Port authorities in Antwerp , Source: Depositphotos

Belgium’s new hydrogen strategy puts Antwerp-Bruges at the heart of Europe’s energy transit

Belgium’s new hydrogen strategy puts Antwerp-Bruges at the heart of Europe’s energy transit

Belgium does not have enough land to effectively build a renewable energy capacity, but it can become a vital energy import hub

Yesterday, Belgian authorities announced a change to the country’s hydrogen strategy, with the port of Antwerp-Bruges at the heart of it. The port of Antwerp-Bruges is an international hub with great significance in trade and industry both in Europe and the world. Thus, authorities aim to put it at the heart of the growing hydrogen industry.

With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU has kicked the expansion of renewable energy into high gear in order to reach energy independence as soon as possible. With that move, many ports on the North Sea are now vying for the top spot as Europe’s go-to hydrogen hub.

These include Hamburg’s hydrogen import strategy, which aims to increase the import capacity at the city’s port and transform it into the ‘gateway to Europe’, through connections with the pipe network. They also include Rotterdam’s plans to construct the largest green hydrogen plant in Europe by 2025 at the largest port in Europe.

Belgium’s plan to steal the spotlight when it comes to hydrogen

With the federal hydrogen strategy, Belgium aims to reach 100% renewable energy and climate neutrality. However, to do that, they would need to import vast quantities of green hydrogen.

This is because, according to an official statement, Belgium does not have enough space available on land to produce hydrogen or nearly enough renewable energy to satisfy demand. Moreover, the government used a study to make amendments to the hydrogen plan, made by the Boston Consulting Group.

The study heavily emphasised the development of hydrogen import capacities in the port of Antwerp-Bruges and this is something the government wants to expand import capacities and start bringing in more green hydrogen.

Belgium is located in several important industrial clusters and at an energy crossroads in the heart of Europe. The port of Antwerp-Bruges, on the other hand, has a throughput of 289 million tons per year and is home to 1,400 companies, housing the largest integrated chemical cluster in Europe.



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