Commissioner Kadri Simson and Port of Antwerp-Bruges discuss collaboration for making sustainable energy transition a reality in Europe

Commissioner Kadri Simson and Port of Antwerp-Bruges discuss collaboration for making sustainable energy transition a reality in Europe

European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson visits the port to see how the shift to sustainable molecules is becoming a reality in Europe

Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy, and Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, met today at the Antwerp Port House. The meeting focused on Port of Antwerp-Bruges' hydrogen ambitions, with hydrogen being an essential link in a sustainable and robust energy system. After the consultations, the Commissioner headed into the port by ship, and stopped at INEOS Inovyn in Lillo, where she saw an electrolysis process in operation, one of the most widely used technologies for producing hydrogen. Earlier today, as part of the same theme, she visited one of Fluxys' work site, which is building a hydrogen-ready pipeline.

Further development of infrastructure to receive, capture, if necessary transform and transport renewable energy is high on the agenda for Port of Antwerp-Bruges. After all, ports play an important role in the import, transit, use and export of green energy flows. This is both the case for the growing volumes of North Sea wind energy - and the grids needed to bring it ashore - and the green hydrogen flows connecting Port of Antwerp-Bruges to the other continents. The port platform has long been preparing to receive the first major import flows of hydrogen carriers such as ammonia and methanol by 2026 – to be consumed directly or converted back to hydrogen. On the one hand, this is taking place through concrete projects at the port platform itself, such as the development of a crucial pipeline network and the further extension of suitable receiving terminals. On the other hand, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is committed to international collaborations with major exporting countries, such as Oman and Namibia.

Alongside the development of critical infrastructure and engaging in international collaborations, a sound European policy framework is indispensable for making the hydrogen market a reality. Energy transition and energy independence are an absolute priority for the European Commission. The REPowerEU plan is among the things that demonstrate this. This plan emphasises the need to provide import opportunities in addition to local renewable energy production. One of the instruments that Europe is additionally developing is the 'European Hydrogen Bank': a mechanism that provides financial support to encourage investment in sustainable hydrogen production and purchase to European off-takers.

These initiatives were discussed at length during the talks between CEO Jacques Vandermeiren and European Commissioner Kadri Simson. Both agreed that the launch of the international hydrogen market needs a clear signal from the European Commission. The international pillar of the European Hydrogen Bank will be crucial in this.

Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy: “Today’s visit to Port of Antwerp-Bruges has shown me that the transformation to become a major decarbonisation hub is already happening, with multiple projects on renewable hydrogen and carbon-capture, use and storage. The availability of renewable hydrogen is essential in a decarbonised economy and the EU policy for renewable hydrogen has been developing rapidly in the last years. A quick deployment of projects to import, produce, use and transit hydrogen, as witnessed here, will be fundamental for the success of the European Green Deal.”
Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp-Bruges: "The Port of Antwerp-Bruges is a major hub for energy supplies today and tomorrow, for our country and the rest of Europe. The necessary energy transition will not come about with isolated initiatives, but is a matter of collaboration. By engaging with European policy-makers like Commissioner Kadri Simson, we are making supply chains more efficient, sustainable, safe and reliable, across borders too."

More photos can be found here.

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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

The telephone number +32 492 15 41 39 is only for press inquiries. For other questions you can mail to communicatie@portofantwerpbruges.com

Port of Antwerp-Bruges
Havenhuis
Zaha Hadidplein 1
2030 Antwerp
Belgium