Eekels is aware of its responsibility for contributing to a sustainable society. Independently and in collaboration with customers and other stakeholders it has taken various initiatives to achieve this. Examples of these are described below.

Participation in the project ‘Hydrogen for Shore Power’

In the context of environmental and CO2 awareness, Eekels participates in the project ‘Hydrogen for Shore Power’.

Ports aim to reduce the emission of CO2, local emissions and noise pollution. An important source of emissions and noise are the ships that are docked, with no shore power connection available. These ships use their own engines or on-board generators to produce the required electricity using on diesel oil. Shore power facilities enable emission reduction, but this is expensive.

This is why ports are looking for a mobile and flexible zero-emission solution to deliver shore power to ships. Because the reduction and avoidance of both climate and environmental emissions (NOx, SOx, particulate matter, etc.) is the goal, it seems that hydrogen as energy carrier offers the only suitable solution for the power required.

The goal of the project ‘Hydrogen for Shore Power’ it to design, test and realize a mobile fuel cell aggregate, that can be used in the ports on the Wadden Sea shore to provide docked ships with shore power. Based on the first analysis a configuration was drawn up for a pilot unit. The system will test run for a number of years, after which the learning experiences will be integrated in the designs, tests and realization of a prototype.

During the trial period the project will already result in reduced emissions with an intended reduction of 908 tons CO2/year and 4687 kg NOx/year. There will also be less noise disturbance because the ships that are being supplied no longer need to use their ship’s engines.

Questions regarding the ability to supply electricity to ships will be answered. With this the project leads to a better insight in the use of hydrogen in shore power applications that can also be used in other off-grid applications such as building sites and festivals, which can accelerate the application of hydrogen in other off-grid applications.

The project matched well with the ambitions of the Dutch climate agreement which focusses heavily on hydrogen as climate-neutral energy carrier. Also the hydrogen roadmap outlines contours of a sustainable energy supply in 2050, in which hydrogen is a robust element as a CO2 neutral energy carrier. In the hydrogen roadmap it is acknowledged that innovation is not only necessary in the production (e.g. electrolysis): besides the use of hydrogen in industry, hydrogen will also have to be applied in new applications as climate neutral energy carrier in order to reach the climate targets. Also, the project fits well within the ambition of the Wadden Fund with regard to the themes sustainable Wadden ports, nature, sustainability of the energy housekeeping and sustainable tourism.

Energy reducing services

Energy reduction solutions are a major part of our services portfolio. This is why Eekels offers its customers pro-active advice on the scope available for reduction offered by the latest technology. Eekels works on complex installations that require customer-specific solutions. Therefore, Eekels pro-actively collaborates with its customers to supply the best possible solutions for reducing energy consumption. In addition to technical process optimization, Eekels offers a full range of energy reduction opportunities that are very interesting for the market segments in which it operates and have a short pay-back time. Our knowledge of propulsion technology, industrial automation and system integration, combined with the customer’s specific process knowledge, can make installations extremely energy efficient.

Energy seminars

During its centenary celebrations in 2008, Eekels organised a seminar on energy saving. Realizing the necessity of reducing the environmental impact, and due to the attendees’ enthusiastic responses to the seminar, Eekels decided in 2008 to organise this event on an annual basis.

By organising these seminars, Eekels aims to increase awareness of the purpose and necessity of reducing energy consumption in its market segment. In collaboration with its technological partners, Eekels focuses on the trends and latest technological developments in the field of energy reduction. As a starting point, technologies are discussed that, within the existing infrastructure, are both energy-efficient and of economic interest. The energy saving that is achieved through implementation of the discussed technologies has a direct and positive effect on the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Improvement of technical education

Education is one of the pillars of our society. Its quality directly affects the fabric of society. Education is crucial to the knowledge-based economy of the Netherlands and ensures that the Netherlands remains in the forefront of technological developments. Eekels Technology B.V. endorses the societal importance of education and participates in various initiatives aimed at improving technical education. For years Eekels has been a partner in the Institute of Engineering at Hanze University Groningen. In 2014 this collaboration was laid down in ‘The Collaboration Covenant.’