Germany charters fifth floating LNG terminal
Clean Energy Wire
The German government has chartered a fifth floating import terminal (FSRU) for liquefied natural gas (LNG) to help the country wean itself off Russian pipeline gas and ensure supply security, the economy ministry (BMWK) said. The unit with 5 billion cubic metres (bcm) capacity is planned to be operational in the North Sea city of Wilhelmshaven from the third quarter of 2023. The location is the same as that of the terminals announced earlier. A consortium of E.ON, Engie and Tree Energy Solutions (TES) will operate the unit, which can supply about 5 percent of Germany’s annual consumption, according to the companies. TES plans to build up a green hydrogen import facility at the same location and once that is up and running – planned for 2025 – the floating LNG terminal will end operation. According to the plans, green hydrogen made with solar power will be transformed into synthetic methane, a substitute for natural gas, by adding CO2 in the countries of origin for easier transportation. The CO2 will then be separated in Germany and transported back to those countries for re-use in methanisation.
“All steps that free us from the clutches of Russian imports as quickly as possible are more necessary than ever in these times,” economic affairs minister Robert Habeck said. “At the same time, we are building up the supply of green hydrogen, making Wilhelmshaven an important landing point for safe and sustainable energy in Europe.”
The war against Ukraine has elevated efforts to diversify Germany’s gas supply away from Russian deliveries to the top of the agenda. Germany has a well-developed natural gas pipeline grid and is connected to import terminals in neighbouring countries, but does not currently have its own port to receive LNG directly. In addition to one or more fixed onshore terminals, the government plans to lease five FSRUs in the short term, two of which could be installed as early as this winter (2022/2023). A sixth private floating terminal is planned for operation from this winter in Lubmin at the Baltic Sea.