State govt calls for one billion euros in investments to ensure acceptance of Baltic Sea LNG terminal
Table.Media / Süddeutsche Zeitung
Ministers from the German coastal state Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania have drafted a catalogue of measures worth one billion euros, which they claim will help ensure that the island of Rügen accepts the construction of controversial liquefied natural gas (LNG) import infrastructure, newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported. In a letter to federal economy minister Robert Habeck (shared by Table.Media), the state ministers for economy and environment, Reinhard Meyer and Till Backhaus, write that acceptance could be created by linking the LNG project to “measures that have a concrete added value for the affected people and the economy in the region.” The majority of the package of existing plans and new proposals is earmarked for transport infrastructure projects such as rail connections, and support for industry, but it also foresees millions of euros for environment protection, fishing industry and research.
Germany’s federal government plans to host two floating LNG import terminals, so-called Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRU), in the port of Mukran on Rügen. 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 Baltic Sea island that is a popular holiday destination. The war in Ukraine brought efforts to diversify Germany’s gas supply away from Russian deliveries to the top of the government’s agenda and the country is going full steam ahead in supporting the build-up of its own LNG import infrastructure. NGOs and researchers have criticised 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.