Belgium was major energy supplier to neighbouring countries in 2022
Last year, Belgium was a crucial link in supplying energy to its two largest neighbours, France and Germany. Belgian power supplies ensured the lights stayed on in Paris and there was heat in German homes and businesses, financial newspaper De Tijd writes on Wednesday.
Figures on cross-border electricity trade show that Belgium was the largest net electricity exporter to France, which had to rely heavily on imports due to problems at its nuclear power plants and lower output at hydroelectric plants. Net exports from Belgium to France in 2022 were almost four times higher than in the previous year.
Germany had to lean hard on natural gas imports through Belgium. Gas producers Norway and Russia were the most significant direct suppliers. According to official German statistics, Belgium ranked third in supply, just ahead of the Netherlands, and became the leading transit country. The volume supplied was 13 times that of the year before.
Germany could not compensate for the step-by-step decline in supplies from Russia of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by ship, as it did not have the required infrastructure. Through Belgium, however, Germany could bring in LNG from the Fluxys terminals at Zeebrugge and Dunkirk. Subsea pipelines from Norway and the UK to Zeebrugge also supplied gas destined for Germany.
The Fluxys LNG terminal in Zeebrugge © BELGA PHOTO KURT DESPLENTER