Belgian and Houston partners sign Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation on energy transition, H.E. Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium, witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Energy Transition Cooperation between three Belgian and three Houston-based partners to boost transatlantic cooperation on the green transition. The Center for Houston’s Future, Waterstofnet, Port Houston, Port of Antwerp-Bruges, Exmar and the Blue Sky Maritime Coalition agreed to explore a win-win partnership around an import-export coalition for renewable and low-carbon molecules, a green shipping corridor and the exchange of best practices, knowledge and research.
The changing regulatory landscape and ambitious climate targets on both sides of the Atlantic provide the backdrop for ambitious cooperation. The Greater Houston Area is home to some of the largest energy producers in the world, and the increasing production of renewable and low-carbon energy offers prospects for future exports. Belgium is a strategic energy centre in the heart of Europe, including for the import and transit of renewable and low-carbon molecules, with Port of Antwerp-Bruges as a crucial gateway with extensive storage capacity and connectivity to European markets and a huge offtake. Houston and Antwerp are the largest petrochemical clusters in the world, many Belgian and American companies are present on both sides and the long-standing commercial maritime connection between the two ports is a backbone for cooperation.
Blue Sky Maritime Coalition brings together more than 120 member organizations, including the leadership of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) Green Shipping Corridor, to work with the other partners to decarbonize shipping and transportation of clean energy fuels.
The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is a first step in consolidating such a partnership between key stakeholders from countries that are strategic allies. Other stakeholders on both sides are welcome and encouraged to get involved as partners start working on a roadmap for implementation.
“Building on our recent trade mission to Germany and Poland, in which we explored the development of a transatlantic clean hydrogen alliance, the Center for Houston’s Future was pleased to welcome Prime Minister De Croo as he participated in a clean energy roundtable hosted by the Greater Houston Partnership,” said Brett Perlman, CEO of the Center. “The discussion focused on opportunities for collaboration, while the MOU creates a framework for a deeper engagement with our colleagues in Belgium.”
Wim Dillen, International Development Manager at Port of Antwerp-Bruges, is very much looking forward to this collaboration: “This partnership not only forms a bridge between continents, but also fuels the greening of the 2 most important chemical clusters in the world. We are paving the way for a new era of energy synergy and underline the importance of international cooperation in shaping a resilient and sustainable future for generations to come.”
Rich Byrnes, Port Houston’s Chief Infrastructure Officer and member of the Blue Sky Board, added: “We are pleased to have signed this MOU and look forward to working with all partners on the development of this vital green shipping corridor. This partnership is a great opportunity to advance our shared goals of decarbonization in the maritime sector, environmental sustainability, and the development of clean energy trading.”
Source Port of Antwerp-Bruges