Germany will build two LNG import terminals – chancellor Scholz
The German government will push the construction of what would be the country’s first two liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals as part of its efforts to secure energy supply in light of Russia’s war against Ukraine, said Chancellor Olaf Scholz. “We made the decision to quickly build two liquefied natural gas terminals, LNG terminals, in Brunsbüttel and Wilhelmshaven,” Scholz told parliamentarians in the Bundestag during a special session on Ukraine and Russia. He emphasised that such a terminal could eventually be converted to handle climate-friendly gases. “An LNG terminal that receives gas today can also receive green hydrogen tomorrow,” said Scholz. This is in line with plans by the economy ministry. In a document on strengthening crisis preparedness, seen by Clean Energy Wire, the ministry says that any new LNG terminal has to be built “hydrogen-ready” and that it is now necessary to assess how much state support is required to build the terminals.
Business daily Handelsblatt reported that the government has asked energy company Uniper to revive plans for an LNG port in Wilhelmshaven, according to unnamed sources. The company would now reassess plans, wrote Handelsblatt, after it had dropped them last year due to lacking interest in the LNG sector in terms of booking large, long-term capacities for LNG regasification in Germany.
This lack of a business case had caused the debate about a domestic LNG terminal to largely subside in recent years, and plans were plagued by delays and uncertainty. However, the wish to diversify supply to lessen reliance on Russia in light of president Putin's war against Ukraine, as well as high gas prices have revived discussions. Germany has a well-developed natural gas pipeline grid and can be supplied via neighbouring countries’ LNG ports, but so far it does not have its own import terminal. Economy and climate minister Robert Habeck sees this as necessary to “govern energy supply on our own state territory and guarantee sovereignty.”