14 Feb 2022, 13:55
Jessica Bateman

Plans for construction of first German LNG terminal plagued by delays and uncertainty


dpa / ntv

The construction of Germany's first liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal remains uncertain as a key project continues to face delays, reports newswire dpa in an article carried by ntv. There is still no permit for the planned facility in Brunsbüttel on the North Sea coast in the state of Schleswig-Holstein and no date has been set for a final investment decision, said the project company German LNG Terminal. Despite the project company being founded in 2018, construction applications for the terminal were only submitted in June last year. The state's minister of economics Bernd Buchholz said that "not all the documents have been properly submitted yet". He added that a permit won't be granted until autumn 2023 at the earliest. Given construction times, the terminal can only open in 2026 at the earliest, according to the article.

A spokesperson for German LNG Terminal said the Covid-19 pandemic had made it “more difficult than ever to make reliable statements on the exact timing of the project.” As well as delays with the permit, potential lawsuits from environmental NGOs over safety concerns could also slow down the construction process. The terminal, which is supported by gas grid operator Gasunie and Oiltanking GmbH, a subsidiary of the Hamburg-based Marquard & Bahls AG, has promised to help Germany decrease its reliance on Russian gas, as LNG can be delivered by ship from countries including the U.S.

Germany has a well-developed natural gas pipeline grid, but so far it does not have its own import terminal for liquefied natural gas. Other projects like Uniper's LNG plans for Wilhelmshaven have been dropped due to lacking interest in the LNG sector in terms of booking large, long-term capacities for LNG regasification in Germany. High gas prices and a range of political and energy strategy concerns like the reliance on Russian supply could make more autonomy in the gas sector attractive for Germany.

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