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Plug (US) to boost green hydrogen ambitions in Flanders

Headquartered in Latham, New York (US), green hydrogen solutions developer Plug will be opening its first European production plant for green hydrogen at the NextGen District in Antwerp (Flanders). This circular economy hotspot is part of the Port of Antwerp-Bruges and aims to contribute to society’s climate-neutral transition. To put its shoulders to the wheel, Plug has decided to sign a concession agreement for the construction of the new plant. 

Prominent announcement

The promising and prominent investment project was officially announced during a press event in New York City. This happened in the presence of, among others, Flanders’ Minister-President Jan Jambon as well as Doreen M. Harris, President of the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA). 

Hydrogen plays an important role in the energy transition and offers many socio-economic opportunities. Due to the strategic location of our region’s ports and the expertise of our companies, research centers and educational institutions, Flanders has all the building blocks to become the hydrogen hub of Western Europe. Plug’s choice to invest in Antwerp results from the strong relationship built between the company, Flanders’ government, Flanders Investment & Trade and the Port of Antwerp-Bruges. Meanwhile, it also confirms our role in renewable energy. I am very pleased to welcome Plug to Flanders.

Jan Jambon
Minister-President of Flanders

Toward a European hydrogen hub

Nasdaq-listed Plug has the ambition to become the world’s largest producer of green hydrogen. Constructing a green hydrogen production plant at the NextGen District in Flanders fits in perfectly with this mission. Its location near Europe’s largest chemical cluster, coupled with the plans of the Port of Antwerp-Bruges to turn itself into a major hydrogen hub, made the investment decision a no-brainer for Plug. 

Using a combination of locally produced solar and wind energy and purchased green power, Plug’s new plant in Flanders will produce up to 12,500 tons of liquid and gaseous green hydrogen per year for the European market. 

Green hydrogen is crucial in the green energy transition, and the demand for green hydrogen development projects is on the rise. With the new plant in Flanders, we want to help Port of Antwerp-Bruges become a European hydrogen hub and provide naturally generated, carbon-free hydrogen to local markets.

Andy March
CEO of Plug

Adding to the local circular community

The NextGen District has been attracting company after company, and continues to do so. In addition to Plug, Ekopak will also be claiming their spot there. The water recycling specialist from Tielt (Flanders) will be installing a progressive water plant, in a joint venture with local water utility company Water-link and investment company PMV. The goal is to convert the wastewater from Antwerp’s inhabitants into high-quality and sustainable cooling water, which the companies in the port can reuse. 

At full capacity, the plant will be able to produce up to 3000 cubic meters per hour of sustainable cooling and process water, meaning that a staggering 20 billion liters of wastewater can be reused every year. A pipeline distribution network will ensure that industrial companies in the port area can gain access to the circular cooling water. 

Changemakers unite

Together, Plug’s and Ekopak’s initiatives at the NextGen District represent an investment amount of over EUR 400 million. What’s more, the projects will create around 60 additional direct jobs. They also reinforce Flanders’ ambition to become a hydrogen import hub, which the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, among others, is strongly committed to through the Hydrogen Import Coalition

The arrival of Plug and Ekopak confirms the attractiveness of both the Port of Antwerp-Bruges and the NextGen District. These companies are exactly what we have in mind for our circular economy hub. After all, green hydrogen and circular water consumption are crucial in the climate transition. I am confident that these projects will pave the way for other ‘changemakers’ to follow suit!

Jacques Vandermeiren
CEO Port of Antwerp-Bruges

More info

Reported by
press release Port of Antwerp-Bruges
8 June 2022

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