Wim van Lieshout new project director of Porthos

Wim van Lieshout has been appointed as project director of the Porthos project, which involves the transport and storage of CO2 in Rotterdam, as of 1 July 2019. Van Lieshout will be succeeding Tim Bertels, who set up and shaped the project over the past two years.

Wim van Lieshout (57) studied civil engineering in Delft and earned an MBA in Enschede. He has over 30 years of experience in project management, consultancy and organisational control. He has worked for companies active in the infrastructure, renewable energy and waste management sectors. Previous employers include HVC Group (a collection of utility companies with eight locations in the northern and central Netherlands) and ProRail, for example. In recent years, Van Lieshout has headed his own consultancy Waste and Energy Strategies (WEST), which specialises in strategy development and acquisitions in the waste and renewable energy sector.

Wim van Lieshout is being shown the ropes by departing project director Tim Bertels. Two years ago the Port of Rotterdam Authority, EBN and Gasunie asked Bertels (DAREL Consultancy) to explore which opportunities there were to construct a collective CO2 pipeline that was suited for a variety of companies to hook up to, and to subsequently store this CO2 in empty gas fields in the North Sea seabed. The project organisation built up by Bertels these past two years focused on the technical elaboration of this project, gauging the interest of local companies in taking part, the underlying business case, permits and the policy framework required for realising the project.

The organisation has made considerable strides in each of these areas. For example, this spring it became clear that there is ample interest among companies to participate in the project, and the Porthos organisation is now working towards the contracts with various firms to supply CO2. A start has been made on the EIA procedures and Porthos is conferring with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs to determine which steps the government needs to take to get the project off the ground. Over the past two years, the focus has consequently been on exploration and research. These matters will all be fleshed out further in the period ahead, and the organisation will be working towards a definite investment decision. This involves a variety of activities, including further technical preparations for the construction of the infrastructure and the finalising agreements with companies regarding the supply of CO2. Other items on the agenda include securing the necessary permits and the required public administration instruments to enable CCUS.