Industries that need a lot of energy are dependent upon the right infrastructure and partners for becoming climate-neutral. The chemical industry, which sees strong representation at the port of Antwerp-Bruges, is one very good example of that. This is why Port of Antwerp-Bruges is working with companies from the sector on a broad range of wide-reaching solutions and projects.
Investments for a climate neutral port
Port of Antwerp-Bruges has an ambition to become the first global port to reconcile climate, people and economy with one another. The energy transition will play a major role in that. The port needs to be climate-neutral by 2050. Investments taking place today must lay the foundations for this.
Limiting CO2 emissions
Carbon Capture, Usage & Storage (CCUS), or capturing CO2 for its later storage or reuse, is one major step on the road towards climate-neutrality. It could contribute to a rapid reduction of emissions in the chemical sector in a relatively short time.
One example of such a project is the joint venture Fluxys C-Grid, which was launched in September 2023. Four partners – Fluxys, Pipelink, Socofe and SFPIM – are working together as CO2 network operators to supply the chemical industry with the necessary infrastructure to transport CO2. This network will also be connected to chemical sites in other European countries.
Hydrogen and ammonia
In the long term, CCUS alone will not suffice for making the chemical industry climate-neutral. This is why the port is focusing on (green) hydrogen. By converting hydrogen into ammonia, it can be easily transported over long distances. There are currently a range of investments in train to make that future happen.
- Air Liquide is investing in hydrogen technology in Antwerp. An innovative pilot facility for breaking down ammonia should be finished by 2024. Thanks to new technologies, this will convert ammonia into hydrogen at an industrial scale with an optimised carbon footprint. This is how the pilot project will contribute to the further development of hydrogen, test the catalytic process and demonstrate the low emissions.
- VTTI, a company specialising in the storage of energy and other essential products such as chemicals, is aiming to have an import terminal for ammonia and an ammonia breakdown facility operational in the port area by 2026. This should be delivering more than 1 million tons of clean hydrogen in its first year.
- A feasibility study for an open import terminal for sustainable ammonia from Advario Stolthaven Antwerp, Advario Gas Terminal and Fluxys has been completed. The aim is to be able to use that infrastructure by 2027-2028.
- VOPAK has bought a new concession in Antwerp, where it is building Vopak Energy Park Antwerp. A new green energy hub that should accelerate the decarbonisation of the industrial cluster.
- Hybex is a project by Fluxys, Hinicio and Port of Antwerp-Bruges to create a competitive market for sustainable hydrogen, including through building a hydrogen trading hub.
With NextGen District, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is offering a place for designing, developing and implementing projects around circular chemistry. Located in an industrial environment, close to the largest integrated chemical cluster in Europe, the site offers a competitive advantage thanks to its interaction with existing firms and suppliers.
Several investors are already known, including TripleHelix. With their SurePUre project, they are building a factory for recycling polyurethane foam and PET plates. The factory will be self-sufficient in terms of its energy needs in a fully circular way. PureCycle is also investing in a recycling factory on the site. They will recycle polypropylene with a capacity of 59,000 tons per year.
We do more for less impact on the planet
This is just a handful of the many projects and investments currently running to make the port climate-neutral. Curious as to the other efforts planned in the port area? Find out here!
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