Port of Antwerp changes its name to strengthen global position

2022/04/29 at 1:27 PM

Port of Antwerp, Europe’s second-largest container port, changed its official name to the Port of Antwerp-Bruges. This has completed the unification of two Belgian harbours into one company, which began in February 2021. The unified port will strengthen the position of Antwerp and Zeebrugge on both global and European scales.

On Thursday, 28 April 2022, the Port of Antwerp has gone through a new phase of transformation. This time, it changed the name to the Port of Antwerp-Bruges. In such a way, the integration of the two major Belgian harbours was completed. The unification will allow Belgium to strengthen the position of its two ports.

Aerial view of the port area in Antwerp, source: Port of Antwerp Authority

“The ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge will from now on continue their growth trajectory under one name: Port of Antwerp-Bruges. At the extraordinary general meeting on 22 April 2022, the two cities signed the shareholders’ agreement of the unified port company. Today, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is sharing the concrete manifestation of its ambition – to become a world port that reconciles economy, people and climate – with the rest of the world,” the port operating company stated on Thursday, 28 April.

Some figures

The combined port will have total maritime traffic of 289 million tonnes (according to the 2021 data). Of this amount, 159 million tonnes will be a share of containerised freight. Moreover, the Port of Antwerp-Bruges will become Europe’s largest export port by handling at least 147 million tonnes per year. It will also have significant importance for the Belgian economy as it provides 74,000 direct and 90,000 indirect jobs as well as generates 21 billion euros of added value or 4.5 per cent of Belgian GDP.

Energy gateway

“The unified port is not only the economic engine of Flanders, but together, the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge will also form the largest export port, largest throughput port for vehicles, and the leading chemical hub in Europe! At the same time, Port of Antwerp-Bruges has major ambitions to become the energy gateway to Europe as a ‘green port’,” said Annick De Ridder, Vice-Mayor of the City of Antwerp and President of the board of directors of Port of Antwerp-Bruges.

The Port of Antwerp-Bruges plans to have the capacity to receive the first green hydrogen molecules on its platform by 2028. To this end, it is working to expand terminal capacity for existing and new hydrogen carriers at both port sites. A hydrogen pipeline between the two sites and towards the European hinterland will ensure that the port area as a whole and, by extension, Belgium and a large part of Europe, can make use of this important carrier for renewable energy.

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