Belgian and Houston partners sign Memorandum of Understanding on energy transition cooperation

Belgian and Houston partners sign Memorandum of Understanding on energy transition cooperation

H.E. Alexander De Croo Prime Minister of Belgium, witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Energy Transition Cooperation between three Belgian and three Houston-based partners to boost transatlantic cooperation on the green transition. The Center for Houston’s Future, Waterstofnet, Port Houston, the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, Exmar and the Blue Sky Maritime Coalition agreed to explore a win-win partnership around an import-export coalition for renewable and low-carbon molecules, a green shipping corridor and the exchange of best practices, knowledge and research.

The changing regulatory landscape and ambitious climate targets on both sides of the Atlantic provide the background for ambitious cooperation. The Greater Houston Area is home to some of the biggest energy producers in the world, and the increase in production of renewable and low carbon energy offers perspectives for future export. Belgium is a strategic energy hub in the heart of Europe, including for import and transit of renewable and low carbon molecules, with the Port of Antwerp-Bruges as a crucial gateway with extensive storage capacity and connectivity to European markets and huge off-take. Houston and Antwerp are the biggest petrochemical clusters in the world, many Belgian and US companies are present on both sides and the long-standing commercial maritime connection between both ports is a backbone for cooperation.

Blue Sky Maritime Coalition brings together more than 120 member organizations, including leadership of the green shipping corridor from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), to work on maritime decarbonization and transportation of clean energy fuels with the other partners. ​

The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is a first step in solidifying such a partnership between crucial stakeholders based in countries that are strategic allies. Other stakeholders on both sides are welcome and encouraged to join as partners start working on a roadmap for implementation.

“The Center for Houston’s Future, building on our recent trade mission to Germany and Poland in which we explored developing a transatlantic clean hydrogen alliance, was excited to welcome Prime Minister De Croo as he participated in a clean energy roundtable hosted by the Greater Houston Partnership,” said Center CEO Brett Perlman. “The discussion highlighted opportunities for collaboration, while the MOU creates a framework for deeper engagement with our colleagues in Belgium.”
Wim Dillen, International Development Manager at Port of Antwerp-Bruges is very much looking forward to this collaboration: “This partnership is not only forming a bridge between continents, but is also fueling the greening of the 2 most important chemical clusters in the world. We will pave the way for a new era of energy synergy, underlining the significance of international collaboration in shaping a resilient and sustainable future for generations to come."
Port Houston Chief Infrastructure Officer and Blue Sky Board Member, Rich Byrnes, added: “We are pleased to be a signatory to this MOU and look forward to working with all partners to develop this vital green shipping corridor. This partnership represents a great opportunity to progress our shared goals of decarbonization in maritime, environmental sustainability, and trade development in clean energy.” ​ ​

 

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About Port of Antwerp-Bruges

With an overall throughput of 271 million tonnes per year, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is a critical hub in worldwide trade and industry. The port is a crucial link for the handling of containers, breakbulk and for the throughput of vehicles. Port of Antwerp-Bruges is home to 1,400 companies and accommodates the largest integrated chemical cluster in Europe. The port provides, directly and indirectly, a total of around 164,000 jobs and generates an added value of 21 billion euros.
 
The ambition for Port of Antwerp-Bruges is clear - to become the world's first port that reconciles economy, people and climate. As well as growing in a sustainable way, the Port also aims to focus on its unique position as a logistics, maritime and industrial centre and to take the lead in the transition to a circular and low-carbon economy. Together with the port community, customers and other partners, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is actively seeking innovative solutions for a sustainable future. High on the agenda is its responsibility for the environment and the surrounding society. 

The port sites of Antwerp and Zeebrugge are operated by the Antwerp-Bruges Port Authority, a limited liability company of public law with the City of Antwerp and the City of Bruges as its shareholders. The port employs 1,800 people. Vice-Mayor of Antwerp Annick De Ridder is President of the Board of Directors, the Mayor of Bruges Dirk De fauw is the Vice-President. Jacques Vandermeiren is CEO and President of the Executive Committee, which is responsible for the port’s day-to-day management. 

www.portofantwerpbruges.com

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Port of Antwerp-Bruges
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