Port of Antwerp eyes hydrogen bunkering


The Port of Antwerp plans to launch a hydrogen bunkering station during 2019, its CEO Jacques Vandermeiren informed during a recent forum. This development comes as the Port aspires to become multi-fuel, bringing several alternative fuels for the shipping industry, such as LNG and methanol.

The Port of Antwerp is now working on the logistics of the project, while a timeline cannot be confirmed yet. Recently, the Port also announced that it is starting an ambitious new project, as it will gather various players in the port area to promote the sustainable production of methanol. The Port considers methanol an important raw material, and for this reason it took the next step in the transition to alternative energy sources and a carbon-neutral port.

Currently, the Port of Antwerp uses about 300,000 tonnes of methanol per year for chemical processes and fuel production.

In addition, the Port aims to become a Multi-Fuel Port by 2025, meaning a port where in addition to conventional fuels, alternative, more sustainable fuels can also be made available.

In order to achieve the target of becoming a Multi-Fuel Port by 2025, the Port of Antwerp will give emphasis on three key sectors:

  • Including methanol, hydrogen gas and electrical energy in the bunkering market;
  • Further expanding LNG bunkering (at the moment some 750 tonnes of LNG is bunkered annually in the port of Antwerp);
  • Developing conventional bunkering into a fully fledged port service in its own right, with the introduction of a high-quality licensing system and a digitisation path.

In the short term the Port has decided to include methanol, hydrogen gas and electrical energy in the bunkering market. It believes that these fuels will find significant acceptance by barge, short-sea and deep-sea shipping, and they will also pass its ‘sustainability check.’

As far as other alternatives are concerned, like dimethyl ether, ammonia, ethane, formic acid and LPG, the Ports keeps a close eye on developments.