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Port of Antwerp major entry point to a strong European Internal Market

Port CEO Jacques Vandermeiren meets up with European Internal Market and Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton at the Port of Antwerp

Port of Antwerp CEO Jacques Vandermeiren met up with European Internal Market and Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton at the Port of Antwerp to discuss the Port’s role as a strategic transport, energy, and industrial hub in Europe.

After a guided tour around the Port, Commissioner Thierry Breton and Port CEO Jacques Vandermeiren sat down together to discuss a wide array of important topics ranging from sustainability and digitisation to themes like the value of logistics chains, the impact of Brexit on shippers of goods to and from the United Kingdom, and the merger of the Port of Antwerp with – port of Zeebrugge that is expected to settle at the end of this year.

European ports have proven to be resilient and essential to a strong and internationally well-connected European Internal Market, especially the past one-and-a-half year. Port of Antwerp has the ambition to play a pioneering role in the transition to a climate neutral society and economy by 2050, as set out by the European Green Deal.

Annick De Ridder, Port alderman: “Our port serves as a major and essential entry point to the European internal market as it offers the vital link to both businesses and EU-consumers/citizens. Thanks to the agility, dedication, knowhow and resilience of our thousands of employees, we were able to achieve a continuous 100% operational status during the COVID-19 crisis. As a home port we remain ever determined in our mission to facilitate and increase leverage towards a true sustainable future.”

Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Port of Antwerp: “As the largest European integrated petrochemical cluster, we are responsible for a considerable part of CO2 emissions and thus play a crucial role in the climate issue. We must therefore ensure that we become the driver and pioneer of the energy transition. We need to look ahead and prepare ourselves by means of innovation. Digitisation, data and data sharing are critical success factors to this end. It will make supply chains more efficient, sustainable, safer, and more reliable. This is why we are building a robust digital network in the port.”

Thierry Breton, European Commissioner of the Internal Market and Industry: “The Port of Antwerp illustrates what makes Europe industrially attractive: talented people, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and inventiveness. In our recovery efforts, we are mobilising all EU policy tools to support Europe’s industrial hubs green and digital transition and increase our technological  leadership, employment potential and economic resilience.”  

The talks were followed by a press moment at Qpinch. Qpinch is a technological scale-up based in the Port of Antwerp, that is fully committed to energy efficiency in the industrial sector. It has developed a technology allowing residual heat released in numerous industrial processes to be captured and valorized into valuable, reusable process heat. It is therefore able to achieve major CO2 reductions. Port of Antwerp supports Qpinch with one million euro.

At Qpinch, Commissioner Breton appreciated the first-hand experience of a project contributing to a circular and energy efficient economy. By mobilising several local players, from the University of Ghent to the Port of Antwerp, it shows the benefits of working along industrial ecosystems.

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