Antwerp Port Authority announced that is paying 44 million euros in order to acquire the Nationale Maatschappij der Pijpleidingen (NMP) from its current shareholders Ackermans & van Haaren and Electrabel.
With the completion of the takeover Antwerp Port Authority will gain ownership and control of 720 km of pipelines, 90% of which serve the chemical and petrochemical companies in the port of Antwerp and its hinterland.
The current NMP portfolio is concentrated mostly in the port of Antwerp and pipelines leading to and from it, which they carry ethylene, propylene and technical gases for customers in the port and in the hinterland.
According to Port Authority CEO Jacques Vandermeiren: “Pipelines are the ideal mode of transport for the chemical industry and oil refining. By giving them access to a pipeline network that is open to all users we gain on at least two fronts: we help to reinforce the presence in the port of this sector which is so important for the economy of Belgian and Flanders, and the many logistics flows in and around the port area are further established in the Antwerp region. Furthermore, pipelines are the most environment-friendly, energy-efficient and safe means of transport, and they help to create growth opportunities as part of the energy transition, an area in which we with our unique platform play a key role.”
In the near future pipelines will undoubtedly play an important role in the energy transition. As well as being used to carry e.g. hydrogen and CO2 they are also essential for development of heat distribution networks, Port of Antwerp mentions.
“Because we really want to make the modal shift happen, with goods being carried by sustainable transport methods such as rail and barge, as well as by pipeline, not only are we taking over control of this pipeline network but we also seek to harness the know-how and expertise of the NMP personnel to further expand this network. In this way the present chemical companies and others who come along in future will have an easier transition to pipeline transport, which is the most sustainable option for them,” Jacques Vandermeiren informed.