocean-going ships carrying more than 14 million tons of cargo a year that included dry and liquid bulk, oil, oil products, fertilizers, minerals, metals, and ores.[2]

Companies like Oxbow make use of the Port of Terneuzen. Oxbow’s joint venture company, OVET B.V., operates one of its major facilities on the northwest European coast in Terneuzen, at Massagoedharbour (or Massagoedhaven). It has a storage capacity of 600,000 metric tons on 160,000 square meters of paved storage area and operates four floating cranes. Terneuzen can accept Panamax size vessels, has 1,400 meters of quay, and includes rail connections. Oxbow responds to storage, transshipment, screening, washing, drying, bagging, technical service, and inventory management requests.[9][10]

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Vlissingen (Flushing)

Companies like Oxbow also make use of the Port of Vlissingen. The OVET terminal in Flushing at Kalootharbour (or Kaloothaven) has a storage capacity of 1,800,000 metric tons on 330,000 square meters of paved storage area and 6,000 square meters (45,000 cubic meters) of covered storage. With four floating cranes at its disposal, the facility can discharge up to 20,000 metric tons of product per day. Capesize vessels can be accommodated. A mobile screening plant and almost 1,000 meters of quay length are available. The terminal has an automated train loading station and has 1,200 meters of rail track on site.[10][11]

In March 2021, inventories at OVET’s Vlissingen terminal were pegged at a five-week low of 0.21m tonnes, comprising 0.15m tonnes of thermal coal, due in part to slowing vessel arrivals.[12]

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The Port of Ghent handles various commodities including coal.[13][14] For example, in 2007, Sea-Invest, which specializes in stevedoring and other port-related activities,[15] invested EUR 30 million in some of its subsidiaries in the Port. The Ghent Coal Terminal (GTC) was reportedly equipped with a coal dryer and a brand-new drying shed, and in 2007, construction work was set to begin on a sieving unit for pit coal.[16]

In 2014, the Port of Ghent had 26 million tonnes of seaborne cargo capacity and 22 million tonnes of inland navigation traffic capacity. The port specialised in dry and liquid bulk, including coal.[17]

A 2016 YouTube video appears to show coal at a Port of Ghent terminal.[18]

The ArcelorMittal Ghent steel plant and former Rodenhuize power station are located in Ghent.

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Project Details

  • Owner: North Sea Port
  • Coordinates: Terneuzen - 51.309715, 3.836734 (approximate); Vlissingen - 51.446742, 3.702646 (approximate); Ghent - 51.123804, 3.775754 (approximate)
  • Location: Terneuzen - Terneuzen, Zeeland Province, Netherlands; Vlissingen - Zeeland Province, Netherlands; Ghent - Ghent, East Flanders Province, Belgium
  • Total Capacity (Million tonnes per annum): approximately 62
  • Coal Capacity (Million tonnes per annum): Terneuzen/Vlissingen - at least 2.4; Ghent - unknown
  • Status: Operating
  • Type:
  • Coal Source:

Articles and Resources


  1. "About Us," North Sea Port, accessed October 2021
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 “Zeeland Seaports,” World Port Source, accessed October 2021
  3. "Together. Smarter." North Sean Port, March 27, 2018
  4. "North Sea Port’s breakbulk volume also takes hit," Project Cargo Journal, May 15, 2020
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Sustained decline coal transhipment at Dutch seaports," Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), June 13, 2018
  6. "Fusion Port," North Sea Port, accessed October 2021
  7. "Port Handbook," Zeeland Seaports, 2015-2016
  8. "Port Handbook," Zeeland Seaports, 2017-2018
  9. "Terminal Terneuzen (Massagoedharbour)," OVET, accessed October 2021
  10. 10.0 10.1 "International Distribution," Oxbow, accessed October 2021
  11. "Terminal Vlissingen (Kalootharbour)," OVET, accessed October 2021
  12. "EU coal terminal stocks slip to fresh 4.5-year low," Montel, March 15, 2021
  13. "The Port of Ghent: Port Commerce," World Port Source, accessed October 2021
  14. "Goederen: haven van Gent," vlaamsezeehavens, accessed October 2021
  15. "Ghent Coal Terminal NV," Bloomberg Profile, accessed October 2021
  16. "Sea-Invest ploughs money into Port of Ghent activities," Flanders Investment and Trade, October 9, 2007
  17. "Port of the month: Port of Ghent," ESPO, February 28, 2014
  18. "Ghent Coal Terminal," Matthias Verlez, December 12, 2016

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