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SPOTLIGHTONWALLONIA PARTNERCONTENT


WALLONIA:50SHADESO


A key player during the industrial revolu- tion of the19thcentury, theWalloonecon- omy is now participating in the environ- mental revolution of the 21st century. To achieve this,Wallonia has encouraged the emergence of innovative companies, which have found the ingredients needed for their research and development in the region. The most noteworthy: the produc- tion of green hydrogen, the energy El Dorado of the future. Let’s take a closer look at one of the leading figures in sus- tainableEuropeanditsGreenBond. The economy or society? Growth or the cli-


mate? InWallonia, economic and political stake- holders do not believe it is necessary to choose between the economy and sustainable devel- opment; it is possible to support growth while investing in the sustainable transformation of the economy, by encouraging innovation and research. With the European Green Deal, national and regional policies and climate stress tests showthat the challenges concerning sus- tainable development have becomeunavoida- ble. The desire is there and to make it reality, Europe intends to become a world leader in green technologies, particularly hydrogen. Wallonia boasts key players for achieving this, including JohnCockerill,acompanythat ismore than100years oldandaworld leader in the pro- duction of greenhydrogen!


WALLONIA –WHERETHINGSHAVEBEEN HAPPENING SINCE THE 19THCENTURY Yes, Wallonia, which was formerly a key player


during the industrial revolution of the 19th cen- tury, isnowparticipatingmore actively than ever in the environmental revolutionof the 21st cen- tury. Thanks to its visible heritage of decommis- sioned factories and mines, exploring Wallonia offersafascinatingglimpseofwhatthis industrial hub may have looked like before and after the industrial revolution. ‘The region’s economyhas not stood still,’ explains Michel Kempeneers, the Managing Director of the Wallonia Export & Investment Agency. ‘Its historic industries, such assteel,glassworksandchemistry,havegrownto embracecutting-edgetechnologies anddiversi- fied production methods, which has allowed Walloon companies to maintain their status as world-class players in both industry and the sus- tainableeconomy.’ JohnCockerill,Solvay, Prayon, Ecosteryl,Glutton:thelistofinternationalcompa- nies in Wallonia operating in the environmental sectorgoesonandon…


WALLONIA:AFUTURE LEADER IN THE PRODUCTIONOFGREENHYDROGEN? Will hydrogen be the miracle solution to our energy and climate challenges? Though nobody knows yet, Europe and the governments therein believe so. There are numerous plans and subsi- dies fordeveloping this sector. This isanopportu- nity thatmanufacturers intendto takeadvantage of, particularly by investing in the production capacities of electrolysers, devices that break downwater to produce hydrogen. In the race to producegreenhydrogen,JohnCockerill,aWalloon engineeringcompany,hastakenthelead. Based in Liège since it was founded by the


ABOUTTHEWALLONIA EXPORT&INVESTMENT AGENCY


TheWallonia Export&Investment Agency (AWEX) is aWalloon agency that acts in the public interest. It acts as a one-stop shop for any foreign company thatwants to set up in Wallonia or expand its existing activities.AWEX believes thatWalloon companies of all sizes can help to change theworld and combine economic expansion, the protection of resources and social goals. To this end,AWEX is committed to its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the long term, by implementing 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as strategic tools within companies that are engaged in exporting activities.


British-born JohnCockerill in 1817, thecompany specialised in the production of steam engines and weaving looms. Today, it has branched out into the steel industry, energy, the environment, transport and infrastructure. The group employs nearly 6,000 people in 23 countries and had a turnover of €1.26 billion in 2019. In order to advanceits hydrogendevelopment, itbecamea majority shareholder (56%)in CJH (Cockerill Jingli Hydrogen), the leadingChinesemanufacturer of electrolysers, in 2019. Today, this manufacturing companyisoneofthefewglobalplayerscapable of producing 5MWelectrolysers.Next, it intends to market 7.5MWand, soon after, 10MWunits, reaching 20MWby 2024–2025. In order to sat- isfy the flourishing market for electrolysers, it recentlyinvested€100million intwoelectrolyser giga-factories inWalloniaandFrance.


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