Innovation and Networks Executive Agency

EU to support alternative fuel infrastructure in Belgium and the Netherlands

Creation date: November 22, 2017

INEA Director Dirk Beckers and the Secretary-General of the Flemish Department of Environment and Spatial Development Peter Cabus launched today the €37 million BENEFIC project that will develop alternative fuel infrastructure in Belgium and the Netherlands. The project will receive nearly €7.6 million from the EU's Connecting Europe Facility programme (CEF) to deploy a network of charging stations for electric cars, natural gas and Hydrogen refuelling stations, as well as onshore power supply points for inland navigation in Flanders, Brussels Capital region and the Netherlands. The infrastructure is expected to be in place by 2020.

"This is the first ever project co-funded by the CEF programme that is supporting the full array of alternative fuels infrastructure deployment," said the INEA Director Dirk Beckers at the grant agreement handover ceremony today at INEA, "In this way BENEFIC has the potential to become a key policy tool to support innovation and decarbonisation of our Trans-European Transport Network and lead by example other European regions."

The project is a new cross-border grant scheme that will support works for the roll out of the alternative fuel infrastructure in both countries. The beneficiaries will launch a joint call for proposals in 2018 with the aim to construct:

  • 710 electric charging stations with different charging speed along the main roads in Flanders, Brussels and the Netherlands
  • 60 electric chargers for public and collective transport, including e-taxis and e-busses in Flanders and the Netherlands
  • Two Liquefied and Compressed Natural Gas (L-CNG) and Two Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refuelling stations in Flanders and Brussels respectively
  • Nine Hydrogen refuelling stations in Flanders and the Netherlands
  • 13 shore power stations in Flanders and Brussels

The new charging and refuelling infrastructures has to be deployed by 2020. The project's results will be evaluated through a study assessing its replicability in the EU.

The BENEFIC project was selected for funding via a competitive call for proposals that will in total invest €2.7 billion in 152 key transport projects across the EU. The Flemish Government represented by Department of Environment and Spatial Development is coordinating the project. Other partners involved are Brussels Capital Region and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. INEA will be supervising the project implementation throughout its entire lifecycle. 

So far, the CEF programme has supported alternative fuel infrastructure development in Belgium with €23.5 million (seven projects) and €40.3 million in the Netherlands (ten projects). A new call is currently open for project proposals.

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