12 Dec 2022, 13:12
Carolina Kyllmann

First direct LNG flows into German gas grid expected before end of 2022


Tagesspiegel Background / Bloomberg

The first gas flows into the German grid from the new floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the North Sea port of Wilhelmshaven are expected on 22 December, newspaper Tagesspiegel Background reports. According to gas importer Uniper, which operates the terminal, the special ship “Hoegh Esperanza” – which collects LNG from tankers and regassifies it before feeding it into the pipelines on land, also known as a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) – is to begin operations then. The ship, which cannot only regasify LNG but also transport large quantities of it, will have 170,000 cubic metres of LNG onboard as it reaches Wilhelmshaven. During its commissioning phase, which will last until mid-January when the first LNG tankers will arrive, the FSRU will release between 15 and 155 gigawatt hours (GWh) of natural gas into the grid every day, according to Tagesspiegel.

The cost estimate of Germany’s floating LNG infrastructure by 2038 totals 9.7 billion euros, Bloomberg reported. In addition to one or more fixed onshore terminals, the government plans to lease at least five FSRUs on a short-term basis. In addition, there are at least two private floating terminals planned.

German chancellor Olaf Scholz, economy minister Robert Habeck and finance minister Christian Lindner are set to attend the ceremonial opening of the Wilhelmshaven floating LNG terminal on 17 December, reported heise online. Construction of the jetty was finished in mid-November, a mere 194 days after the start. The war in Ukraine pushed Germany to diversify its gas supply away from Russian deliveries. The country has a well-developed natural gas pipeline grid and is connected to import terminals in neighbouring countries, but only in recent months started to build its own floating ports to receive LNG directly.

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