Port of Oostende transforms into public limited company under Belgian law

Towards a smaller but effective board of directors

During the city council meeting of 15 December last, the new Articles of Association of Port of Oostende have been approved. As from 1 February 2019 Port of Oostende will no longer be an autonomous municipal company but a plc under Belgian public law. 

The transformation was put on the agenda by Flemish MP and future Deputy Mayor Björn Anseeuw. ‘This transformation is necessary to prepare our port for a bright but also challenging future. The port needs more expertise and thus more entrepreneurs in its board of directors but also extra investments and alliances with other corporations. We have to be able to respond faster to new evolutions in this very competitive market in order to bring more jobs to Ostend’, he says.

Less politicians, more entrepreneurs in the board

Dirk Declerck, CEO Port of Oostende, is pleased with the transformation. ‘The board of directors will be smaller but more effective. This transformation will provide the support necessary to take on the many challenges ahead. Currently, the Port of Oostende Board of Directors counts 18 members, 11 of them city councillors. The new board will consist of 13 members and will receive more input from independent advisors who have no political background. This way, Port of Oostende and its associates will form a more dynamic entity.’

Attract new investments

Another benefit of the transformation is that the port will be able to attract external resources to complement its own. ‘If we want to compete with other ports in niche markets such as blue energy but also logistics, we need more capital and more investment. That way we can bring more jobs to the city,’ says Björn Anseeuw.

Pending approval from Flemish Government

The Flemish Government still has to give its approval to the new articles of association, which may already happen within the coming weeks. 

Focus Port of Oostende

Port of Oostende focuses on continuity, growth and employment based on 5 pillars: Blue Economy, Bulk & Project Cargo, Cruises & Ferries, Circular Industry and the Fishing Industry. These sectors will be further developed with two main principles in mind: prioritising safety, health and environment on the one hand and supporting innovation and development on the other hand.