10 May 2023, 12:24
Julian Wettengel

Govt decides controversial location for LNG terminal on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast – media


NDR / Clean Energy Wire

The federal government has decided on a location for the disputed import terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the popular holiday destination island of Rügen, reported public broadcaster NDR. In a letter to the state government of Mecklenburg Western Pomerania — seen by NDR — economy minister Robert Habeck writes that the federal government intends to set up two so-called Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRUs) in the port of Mukran, and hand in permit applications for a 50-kilometre pipeline connection to the mainland in Lubmin. He cited a “tight supply situation and further need for LNG capacities in the short term,” reported NDR. One of the two FSRU (Neptune) is already in operation in Lubmin and would be relocated to Mukran. Local politicians like Karsten Schneider, the mayor of Binz, which is located nearby, said they would try to prevent the project. “The politicians from Berlin and Schwerin are using a crowbar against the clear will of the citizens and holidaymakers,” said Schneider. “They are forcing a downright senseless project on us that will lead to irreparable damage to nature on Rügen.”

Rügen is set to become the site of one of several new and temporary LNG import locations, hosting floating terminals (FSRUs). However, local and regional authorities, as well as the local population, have been very critical of the plans. They fear negative impacts on the local environment and tourism, which is particularly important on the island that is a popular holiday destination. The war in Ukraine spurred efforts to diversify Germany’s gas supply away from Russian deliveries to the top of the government’s agenda. The country is going full steam ahead in supporting the build-up of the its own LNG import infrastructure. NGOs and researchers criticise the government for pushing for a "massively oversized" import capacity, citing an expected decrease in gas demand and substantial capacity in neighbouring countries. The government argues that a significant "safety buffer" is necessary to secure German and European supply.

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