The Benegrids project has sought to explore possibilities for synergy in the Rotterdam port area by making better use of available industrial networks. The long-term objective of the project was to provide support for strategic decision-making concerning these networks.
The project has focused on modelling the most important industrial processes and associated networks related to crude oil processing industry in the Rotterdam region.
The project has first addressed descriptive questions (network configuration, capacities of installations and ducts, owners/users, present levels of use), then also evaluative questions (performance indicators) . Of special interest have been opportunities for synergy and recycling.
The project has taken a modelling approach, focusing on the transport flows of crude oil and its (volume-wise) most important derivatives (naphtha, ethylene, propylene, benzene), and the associated flows of energy (heat, electricity). Further development of the Linny-R software tool that supports this approach has been a key objective of the project
The models, and the analyses that have been performed using them (network optimisation from the perspective of different actors under a variety of external scenarios), aimed to provide insight in:
- the limiting capacities, robustness, and flexibility of ex isting networks (for transport of matter, heat, etc.)
- the potential for (and present realisation of) recycling
- the allocation of costs and benefits over different parties is various use scenarios
- how these performance indicators change as a function of investments in networks, and/or substitutions of specific nodes, and as a function of changes in contractual agreements among parties (concerning volumes, prices and tariffs, and who does the dispatch)
The project has been quite successful. The BeneGrids approach has proven to be feasible, both technically and practically. Technically because it the software tool Linny-R has been extended to the point where it provides the key functionalities to support the approach, practically because the data required to model the petro-chemical cluster in sufficient detail could be found using open sources, and was indeed possible to integrate partial models easily using the "boxes within boxes" concept (the initial Dutch term was "blokkendoos"). The models that have been developed produce credible output, and allow for performance analysis and opportunity seeking . Method and tools show good potential for regular use by the Port of Rotterdam.