Belgian PM discusses Zeebrugge gas contract in Qatar

Prime minister Alexander De Croo's visit to Qatar on Saturday night was not just about the situation in Gaza. He also highlighted the advantages of the Flemish port of Zeebrugge during his talks, sources from the Belgian delegation said on Sunday.

Competition for gas projects in northern Europe is intensifying. France, Italy and Belgium are Qatar's main energy partners, but the Dutch and Germans also have ambitions.

Belgium wants to ensure that gas shipper Fluxys' contract with Qatar for the Zeebrugge gas terminals remains at full capacity beyond 2027. By then, according to a European target, no more Russian gas will be allowed to pass through Zeebrugge. This is still the case today.

In 2023, more than half of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) arriving by tanker in Zeebrugge still came from Russia, figures from the Federal Public Service Economy showed in December. In August, NGO Global Witness reported that Europe had even imported more LNG in 2023 than in 2022, with Belgium the EU's third-largest buyer.

In October, several organisations protested in Brussels calling for a European ban on the transhipment of Russian LNG. The EU has since pledged to end its dependence on Russian fossil fuel imports by 2027, and the European Commission says it is on track to meet that target.


#FlandersNewsService | Alexander De Croo in Doha, Qatar on 16 March © BELGA PHOTO POOL DIRK WAEM

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