In Zeebrugge, there was an energy summit between Germany and Belgium. This is a component of the partnership between Germany and Belgium to increase their energy independence.
In order to do this, the two nations agreed to increase their cooperation, including through an Energy Contact Group. The Port of Antwerp-Bruges is a key actor in both countries’ objectives to become carbon neutral thanks to its strategies and projects in the areas of hydrogen, circularity, and CO2 collection, among others.
For the Belgian-German energy summit, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo welcomed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Zeebrugge. The discussions at the ABC building of the Port of Antwerp-Bruges were also attended by Tinne Van der Straeten, the Dutch Minister for Energy, and Patrick Graichen, the German Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.
In order to increase their energy independence, the two nations struck a deal to speed up their energy cooperation on electrification, LNG, hydrogen, and carbon capture. Among other means, they will accomplish this through an Energy Contact Group. This group, made up of representatives from politics and business, will get together once a year to track a variety of energy-related issues. The future of business in both Germany and Belgium depends on cooperation between the two nations, as does a smooth transition to a climate-neutral economy.
Port of Antwerp-Bruges plays a significant role
The Port of Antwerp-Bruges is located in the center of Europe at a crossroads for energy, in the middle of a number of significant industrial clusters. This nation consequently has all the resources required to become the green energy gateway of Europe, including the strategically located ports, strong links with neighboring nations, the presence of significant chemical and energy companies, and the previously existing infrastructure.
The Port of Antwerp-Bruges, a major international port, envisions a significant role for itself in the import, domestic production, processing, and throughput of green hydrogen and derivatives to the hinterland. Since Zeebrugge receives 15% of the gas used in Europe, it is already one of the major entry sites for LNG and natural gas. Furthermore, the Port of Antwerp-Bruges is aggressively pursuing CO2 capture and storage. For instance, the goal of the Antwerp@C consortium, which consists of Air Liquide, BASF, Borealis, ExxonMobil, INEOS, Fluxys, and Total, aims to reduce the port’s CO2 emissions by half by 2030.
The Port of Antwerp-Bruges has been collaborating with German business, government, and academia for some time to improve the infrastructure and capacity between the two nations. For instance, the port already serves as a significant LNG and natural gas supplier to Germany, and there are already clear plans in place for delivering hydrogen and hydrogen carriers to that country via a variety of transport methods, including pipelines, rail, and inland navigation. The port can be used to transport captured CO2 from German industry in the other direction so that it can be stored in unused gas sources in the North Sea.