Storage of ammonium nitrate under very strict safety conditions in Port of Antwerp

Storage of ammonium nitrate under very strict safety conditions in Port of Antwerp

Yesterday, Lebanon was hit by a major explosion in the port of Beirut. Port of Antwerp has been particularly touched by this tragedy and empathizes with everyone affected by it.

The product that would have caused this explosion is, according to the information now available, ammonium nitrate. This is widely used all over the world as fertilizer and is also frequently treated in the Port of Antwerp. Its production, handling and storage are strictly regulated in Belgium and take place in our port under very strict safety conditions.

Port Alderman Annick De Ridder: “My sincere condolences to the families and friends of the many victims who have been affected by this terrible explosion. Our thoughts go out to them. The situation in Beirut is by no means comparable to the port of Antwerp. First of all, there are strict safety standards and it is unthinkable that such a product would be stored for years in an amount that corresponds to the transshipment volumes in Flanders over a whole year."
About Port of Antwerp

As Europe's second-largest port, the Port of Antwerp is a major lifeline for the Belgian economy: more than 300 line services to over 800 destinations ensure global connectivity. The Port of Antwerp annually handles around 231 million tonnes of international maritime freight, and is home to Europe's largest integrated chemical cluster. The Port of Antwerp accounts, directly and indirectly, for a total of around 143.000 jobs and more than €20 billion added value.  

True to its mission 'a home port vital for a sustainable future’, Antwerp Port Authority aims to flexibly respond to a rapidly evolving maritime market, allowing the port to continue playing its role as a leading world port. The emphasis in this respect is on cooperation, adaptability, a strong focus on innovation and digitisation, and on sustainable added value, as well as on responsibility towards society. 

Antwerp Port Authority is a limited liability company of public law, with the City of Antwerp as sole shareholder. It employs over 1.600 people. Port alderman Annick De Ridder is chairman of the Board of Directors and Jacques Vandermeiren is CEO and President of the Executive Committee, which is responsible for the day-to-day management.  

The telephone number +32 492 15 41 39 is only for press inquiries. For other questions you can mail to

Port of Antwerp
Zaha Hadidplein 1
2030 Antwerp