Planned LNG import terminal in northern Germany faces opposition
The German government has promised financial support for the construction of Germany’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, but one potential site has run into a hurdle, reports Die Welt. The NGO Environmental Action Germany (DUH) has published a legal opinion saying that a planned terminal in Brunsbüttel in the northernmost state of Schleswig-Holstein cannot be built due to safety concerns. According to DUH, the proximity of Brunsbüttel to other hazardous facilities, including an interim storage facility for radioactive waste and a chemical park, means the terminal cannot be constructed at the planned site. The state’s economy minister, Bernd Buchholz (FDP), said his government does not share DUH’s assessment and the project can be continued as planned.
Germany has a well-developed natural gas pipeline grid, but does not yet have its own LNG import terminal. Following harsh criticism by US President Donald Trump over the contentious Russian-German natural gas pipeline Nord Stream 2, the German government has promised to speed up a decision on whether to provide financial backing for a new LNG import terminal, which could receive LNG from the US, among other exporters. So far, there are three major LNG terminal projects going through the planning process: Brunsbüttel near the North Sea, and competing locations in the cities of Wilhelmshaven and Stade. In March, the cabinet agreed on a draft regulatory reform to reduce the costs to private investors of building an import terminal in Germany.