21 May 2024 18:39

Belgium hosts Namibian Delegation as part of the Belgian-Namibian partnership on hydrogen and renewable energies

This Tuesday, Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten and the Belgian international cooperation agency Enabel will welcome a Namibian delegation for a 10-day working visit on hydrogen and renewable energies. From Zeebrugge to Seraing, via Antwerp and Ghent, the delegation will have the opportunity to meet many experts and leaders in the field of hydrogen. 

Just a few weeks after the official visit of His Majesty the King to Namibia, Minister of Energy Tinne Van der Straeten and Enabel CEO Jean Van Wetter welcomed the Namibian delegation at the Residence Palace this Tuesday morning, continuing the cooperation between the two countries in the field of green hydrogen. The aim of this visit is to lay the technical foundations of the energy partnership between the two countries and to show our support for Namibia in its journey towards climate neutrality. 

Specifically, the programme of the visit is structured around various topics ranging from the legal and regulatory framework to operationalisation, including research and development, certification, and financing. 

The first theme aims to cover various legal and regulatory aspects of hydrogen, with a presentation by the FPS Economy on the Federal Hydrogen Transport Law, a presentation by Hinicio on European legislation and the pilot project with Oman on certification. The CREG will also present a session on the Belgian and European regulatory framework. 

In the field of research and development, the delegation will also visit the centres of excellence in Belgium. These include the Von Karman Institute, which conducts advanced research on fluid dynamics, and Energyville, the research centre that brings together the Universities of Leuven (KU Leuven) and Hasselt, among others, and provides expertise on smart energy systems to industry and governments. In addition, contacts with the Karel de Grote University College will be further developed. 

For the operational theme, transport will be highlighted by representatives of the maritime administration and port-related companies. The delegation will visit the Port of Antwerp and have the opportunity to visit CMB Tech’s hydrogen fuel station and Fluxys will receive the delegation in Zeebrugge. John Cockerill will also host the delegation, first in Aspach, where the Group’ has developed the first European "gigafactory" for the production of electrolysers, and in Seraing, where the Group’s experts will present various developments in hydrogen production equipment. 

Finally, based on the principle that it is necessary to involve the financial world in order to ensure the financing of projects related to the energy transition, meetings on financing sessions are also on the agenda. 

Tinne Van der Straeten, Belgian Minister of Energy : "This study visit is the first of its kind. Through practical understanding and knowledge sharing, our two countries can continue to develop a strong partnership in renewable energy, with a particular focus on green hydrogen. I hope that these ten days will be enriching for all partners involved in this working visit so that together, we can tackle the operational and technological challenges that will lead us to climate neutrality by 2050”. 

Jean Van Wetter, CEO of Enabel: “I am happy to see that ideas are becoming concrete. This visit is a follow-up to the two round tables on green hydrogen that Enabel organised in 2023. We are facilitating this visit in our role to enable regulatory, skills and technology transfers between our two countries and build a long-term programme aimed at ensuring green hydrogen development is not only export-driven, but benefits local and regional development as well.” 

Namibia, a strategic partner from 2021 

Tinne Van der Straeten and her Namibian counterpart Tom Alweendo signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the aim of developing a large-scale renewable electricity production site using solar and wind power to produce green hydrogen. 

In April 2024, His Majesty King Philippe, accompanied by Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten and Enabel CEO Jean Van Wetter, visited Namibia for an official green hydrogen visit. Namibia's goals are closely aligned with Belgian expertise and ambitions. The King's visit highlighted the expertise of Belgian companies and cooperation in the field of renewable energy.