A project that aims to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the Port of Antwerp by 2030 has begun its engineering phase.

Antwerp@C, an initiative by major energy players Air Liquide, BASF, Borealiis, ExxonMobil, INEOS, TotalEnergies, Fluxys, as well as the Port of Antwerp to build towards sustainable, lower-carbon production moves onto the engineering phase following completion of a feasibility study in 2021. 

The project will reduce CO2 by capturing the gas and exporting it for storage in offshore storage capacities or make it available for possible future reuse. 

During the first engineering phase, a central ‘backbone’ will be constructed through the port of Antwerp along the industrial zones along with a common CO2 liquefaction unit featuring storage and maritime loading facilities.

Funding for the project was partially provided through a Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) grant awarded in October 2020. 

Home to the largest integrated energy and chemical cluster in Europe, the location of the partnership allows cross-border collaboration projects for CO2 reduction projects. 

Calling Europe a global leader in the drive towards a carbon neutral economy, Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO, Port of Antwerp, said, “Port of Antwerp holds the key to an innovative cross-border CCUS project, a first in concept and scale.” 

“This project will contribute to the Flemish, Belgian and European climate targets and to the higher EU 2030 targets for emission reductions up to at least 55%.” 

Following a final investment decision for the first phase – anticipated at the end of 2022 – the CCUS project could become one of the first and largest multimodal open access CO2 export facilities. 

“The support of this commitment by various governments was indispensable to make this decision and will also remain indispensable during the further development of the project,” commented Wouter de Geest, Chairman, Antwerp@C.