Photo: Courtesy of Port of Antwerp-Bruges

Port of Antwerp-Bruges joining H2Global in energy transition move

Belgian Port of Antwerp-Bruges becomes a founding member of the German green hydrogen foundation H2Global which is expected to play a key role in the energy transition.

Port of Antwerp-Bruges to play energy transition by joining H2Global
Courtesy of Port of Antwerp-Bruges

Officially merged in April 2022, Port of Antwerp-Bruges wants to take a key role in the production, distribution, and use of green hydrogen. As Europe’s largest export port, it is now participating in the German H2Global Foundation with an endowment sum of €100,000 ($100,095).

The foundation has set itself the goal of making green hydrogen acceptable as an energy substitute in Europe. Therefore, it is advancing the energy transition and independence from Russian gas supplies.

The H2Global Foundation has developed a competition-based double auction mechanism by which its subsidiary Hint.CO acts as an intermediary and auctions green hydrogen and derivates at the lowest possible price. Afterward, they sell the green hydrogen in Germany and Europe to the highest bidder.

The expected negative difference can be compensated by the €900 million subsidy from the German government, BMWK.

“As an energy and feedstock hub and a growing producer of green hydrogen, the port of Antwerp and Zeebrugge is a crucial factor for the logistics that enable the energy transition. Its decision to join the foundation is a sign that H2Global is a joint European and a global effort as well,” said Markus Exenberger, executive director of H2Global.

Flemish minister Jo Brouns said he is pleased that the port can join with the support of the Flemish government, who co-finances the membership. “We are going to need sustainable hydrogen for the sustainability of our industry and heavy transport. But Flanders and Belgium are too small to produce all our own hydrogen ourselves, so we always have to look at import. That’s why it’s important for the port, as a Flemish industrial cluster, to have a role in H2Global in order to participate with Flanders in this sustainable story.”

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CEO Jacques Vandermeiren added: “Committing massive investments, we are striving to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Together with our partners in the Hydrogen Import Coalition and the major players on our port platform, we are already supporting projects that pursue the production, transport and storage of hydrogen. Our involvement in H2Global is intended to provide an additional boost to the market ramp-up required for this. In this way we want to reconcile economy and climate.”

“It is currently impossible for north-western Europe to obtain all the energy it needs from renewable energy sources,” Vandermeiren stressed. “The plans for importing green hydrogen from countries with much more solar energy are becoming more and more concrete.”

Annick De Ridder, president of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, said: “It is the declared ambition of our port to become the ‘green port’ of the future and the energy gateway to Europe…Because the hydrogen chain is complex, we have, for example, joined forces in a Hydrogen Import Coalition with five major industrial players and public stakeholders and are focusing on concrete projects that will shape the production, transport and storage of hydrogen. In the coming years, hydrogen projects such as with Chile and Oman (port of Duqm) will be further developed and we will start the construction of the Hyoffwind hydrogen plant.”

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Te Port of Antwerp-Bruges is already introducing alternative energy sources such as hydrogen and turning them into sustainable raw materials and fuel for the port’s chemical sector. The port is also expected to play a vital role in the import and local production of green hydrogen.

Initial green hydrogen production will start in 2023 with a ramp-up through 2025-2027 for large volumes of green molecules coming in from overseas.