Cross-border pipeline projects made possible by trilateral cooperation


The Netherlands – Several tasks and joint positions have been completed by the “Trilateral Chemical Region Initiative.” Creating the foundation for pipeline projects involving concrete was one of these tasks.

Eight major chemical companies signed a letter of intent (LoI) in 2020 along with the two major ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam to lay the groundwork for improved future pipeline connections in the triangular region of Flanders, the Netherlands, and North Rhine-Westphalia.

The businesses evaluated the products for pipeline transport through a number of surveys. The chemical products of propylene and LPG were identified as crucial to securing the supply for the chemical industry locations in the area in the future on the basis of biogen or circular sources.

Additionally, it became obvious that a CO2 and H2 infrastructure is in high demand politically in order to facilitate the transition to climate neutrality. Important connections between the trilateral initiative and the transmission system operators and the steel industry were established, particularly with regard to the latter. Potential pipeline corridors have been identified with significant assistance from the three governments, and the companies have performed business case analyses. Finally, the LoI partners proposed an organizational structure that would make it possible for the “Trilateral Chemical Region Initiative” structures to be used to effectively coordinate various pipeline projects in the trilateral region.

Project implementation

The initiative concludes that it is still crucial to ensure a coordinated trilateral approach in order to avoid double structures, take advantage of synergies, and overcome obstacles that are specifically related to the cross-border nature of such projects in order to actually realize the now underway business-driven pipeline projects.

The “Trilateral Chemical Region Initiative” is especially well-suited to accomplish this and make project implementation easier. A task force on cross-border pipeline initiatives has already been established on this platform, which was established through a Joint Declaration of Intent (JDoI) signed by the three regions in 2021. Thus, the “Trilateral Chemical Region Initiative” is a facilitator that can address crucial issues with coordination between businesses, industries, regions, and ministries.

Throughout the project phase, it became abundantly clear that all parties – ministries, politics, and industry – must remain committed if an all-win scenario is to be achieved in the continued development of a trilateral pipeline system. The LoI parties pledge to support this crucial trilateral discussion going forward.