A port that accounts for 10% of Belgium’s carbon emissions is looking to smash this footprint by turning to renewable energy.
Antwerp-Bruges has set a desire to transform its fortunes into becoming the world’s most sustainable port – and hit net zero by 2050.
The ships that enter the port currently produce huge emissions, as the electricity is generated by burning fuel. This is set to change to wind power with the new plans, as the port is also built in the windiest part of the country – Zeebrugge.
Currently, it produces 17 million tonnes of carbon emission each year, which Guy Janssens, Chief of Corporate Affairs has called a “huge problem.”
“We are, let’s say, more than 10% of the carbon footprint of Belgium. We are a highly energy-intensive platform with a lot of fuel needs, a lot of electricity needs, feedstock needs and heat needs. Of course, our main ambition is to remain the same world class competitive platform but with a net zero impact on the long term,” he said.
In addition to renewable electricity, the port is also considering carbon capture and green hydrogen as ways to crush its carbon footprint.
Dries De Smet, Sustainable Energy Advisor at the port, said: “The first wind turbines ever in Europe were located here in Zeebrugge. So, we have always been a pioneer on that side. These 54 wind turbines, they supply 100,000 of households with green energy.
“Of course, a lot of this energy gets consumed by the terminals and the companies directly, which makes sure that they can perform actually a lot of their activities without emitting carbon dioxide.”