Energy Observer unveils its 34th stopover in Antwerp

Publication date: 
22 Mar 2019

The 34th stopover of Energy Observer's world tour began this morning in Antwerp. Welcomed by the Port of Antwerp and the “Compagnie Maritime Belge” (CMB), the crew of the first hydrogen vessel around the world, led by captain and founder, Victorien Erussard, and Expedition leader, Jérôme Delafosse, set foot in front of the Port House of one of the first merchant ports in Europe.

Until the 29th of March, the vessel will be docked near the Kattendijk basin, next to its exhibition village, free of charge, to the public. Giving the opportunity to discover the initiatives put in place by the Port of Antwerp for energy transition and the ‘Watt's Next?’ exhibition.


Annick De Ridder - deputy mayor of the Port of Antwerp: "The port community and its partners are working to address climate challenges. Open communication is the basic concept, open communication with one another but also with society. It is therefore important to show our port activities to the general public. The arrival of Energy Observer is therefore the ideal opportunity to present these activities to the public."


A stopover at the heart of tomorrow's maritime traffic challenges

This first Energy Observer stopover is the opportunity to discover the major issues of a port of international stature and understand how it addresses energy and climate challenges and combines with future solutions by taking advantage of its position, location and systems. The port has been testing for many years new energy sources such as hydrogen. Under the ‘Watt's Next?’ banner, the Port of Antwerp offers a nine-day exhibition that explains these subjects of transformation.
Alexander Saverys, CEO of the CMB: "The CMB shares the same environment, the same ocean and the same vision as Energy Observer and its team. We are convinced that hydrogen can be a key element for future merchant shipping and energy transition in general."
Jacques Vandermeiren - CEO of the Port of Antwerp: "It's the story of hydrogen that links Energy Observer, the CMB and the Port of Antwerp. One of the fuels of the future, which allows us to store and transport energy. We fully support the innovative hydrogen initiatives. In the coming months, we hope to be in a position to operate the world's first hydrogen station in our port. "
Energy Observer's Belgium stopover will also be punctuated by numerous meetings such as the Innovation Mission organized jointly with the European Commission. This Innovation Mission will place an emphasis - for two days - on green hydrogen and the success factors allowing for the large-scale deployment of "Hydrogen Valley" projects.  It will benefit from exchanges of expertise between the member countries and will identify priority actions in order to facilitate collaborations.
Victorien Erussard, captain and founder of Energy Observer: "Hydrogen is a great energy carrier. Associated with renewable energy, its potential is immense and in terms of energy transition, it opens up a whole range of possibilities. Inexhaustible, it has an exceptional energy density: it releases up to 4 times more energy than coal, 3 times more than diesel and 2.5 times more than natural gas. Its combustion emits neither greenhouse gases nor fine particles." 
Energy Observer, a media for the planet


Set up in front of the Port House of Antwerp, at the foot of the spectacular Zaha Hadid building, the Energy Observer village, covering more than 200 m2, will present the technologies of the vessel and the adventures already undertaken by the crew since its departure from Saint-Malo in June 2017. Virtual reality, 360° mapping and interactive exhibition, this space is completely free of charge in order to make as many people as possible aware of the urgency of daily commitment to the ecological transition.
During this stopover, Energy Observer’s team will also be discovering innovative solutions and initiatives for sustainable development. These meetings will be filmed as part of the SOLUTIONS web series, a platform that will be dedicated to pioneers all over the world who are implementing the 17 sustainable development objectives of which Energy Observer is the first French ambassador.
Jérôme Delafosse, Energy Observer's expedition leader: "Energy Observer is a team that has embarked on an exceptional project that is both technological and human, enabling the change from observation to action. Through our Odyssey, we want to meet men and women who innovate for the planet and show that economy and ecology are coming together to deliver tomorrow's solutions. This Odyssey in Northern Europe is the opportunity to discover all the initiatives that could inspire us to get out of this climate crisis." 
Energy Observer will meet with the "Youth for Climate" citizen student movement and will follow this young generation who has been rallying for the planet since November 20th, 2018 in Brussels. Today, they are tens of thousands of elementary school, high school and university students in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and elsewhere to rally each and every day. It is also this particularly powerful dynamic that reigns in Northern Europe and at the heart of which Energy Observer is embarking on its third major stage of its six-year world tour.