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16 Aug 2023, 13:42
Benjamin Wehrmann

Local representatives urge halt to plans for LNG terminal on German Baltic Sea island

Clean Energy Wire

The plans for a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal on the German island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea face more opposition by local interest groups who fear that the large industrial infrastructure project could damage protected areas. In an open letter to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s state premier Manuela Schwesig (the state where Rügen is located), the mayor and tourism director of the sea resort town Binz, Karsten Schneider and Kai Gardeja, argue that a pipeline needed to connect the prospective LNG port with the mainland is unlikely to be eligible for a construction license. The town’s representatives said an earlier assessment by a state authority in 2018 for the now defunct Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which was also planned to make landfall in the region, had found that “considerable conflicts regarding technical, environmental and land use planning aspects” made the project “insufferable” for residents of the popular holiday destination. “If licenses are issued regardless, this would equal a democratic bankruptcy of the state government,” the letter’s authors said. They called on state premier Schwesig, who has publicly opposed plans by the federal government to authorise the LNG terminal on the island, to ensure that all legal and technical assessments of the project are considered in order to prevent construction from going forward “and the state government’s credibility is damaged.”

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s government in May drafted a catalogue of measures worth one billion euros to help ensure that the island of Rügen accepts the terminal’s construction. State premier Schwesig from chancellor Olaf Scholz’ Social Democrats (SPD) in June failed to garner support for finding alternatives to the terminal off the Baltic Sea island, arguing the project would be “a huge challenge” in the touristic region. As part of its bid to become lastingly independent from Russian gas supplies, Germany’s federal government has issued plans to host two so-called Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRU), in the port of Mukran on Rügen to process shipped LNG deliveries.

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