Lower Saxony requests state funding for four liquified natural gas projects
The energy minister of Lower Saxony has called on the German federal government to provide partial funding for four liquified natural gas (LNG) terminals in his state, Der Spiegel reports. In a letter to the economy and climate minister, Olaf Lies (Social Democrats) proposes drawing up an agreement containing promises for “necessary proportional financing” in “the next few days.” Plans for a 50 percent stake by state-owned development bank KfW in an LNG terminal in Brunsbüttel in the neighbouring state of Schleswig-Holstein, have already been confirmed but no such decision has been made for Lower Saxony yet. Lies has proposed three projects at the town of Wilhelmshaven and one at Stade, and argues that with a quick decision on government funding one of the Wilhelmshaven ports could be functioning by the end of 2022. In contrast, the Brunsbüttel project is not expected to be completed until 2025 or 2026.
Germany is trying to become independent of Russian gas following the invasion of Ukraine, and sees imported LNG as a viable replacement for the fossil fuel. However, environmentalists have been critical of so much state money being invested in new fossil fuel infrastructure. The government has stated that new gas infrastructure should be convertible to be used with hydrogen in the near future (hydrogen-ready).