Air quality

The port is heavily committed to improving air quality. Based on figures originating from the Flanders Environment Agency, we have identified an overall falling trend in emissions of NOx (nitrogen oxides), PM (particulate matter) and SO2 (sulphur dioxide) since 2000.

 

For this data, the port area is demarcated based on European air quality zone BEF01S. In previous years, a different demarcation was used. Updated automation processes for querying the database also led to slightly different figures. This data may therefore also differ from figures reported earlier, which applies to the entire time series (source: Flanders Environment Agency (2020), Air quality at the port of Antwerp – 2019 annual report).

 

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Verified data
©Source: Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij

The estimated emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by the energy, refineries and industry sectors

We see an overall falling trend between 2000 and 2018, whereby the NOx emissions per production index also fell. The NOx emissions stabilised from 2015, but we anticipate that the fall will continue.

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©Source: Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij

The estimated emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by other sectors in the port

We see a slight falling trend in the nitrogen dioxide emissions in other sectors, with a sharp falling trend in the NOx emissions per cargo index. This means that, despite the increase in general traffic at the port, we can still identify an overall fall in NOx emissions. This improvement in emission performance is down to technical developments. We anticipate a further fall due to the use of alternative fuels and new techniques here too.

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©Source: Flemish Environment Agency

NO2 annual average trend

Although the concentrations in the Antwerp port area are 20% higher than the Flemish average, we still see a falling trend here too, with the European threshold values being respected at all measurement points.

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©Source: Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij

SO2 emissions – energy, refineries and industry sectors

We see a very sharp fall in sulphur dioxide emissions for industry, energy and refineries in the 2000-2018 period. The improvements are down to a tightening of Flemish emission standards, which has led to better flue gas treatment at the refineries, among other things.

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©Source: Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij

SO2 emissions – other sectors

The tightening of the sulphur norm in ship fuels has caused a fall in emissions. There was no further tightening of the sulphur norm in the 2015-2018 period.

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©Source: Flemish Environment Agency

Annual average sulfur dioxides (SO2)

The efforts in terms of emission reductions will ensure that the European limits and threshold values are respected. The annual average at the port is higher than in Flanders, but does follow the same trend. It is notable that the annual average concentration in 2019 amounts to less than half of the annual average for 2009.

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©Source: Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij

PM10 emissions – energy, refineries and industry sectors

Following a fall in the 2000-2015 period, we then see a resurgence owing to a new obligation to report emissions at storage and transshipment companies

 

©Source: Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij

PM10 emissions – other sectors

These emissions have stagnated following the fall in the 2000-2015 period. There has also been no further fall in emissions per cargo index.

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©Source: Flemish Environment Agency

Annual average particulate matter PM10

We can identify an overall falling trend. The European annual threshold value is indeed being respected. The average trend for the port is following the same trend as Flanders.