Belgium and Germany bolster energy collaboration

Belgium and Germany have signed an agreement to intensify their energy collaboration and enhance their energy independence, through an Energy Contact Group among other things.

Courtesy of Port of Antwerp-Bruges

The agreement was signed on 15 February in Zeebrugge where Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo received German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for the Belgian-German energy summit.

The two countries agreed to accelerate energy collaboration on electrification, LNG, hydrogen and carbon capture to enhance their energy independence. They will do so through, among other things, an Energy Contact Group which consists of political and industry stakeholders and will meet annually to monitor a range of energy topics.

Belgium and Germany say that this collaboration is important for the future of the industry in both countries and to make a smooth transition to a climate-neutral economy.

Port of Antwerp-Bruges emerged as an essential player in both countries’ ambition to become climate neutral due to its strategy and projects around hydrogen, circularity and CO2 capture.

The port is involved in projects related to the import, local production, processing and throughput of green hydrogen and derivatives to the hinterland. It is also one of the main entry points for LNG and natural gas: 15% of European gas arrives there.

In addition, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is actively working on the capture and storage of CO2, such as the ambition with Antwerp@C, a consortium including Air Liquide, BASF, Borealis, ExxonMobil, INEOS, Fluxys and Total, which aims to capture half of the port’s CO2 emissions by 2030.

Last year, the Belgian port signed a long-term cooperation agreement with German duisport in the areas of the energy transition, including hydrogen supply chain, hinterland connections and infrastructure.

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Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, said: “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.

Today, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is working out concrete plans to transport sustainable hydrogen and hydrogen carriers to Germany, further establishing ourselves as the green energy & feedstock hub of the future. To make this change happen, even more Belgian-German cooperation is needed in areas such as import, infrastructure, transport and purchase of these green energy flows. That is what is on the agenda today for the meeting between German and Belgian government leaders and key energy players from both countries.”

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo stated: “This first-ever Belgian-German Energy Summit is of great importance for strengthening our energy independence, accelerating the transition to renewable energy and ensuring the future of our industry. The Belgian-German consultation is already delivering great results. For instance, we are working on connecting our CO2 and hydrogen networks. We are also doubling gas transit capacity to Germany and starting the study for the construction of a second electricity cable to connect Belgium and Germany.”

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