Prime Minister Alexander De Croo officially announced Belgium's latest hydrogen strategy at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges on Tuesday, alongside Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Groen) with the aim of turning Belgium into a zero-carbon energy hub.
The official inauguration took place with ministers, including Secretary of State for Strategic Investments Thomas Dermine (PS), European representatives, and industry leaders. De Croo stated that the decision will "prevent the deindustrialisation of our country."
Translation of tweet: "Today, together with Alexander De Croo and Thomas Dermine and in the presence of the Belgian hydrogen sector and international partners, I will present the renewed federal hydrogen strategy at the port of Antwerp during the 'Belgium, your energy hub in Europe' event."
The Prime Minister set out Belgium's hydrogen ambitions and drew comparisons to other advancements in nuclear and wind power: "Without the development of this technology, our industry would collapse, and we will lose the fight against global warming."
Dermine stated that seven projects with a total value of €500 million have already been approved to produce hydrogen as part of the government's Covid-19 recovery plan. The Federal Government also aims to "help 11 companies with international ambitions" in hydrogen production.
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Alongside its production ambitions, Belgium aims to become a hub for European hydrogen. However, this requires "European authorities to ensure a level playing field so that we can maintain our industry here," De Croo stressed.
He also urged for further collaboration, noting that industrial leaders will have to be persuaded to make the switch. Europe faces competition in the sector from Japan and Australia.