In the initial 11 months of 2023, statistics from the Federal Public Service (FPS) Economy unveiled that 51 percent of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) that docked in Zeebrugge arrived from

Russia via tankers.

Belgium, as per data from gas network operator Fluxys, received a total of 120 terawatt hours (TWh) of LNG throughout the year. Besides Russia, Qatar contributed 29 percent of the LNG, while the United States supplied 15 percent.

Nevertheless, the FPS Economy highlighted that a considerable portion of the Russian LNG arriving in Zeebrugge is intended for transshipment, swiftly departing via ship for other destinations. By November 2023, a quarter of the LNG arriving at the Belgian port was re-exported either by ship or truck.

On the export front, Fluxys reported Belgium’s gas exports surpassed its domestic consumption by over twice (357 TWh vs. 152.1 TWh). Germany emerged as the primary recipient, receiving 212 TWh. Last year marked the lowest gas consumption level since 1997.

August saw NGO Global Witness disclosing that Europe had increased its LNG imports in 2023, positioning Belgium as the third-largest buyer within the EU. October witnessed protests in Brussels led by around 20 Ukrainian and Belgian organizations, advocating for a European ban on the transshipment of Russian LNG. Photo by kees torn, Wikimedia commons.