01 Mar 2023, 13:39
Julian Wettengel

Europe’s LNG import capacity sufficient for next decade – report

Clean Energy Wire

Europe is on track to have sufficient capacity for supplying its economies with liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the coming 10 - 15 years, taking into account existing plans to expand the import infrastructure, shows a leaked report by the Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne (EWI). Even when considering only those projects for which a final investment decision has been made, “European states have sufficient import capacities for LNG in all scenarios through the procurement of FSRU [Floating Storage and Regasification Unit, or floating LNG terminals] and the expansion of stationary terminals,” says the report.

Several countries in Europe, especially Germany, are expanding their LNG import infrastructure, because they need to replace Russian pipeline gas. Deliveries to most European countries have been halted following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

There has been a heated debate about how much of the new LNG import infrastructure Germany will actually need in the future and whether the government’s plans are oversized. Environmental organisation DUH, the source of the leak, said the report showed that the government’s plans are indeed oversized, because EWI assumed fewer projects than an earlier economy ministry document, but said these were already sufficient. The analysis assumes that the expansion of ports in neighbouring countries will not influence deliveries to Germany. It argues that pipeline connections from Belgium are already used to full capacity, additional gas in Poland will be exported to eastern neighbours rather than Germany, and the Netherlands will use the additional infrastructure for its own needs, while available capacity in France was already not used in 2022.

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