Milestones: 5 years of the WIC and 100 members!
The Hydrogen Industry Cluster (WIC) has been in existence for five years and has reached an absolute milestone with the mark of 100 members. In September 2016, the WIC saw the light of day, then still as an ‘innovative business network Power-to-Gas’, with 20 founding members. Five years later, the number of members has increased fivefold and growth is accelerating. Since May, we have welcomed no less than 19 new members and the counter now officially stands at +100.
We would like to briefly introduce the new WIC members to you:
1. Cuypers Vorkliften: rents loading and unloading solutions (forklifts, container stackers, stackers, terminal tractors, cranes, ...) made to measure. Cuypers Vorkliften is looking at hydrogen as a sustainable drive for heavy logistic applications.
2. IOK Afvalbeheer: takes care of the integrated waste treatment in the Kempen and looks at hydrogen as a drive for rubbish trucks.
3. Linde Gas: leading player in the field of industrial and medical gases with a strong focus on hydrogen (production, distribution, filling stations, ...).
4. Actemium: is a system integrator with a focus on optimizing the industrial activity including the energy transition. Hydrogen is a crucial element in this energy transition.
5. BASF: is a large multinational chemical company. Hydrogen is an important raw material there, for example for the production of ammonia.
6. ArcelorMittal: is the largest steel producer in the world and is actively looking into the use of hydrogen to make steel production more sustainable.
7. University of Antwerp: is a leading university in Flanders and has know-how about LOHC, hydrogen production, ... and is building test facilities (BlueApp).
8. Port Oostende: is an industrial port that is committed to the production of green hydrogen, extracted from the energy of offshore wind turbines, among other things.
9. Volvo: Volvo Logistics Services is the distribution centre for all Volvo Group brands in Ghent. Volvo did tests there to use hydrogen for sustainable logistics and wants to develop this further.
10. ALD Automotive: is responsible for the leasing of cars and delivery vans. Together with Hyundai, Toyota and Colruyt Group, ALD Automotive developed a lease proposition for hydrogen-powered cars.
11. SFPI: The Federal Participation and Investment Company (SFPI) is Belgium's Sovereign Wealth Fund and invests in a large number of companies and sectors. The hydrogen economy will be one of its spearheads.
12. Fuel Cell Power: is an innovative company that develops small, compact and highly efficient alkaline fuel cells for the residential market, among others.
13. Vives: is a university college in West Flanders. The research group Smart Mobility focuses on research into internal combustion engines and fuel cell systems.
14. Jan De Nul Group: is one of the largest dredging companies in the world and is looking into the production of hydrogen from offshore wind and the use of hydrogen as a drive for maritime applications.
15. ERIKS: is a specialised industrial service provider with a focus on reliable products and smart systems. They already offer subcomponents for hydrogen installations today and actively follow the market.
16. Sweco is a leading engineering, consultancy and design firm with considerable expertise in, among other things, energy. They have already worked on several power-to-gas installations.
17. Intertek: is a multinational insurance, inspection, product testing and certification company with, among other things, expertise in hydrogen quality testing.
18. Drive Systems specialises in gas systems for vehicle propulsion and operates several LNG refuelling stations. They are actively looking at the hydrogen filling station market.
19. BEP Europe: produces testing machines for automotive products. They are currently analysing the options for building test machines for fuel cell electric vehicles.
During the last five years, dozens of partnerships have been set up and concepts studied. The first demonstration projects are in the pipeline. What is certain is that the WIC is an incubator for hydrogen projects, sometimes 'top-down' but just as often on members' own initiative.
The entry of all these players with an active focus on hydrogen proves once again that a unique ecosystem of hydrogen players is active in the Benelux. "It is our ambition to get these players to cooperate optimally in the network," says Isabel François, coordinator of the WIC. "The idea is to get more hydrogen projects off the ground in the region so that hydrogen companies can valorise their knowledge and expertise here too".
The milestones ‘five years of the WIC’ and ‘the 100-member mark’ will be appropriately celebrated at the WIC congress on 22 November 2021. We will then hold a full-day conference in the Brussels 44 Centre. As usual, you can expect a number of prominent speakers who will reveal the latest developments in the hydrogen world. Minister Crevits will close the conference.
As a growing hydrogen network, the Hydrogen Industry Cluster continues to focus on optimal knowledge sharing, searching for and developing hydrogen projects, and acting as a preferred point of contact for governments in Belgium and the Netherlands. Our WIC managers Isabel François, Yannick Van den Broeck, Davine Janssen and Samira Farahani are ready to support you with your hydrogen ambitions. Are you also interested in joining the cluster? Contact them or fill in the contactform!