The new largest export port in Europe
The ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge have completed their merger. The new Port of Antwerp-Bruges is the main economic engine of Belgium and is now the largest port in Europe for exports.
The cities of Antwerp and Bruges started the unification process for their respective ports in 2021. With today's official merger, under the name "Port of Antwerp-Bruges", a genuine maritime giant is emerging.
This unified port provides over 74,000 direct jobs and 90,000 indirect jobs. And with an added value of nearly €21 billion, it represents 4.5% of Belgian GDP.
As a major hub for global trade and industry, this new maritime entity can now boast a leading position in Europe for cargo exports and vehicle transhipment.
Also, by becoming the largest integrated chemical hub in Europe (second largest in the world), Port of Antwerp-Bruges is providing itself with the means to play "a pioneering role in the deployment of the hydrogen economy" in the future, with the port authorities confirming that the energy question is a major reason for this merger.
Between the two sites, nearly 80 kilometres apart, a hydrogen pipeline should enable a large part of the continent to use this major renewable energy source in the short-term. And by 2025, the plan to capture, store and reuse CO₂ as a raw material for a variety of purposes should see the light of day.
Therefore, the ambition is to be the first global port to find the right balance between economy, people and climate.