North Atlantic’s 1st green shipping corridor in the making

The Belgian Port of Antwerp and the Canadian Port of Montreal have signed a cooperation agreement to support the creation of the first green shipping corridor in the North Atlantic.

Port of Antwerp

The duo signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) during the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) on climate change in Glasgow on 4 November.

On the picture from left to right: Martin Imbleau (Port of Montreal) and Tom Monballiu (Port of Antwerp). Image Courtesy: Port of Antwerp

As informed, the two ports intend to facilitate the trade of green fuels and the supply of renewable fuels and clean technologies to vessels.

Through the agreement, the two pillars of marine transportation between Europe and North America have pledged to mobilize their respective public- and private-sector partners alike in the assessment, identification, development and adoption of shared or complementary solutions and infrastructures.

By pooling their respective expertise and building on a framework partnership in place since 2013, the Port of Antwerp and the Port of Montreal, both signatories of the Call to Action for Shipping Decarbonization, intend to actively contribute to the achievement of international objectives while creating economic opportunities for their respective markets.

“The St. Lawrence port and marine ecosystem is well positioned to use, distribute and export renewable fuels such as hydrogen and methanol produced using Quebec hydropower. Our green energies can serve vessels and international markets alike,” Martin Imbleau, Montreal Port Authority President and CEO, commented.

“This agreement makes it possible for us to build on our respective strengths to decarbonize not only our industry, but also our respective economies.”

“The Port of Antwerp is one of the largest bunkering ports in the world. As such, the Port of Antwerp wants to play a pioneering role in the integration of carbon-neutral fuels in the bunkering market. In this way, together with the Port of Montreal, we are working on the transition to a multi-fuel port, with renewable fuels that are better for the climate and the quality of the air,” Jacques Vandermeiren, Antwerp Port Authority CEO, said.

Through the transshipment of low-carbon fuels, the use of renewable fuels and clean technologies to power vessels, and the development of shared or complementary infrastructures, the partners intend to foster direct and indirect electrification of the shipping industry, in particular through green hydrogen, green ethanol and green methanol, as well as biofuels such as biodiesel and renewable natural gas. Green fuels produced using Quebec hydropower are a low-carbon solution that can facilitate and accelerate the energy transition.

The Port of Antwerp and the Port of Montreal have been working together since 2013 on projects in sustainable development and the energy transition, innovation and trade.

The Port of Montreal, Canada’s leading port on the East Coast, is the hub of a network of liquid bulk production and distribution, notably with a number of partners who export renewable fuels and biofuels through its facilities located in Montreal’s east end.

The Port of Antwerp is Europe’s second-largest port and a major lifeline to the Belgian economy. It wants to become Europe’s most sustainable port, reconciling economic, social and ecological interests. To achieve this goal, the port has launched a number of innovative projects that make the port greener, keep it accessible and digital friendly.