The 30-year concession will take effect on 1 October 2016 and the first phase of the hub, which will be sited at Quays 526 and 528, will be operational by the end of 2017. The hub will consist of a bunker and filling station with liquefied natural gas (LNG) for inland navigation and road transport, alongside a compressed natural gas (CNG) filling station and rapid chargers for electric vehicles.
The Port of Antwerp views the initiative as a further demonstration of its ongoing commitment to becoming more environmentally friendly. It is seeing the number of ‘green’ seagoing vessels passing through the port rise each year, and the Port Authority has actually been an LNG pioneer for some years. With the LNG Masterplan for Rhine-Main-Danube, the Port of Antwerp is working with 32 partners from across Europe to make cleaner LNG fuel a reality in inland navigation. The aim is to encourage the inland navigation sector to use LNG as a fuel and to provide opportunities for inland vessels to bring LNG to inland European ports. With the construction of an LNG bunkering station, LNG will be permanently and continuously available in the Port of Antwerp starting in 2017.
ENGIE hopes to strengthen its position as a leader and partner in the transition to greener energy, aiming to set the benchmark in offering its customers sustainable mobility solutions.
With the development of the Alternative Energy Hub in the Port of Antwerp, ENGIE is contributing toward making the transport sector sustainable. It will build the first shore-to-ship LNG bunkering station in Europe for inland and coastal navigation, dredgers and tugboats. There will also be an LNG and CNG filling station for road vehicles – to be developed in collaboration with partner G&V Energy – and fast chargers for electric vehicles. The project is a cooperative venture between multiple ENGIE Group subsidiaries. ENGIE LNG Solutions is the concession holder and commercial operator. Construction, maintenance and management will be handled by ENGIE Fabricom and ENGIE Cofely respectively. ENGIE is also the driving force behind a consortium bringing together innovative solutions, fuel supply and fuel demand in the Alternative Energy Hub within the INtoLNG project. The consortium is comprised of the following companies: Antwerp Port Authority; Anglo Belgian Corporation (ABC); Somtrans NV (tanker shipping company); Fockedey Truck; Flemish Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO); Vlaams LNG Platform (Flemish LNG Platform) and Danser Groep.
To further deliver on its ambitions, ENGIE Group aims to speed up the development of natural gas-powered mobility solutions. By 2020 it will invest €100 million in LNG and CNG filling stations for road transport. The development of the hub in the Port of Antwerp is a leading example of this.