Department of Energy

Readout of Secretary Perry’s Brussels Trip

May 2, 2019

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Energy leaders visit Fluxys’ Zeebrugge LNG import terminal in Belgium.

Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg (from left), Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Fluxys CEO Pascal De Buck, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon D. Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Ronald Gidwitz, and Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Ted Garrish at Fluxys’ Zeebrugge LNG import terminal in Belgium.

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – This week, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Senior DOE officials are in Brussels, Belgium for the 1st U.S.-EU Energy Council High-Level Business to Business Forum.

U.S.-EU Energy Council High-Level Business to Business Forum

This Forum, hosted by EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete and U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry gives American and European businesses the opportunity to discuss the growing opportunities in liquefied natural gas (LNG) trade, building off President Juncker and President Trump’s agreement last year to strengthen U.S.-EU strategic energy cooperation. Their agreement and this Forum focused on the benefits of expanded exports of U.S. LNG to the EU gas market, and provides U.S. and European decision-makers in the natural gas sector with match-making and deal-making opportunities. The Forum was also attended by European Commission Vice President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon D. Sondland, Director General for Energy at the European Commission, Dominique Ristori, and IEA Executive Director, Dr. Fatih Birol.

LNG Infrastructure

The Trump Administration supports the EU’s goal to create an interconnected European energy market and diversify their energy supply. On the sidelines of the Forum, DOE announced the signing of two long-term orders authorizing the export of U.S. LNG from Tellurian Inc.’s Driftwood LNG export facility to be built in Louisiana and Sempra Energy’s Port Arthur LNG export project to be built in Texas.

Secretary Perry also toured Fluxys’ Zeebrugge LNG import terminal alongside U.S. Ambassador to Belgium Ronald Gidwitz and U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon D. Sondland. The Zeebrugge terminal recently welcomed its first delivery of U.S. LNG, making Belgium the 35th country to import LNG from the United States.

Infrastructure like the Zeebrugge terminal in Belgium and Driftwood and Port Arthur projects in the U.S. will give Europe increased choice in its energy suppliers, and alleviate the EU’s reliance on a single source – Russia.

Boosting Public-Private Cooperation

While in Brussels, Secretary Perry also met with a group of American LNG industry leaders including Tellurian, Sempra, Penn America, Commonwealth, Annova and officials from the U.S. Department of Commerce, alongside U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon D. Sondland, Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes, and DOE Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Ted Garrish. The group discussed the dynamics of the European LNG market and perspectives on promoting transatlantic business.

Strengthening U.S.-Poland Strategic Energy Dialogue

On Thursday, the Secretary had a productive bilateral meeting with Poland’s Secretary of State for Strategic Energy Infrastructure Piotr Naimski. They expressed their support for recently-approved Port Arthur LNG export project, which will deliver U.S. LNG into Poland among other countries. This authorization reaffirms U.S. commitment to partnering with EU countries, including Poland, as they seek diversification of their energy supplies. Other topics discussed during the meeting include continued cooperation on nuclear and fossil energy, energy infrastructure, and cyber security as outlined under the U.S.-Poland Strategic Energy Dialogue. Secretary Perry looks forward to continuing this dialogue with Secretary Naimski in the months to come.

Ministers Meet on European Energy Security

U.S. Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes participated in a roundtable with Energy Ministers from Croatia, Poland, Lithuania, Germany, and Romania, alongside DOE’s Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg. The group discussed the importance of European energy security, and how diversification of energy supply, sources, and routes is critical to that security. They also noted the U.S. and regional opposition to Nord Stream 2, a Russian pipeline project which undermines and threatens European energy security. Under Secretary Menezes also held bilateral meetings with Croatia’s Minister of Environment and Energy Tomislav Ćorić and Germany’s State Secretary for Energy and Digital Affairs Andreas Feicht to discuss efforts on energy collaboration.

For more information on these events, please contact Kelly Love at kelly.love@hq.doe.gov