Seven maritime industry players and stakeholders have joined forces to promote hydrogen as a form of energy that will help reduce CO2 emissions in Belgium.
The Port of Antwerp, the Port of Zeebrugge, Deme, Engie, Exmar, Fluxys and WaterstofNet recently signed a cooperation agreement to bring their expertise together in a coordinated way and to take steps towards a Belgian hydrogen economy.
In the first phase, the partners will carry out a joint analysis of the entire hydrogen import and transport chain.
Specifically, the aim is to map the financial, technical and regulatory aspects of the various components in the logistics chain: production, loading and unloading and transport by sea and via pipelines. The results of the analysis will provide a roadmap indicating the best way to transport hydrogen for the various applications in the energy and chemical sectors.
The results of the analysis, which is expected to be ready in approximately one year, will form the bridge towards concrete projects.
“We strongly believe that hydrogen can play a crucial role in the CO2-free energy transition… we want to make full use of our expertise for the production, transport and storage of green hydrogen from renewable energy sources. Thanks to this unique partnership of ports and industry, Belgium can play a leading role in the green hydrogen economy and further reduce CO2 emissions,” Luc Vandenbulcke, CEO of Deme, commented.
“As an international transporter of natural gas, LPG, ammonia and other petrochemical gases, Exmar is also focusing on the future. We want to help investigate how the hydrogen gas transport chain can be developed in the most efficient and economic way,” Nicolas Saverys, CEO of Exmar, added.
“We want to give every chance to hydrogen as an energy carrier, as basic element for chemistry and as a fuel, and therefore commit ourselves as an active pioneer of the hydrogen economy,” Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of the Port of Antwerp, explained.
“We also look at collaboration with spearhead clusters and knowledge institutions and want to learn from this hydrogen coalition for our international ambitions,” he continued.
“In the coming years we will have a build-up of a huge amount of variable renewable energy, from wind, sun and tides. The challenge is to transport and store these large quantities of green energy,” Joachim Coens, managing director of the Port of Zeebrugge, said.
“The Port of Zeebrugge has a role to play here, as a multifunctional energy hub. If hydrogen can be the solution for energy transport and storage, then this can perfectly take place in Zeebrugge.”
In a hydrogen economy, hydrogen is an important carrier for renewable energy to be used for electricity and heat production, for mobility, for fuel production and as a raw material for industrial production. Crucial in the viability of a hydrogen economy is the generation of sufficient renewable electricity for the production of hydrogen.
Since wind and solar energy are not sufficiently available in Belgium, part of the necessary renewable energy must be imported. However, efficient and economic solutions for the import, transport and storage of hydrogen require specific expertise. That’s why the seven parties have teamed up.