An energy summit between Belgium and Germany was held this week at the Port of Antwerp in Zeebrugge. There Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and Chancellor Olaf Scholz signed an agreement to work together on hydrogen, carbon capture, electrification and LNG projects.
It’s part of efforts to increase energy independence both on a national and EU level given the need to decarbonize and reduce dependency on Russian oil and gas.
Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp-Bruges: “15% of the supply of LNG and natural gas to Europe today passes through the port of Zeebrugge, making our port one of the most important access routes for gas to Germany and the European hinterland. In turn, the port of Antwerp is home to numerous leading German chemical companies, which are also closely linked to German industry.”
An Energy Contact Group between the two countries will be set up to facilitate the interaction between industrial and political stakeholders on all aspects of the energy transition that has become an pressing priority for the European Union.
The hosts from the Port of Antwerp-Bruges’ are a focal point for the strategy. It has already been developing multiple projects centered on building capacity for hydrogen and carbon capture aimed at Belgium and Germany. This has already positioned it as an essential piece of the broader decarbonization puzzle for both countries.
Its role can’t be understated. The port already handles 15% of European LNG and natural gas arrives there. An ambitious carbon capture initiative, named Antwerp@C, has attracted Air Liquide, BASG, Borealis, ExxonMobil, INEOS, Fluxys and Total. Together the port and companies have set a target of capturing 50% of the port’s emissions by 2030.
Germany has already signaled its intent to use hydrogen in its energy mix. The largest European economy already announced its hydrogen port ambitions in 2022 and is working on multiple projects for transporting the emission-less energy carrier through pipelines, rail, barge and trucks.
CO2 transportation and storage projects are also under way, with gas fields in the North Sea being readied for CO2 injection in the near future. Denmark recently announced its first two licenses for carbon storage in its waters.