Russia sanctions will hit Rotterdam port

Rotterdam Harbor
. Rotterdam Harbor. Source: Wikimedia/Olavtenbroek

Harbor bosses in Rotterdam's port are worried about the effect that the trade war against Russia will have on Dutch business. The Russian Shtandart oil terminal deal in the Rotterdam harbor is at the brink of collapse, which the harbor managers say is bad news for the city. 

Not even a day after they were proposed, the ripple effect of economic sanctions on Russia are already making waves in Rotterdam. The construction of the €720 million Russian Shtandart oil terminal is on shaky ground. A majority of the municipal council in Rotterdam are endorsing a boycott on the Russian company.

Leefbaar Rotterdam, SP and GroenLinks want to discourage working with Shtandart oil which they believe is one of Putin's tentacles with which he plans to expand his influence on Europe. Reinier de Jong from Leefbaar Rotterdam, the city's biggest party, says this boycott will really put the screws on Russia.

Shtandart will receive the permit to build their terminal in the Europort, but according to GroenLinks council member, this will not hinder the boycott. Their plan is to encourage shareholders not to offer co-operation to the oil company. The municipality of Rotterdam is shareholder for 70 percent of the Harbor Company.

The boycott will mean that Rotterdam loses out on 15 percent of the total goods imported to the city from Russia. The harbor bosses say that Russia has become an important trade ally to The Netherlands. A third of the oil, 33 million tons a year, comes from Russia.

This is bad news for business. Around 4,000 companies exported to Russia for €7.6 billion last year, and imported for more than €20 billion.

For Shell, Fugro and construction company Ballast-Nedam, the sanctions mean that they can no longer sell the technology for pipelines and harbors and for gas and oil extraction to Russia, says TU Delft energy expert Aad Correljé. Russia can only get this technology from Europe and America.

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