07 Mar 2022, 13:56
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany will fund half of new LNG terminal in alliance with Dutch operator

Clean Energy Wire

The planned terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports in northern Germany will be co-funded with a 50 percent government stake in cooperation with Dutch state-owned energy company Gasunie and German company RWE, the economy and climate ministry (BMWK) has said. Money for the new terminal in Brunsbüttel, which is meant to reduce Germany’s dependence on Russian gas deliveries, will be provided by Germany’s state-owned development bank KfW. The terminal will have a regasification capacity of eight billion cubic metres per year and should be built “as quickly as possible,” the ministry said. The LNG terminal will also be capable of processing deliveries of hydrogen-based products such as ammonia, according to the plans. “It’s clear that we have to make our energy supply climate-neutral and persistently reduce gas consumption,” climate and economy minister Robert Habeck said. “But we will need gas for the transition.” Russia’s war on Ukraine means imports from the country must be cut, and an LNG terminal provides an adequate solution that will allow long-term flexibility and integration into a future hydrogen infrastructure. Dutch finance minister Sigrid Kaag said the terminal, which will be fully operated by Gasunie, will also increase energy security for Europe as a whole. “It’s a good step for reducing dependence on Russian gas imports,” she said.

Marking a turnaround in German energy supply policy, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) in late February announced a suspension of the controversial pipeline project Nord Stream 2, which would increase direct supply capacities from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea. Scholz said the country would now move ahead with plans to build two LNG import terminals, ending a long debate over whether the country needs infrastructure of this kind at all. The 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.

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