Belgian and Houston Partners Ink Energy Transition MOU

December 13, 2023

(Photo: Port of Antwerp-Bruges)
(Photo: Port of Antwerp-Bruges)

Three Belgian and three Houston-based partners have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to boost transatlantic cooperation on the green transition.

The Center for Houston’s Future, Waterstofnet, Port Houston, the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, Exmar and the Blue Sky Maritime Coalition agreed to explore a partnership around an import-export coalition for renewable and low-carbon molecules, a green shipping corridor and the exchange of best practices, knowledge and research.

The Greater Houston Area is home to some of the biggest energy producers in the world, and the increase in production of renewable and low carbon energy offers perspectives for future export. Belgium is a strategic energy hub in the heart of Europe, including for import and transit of renewable and low carbon molecules, with the Port of Antwerp-Bruges as a crucial gateway with extensive storage capacity and connectivity to European markets and huge off-take. Houston and Antwerp are the biggest petrochemical clusters in the world, many Belgian and U.S. companies are present on both sides.

Blue Sky Maritime Coalition brings together more than 120 member organizations, including leadership of the green shipping corridor from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), to work on maritime decarbonization and transportation of clean energy fuels with the other partners. 

“The Center for Houston’s Future, building on our recent trade mission to Germany and Poland in which we explored developing a transatlantic clean hydrogen alliance, was excited to welcome Prime Minister De Croo as he participated in a clean energy roundtable hosted by the Greater Houston Partnership,” said Center CEO Brett Perlman. “The discussion highlighted opportunities for collaboration, while the MOU creates a framework for deeper engagement with our colleagues in Belgium.”

Wim Dillen, International Development Manager at Port of Antwerp-Bruges is very much looking forward to this collaboration: “This partnership is not only forming a bridge between continents, but is also fueling the greening of the 2 most important chemical clusters in the world. We will pave the way for a new era of energy synergy, underlining the significance of international collaboration in shaping a resilient and sustainable future for generations to come."

Port Houston Chief Infrastructure Officer and Blue Sky Board Member, Rich Byrnes, said,: “We are pleased to be a signatory to this MOU and look forward to working with all partners to develop this vital green shipping corridor. This partnership represents a great opportunity to progress our shared goals of decarbonization in maritime, environmental sustainability, and trade development in clean energy.”  

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