The port of Antwerp-Bruges is to become a key hydrogen hub as part of Belgium’s climate goals. The Belgium government initially launched its hydrogen strategy last year, but a revision announced now (October 2023) will see the development of the port as an import hub to meet green electricity neds that it can not meet itself with home-produced renewable sources (including in ports in Belgium). The country will also establish a federal hydrogen council to help it meet its objectives.
It will also push for the port to be a hub for a wider European hydrogen strategy given its geographical position. The port will develop its role in the import and throughput of green hydrogen as well as ammonia and methanol.
Work at both port sites is already ongoing to increase terminal capacity, with it expected to be able to receive its first hydrogen or hydrogen carrier in 2026.
The Port of Antwerp-Bruges formed the hydrogen import coalition together with five major industrial players and public stakeholders: DEME, Engie, Exmar, Fluxys and WaterstofNet and collaboration with several exporting regions has begun.
The Belgium government is already investing in pipeline infrastructure for distribution, as well as inland waterways and rail.
There will also be local production at the Zeebrugge and Antwerp. Zeebrugge is the ideal location for the construction of a plant for the production of green hydrogen due to the presence of wind farms and natural gas infrastructure. Fluxys and Eoly are responsible for the construction of this plant under the name HyoffWind.
American company Plug will also build a green hydrogen production plant in Antwerp at the circular hotspot NextGen District. Its location near Europe’s largest chemical cluster plays an important role here.
In a press release Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp-Bruges is quoted: “Together with our partners in organisations such as the Hydrogen Import Coalition, and the major players on our port platform, we are investing in infrastructure and projects to accelerate the import, transport and production of green hydrogen.”