Flanders International Business Awards 2023 - Groepsfoto genomineerden Foreign Investor of the Year

Our unique ecosystem attracts ever increasing foreign investment. In turn, this brings knowledge, expertise, and job creation, enhancing the economy in Flanders. With the Flanders International Business Awards, FIT also aims to recognize this investment choice for Flanders. On the shortlist for ‘Investor of the Year’: Aurubis, Pfizer and Plug Power. Following the announcement, we gathered the early reactions.  

Boost for circular economy

German company Aurubis is building a state-of-the-art facility for processing anode sludge in Beerse and a recycling plant in Olen. Together, these projects represent an investment of 103 million euros.   

Dirk Vandenberghe, Managing Director: “We see FIT’s new competition as an excellent opportunity to raise awareness about our company. Even though Aurubis is the largest copper producer in the world, not everyone in Flanders is familiar with what we do. Yet, our activities are essential in the context of the circular economy in Flanders and in helping to realize the European Green Deal. Batteries, for instance, are a hot topic everywhere – and we supply the metals to make them. We are literally working on our future!” 

“Aurubis makes an essential contribution to the circular economy in Flanders and, by extension, Europe. We are literally working on our future!”
Dirk Vandenberghe
Managing Director Aurubis
Dirk Vandenberghe, Managing Director Aurubis

Making the difference for patients worldwide

American pharma giant Pfizer announced a new investment project in Puurs to expand its production capacity, cold storage capability, and packaging lines. This represents an investment of 1.2 billion euros over three years.   

Luc Van Steenwinkel, Managing Director: “The nomination highlights the impact of this investment, which is an important milestone both for our site and sector in Flanders. This investment, as the largest ever in Puurs, demonstrates our site’s excellent performance.  

It is also a sign of continued trust, because between 2012 and 2018 Pfizer also invested more than 500 million euros in Flanders, and the investments for the COVID-19 vaccine, of a similar magnitude, are not even included here. The investment also enables us, after the intense pandemic period, to continue making a daily difference for our patients worldwide. Thanks to our mRNA platform, we are preparing our abilities to act quickly again in the future.  

By the way, in the actual week of the Flanders International Business Awards, we celebrate the 60th anniversary of Pfizer Puurs. Winning the award would further highlight our long-standing local roots in Flanders.” 

“Our nomination highlights the impact of this record investment. This is an important milestone for our site, but equally for our industry in Flanders.”
Luc Van Steenwinkel
Managing Director Pfizer
Luc Van Steenwinkel, Managing Director Pfizer

Flagship project in Europe

Plug Power Inc. is building a green hydrogen plant in the Port of Antwerp-Bruges. It will be located on the NextGen site, a hotspot for the circular economy, and is the American green hydrogen company’s first on European soil.   

Suerd Polderdijk, Concept Development Director: “Our green hydrogen plant in Antwerp – one of the largest in Europe – is our flagship project in Europe. With a capacity of 100 MW, the plant will contribute two-thirds of the minimum capacity targets of the federal hydrogen strategy.  

We will also produce both gaseous and liquid green hydrogen. Liquid green hydrogen allows us to efficiently transport larger quantities of hydrogen and creates a strategic reserve. With this reserve, we can assist the grid operator to ensure grid stability in and around Antwerp during peaks and lows.” 

“Because of the warm welcome we received in Antwerp, we were already fans of Flanders. The fact that our first major project in Europe has now also been nominated for an award only adds to our enthusiasm!”
Emmanuelle Justum
Lead Counsel Europe, Plug Power
Emmanuelle Justum, Plug Power

More info about our nominees?