Belgium: Port Modernization and Growth Strategy Antwerp Port Authority Invests in Digitalization and Pipeline Infrastructure
Antwerp Port Authority and FPIM (Federal Participation & Investment Company) are to jointly acquire a stake in Nxt Port, the digital data platform for the port community. The port authority also announced that it would acquire the Nationale Maatschappij der Pijpleidingen (NMP) from its current shareholders Ackermans & van Haaren and Electrabel. With the takeover the port authority will gain ownership and control of 720 km of pipelines.
Antwerp/Belgium — The contribution by the new partners in Nxt Port (Port Authority 75 %, FPIM 25 %) takes the form of capital plus a subordinated loan, together totalling € 5.25 million (approx. $ 6.26 million).
“With Nxt Port we aim to make this data transparent for all players in the supply chain,” explains Daniel Lievens, CEO of Nxt Port. “In this way we along with the other port players can develop the port of the future, where digitisation opens the way to smart, cost-efficient logistics." Last month the authority already introduced the first services with Nxt Port, and is currently working on various practical applications for improving the customs processes. In addition the partners are looking at how ship’s agents and shippers can make more effective use of the available capacity on the terminals, by giving the various players a better view of the route that the goods will follow on their way to the hinterland.
Port Authority Acquires NMP Pipeline Company
The port authority also announced the acquisition of the NMP pipeline company. 90 % of its 720-km-pipeline network serve the chemical and petrochemical companies in the port of Antwerp and its hinterland. The Port Authority is paying € 44 million (approx. $ 52.5 million) for the NMP shares.
The current NMP portfolio is mainly concentrated in the port of Antwerp and pipelines leading to and from it. The company at present obtains 86 % of its income from 600 km of pipelines within the port area or connecting the Antwerp cluster companies with petrochemical companies in Kempen (Flanders) and Feluy (Wallonia). Another 11 % come from joint ventures that manage 117.5 km of pipeline, of which 67.8 km are located in the port of Antwerp.
The NMP pipelines mainly transport ethylene, propylene and technical gases for customers in the port and in the hinterland.
NMP was set up in 1978 by the Belgian State in order to coordinate the Belgian pipeline network for transport of petrochemical products. The shares in the company were until now held by Ackermans & van Haaren (75 %) and by Electrabel (25 %) .