09 Jan 2024, 14:03
Franca Quecke

Suspected sabotage at regional German LNG pipeline might cause million-euro-damage – report

Der Spiegel / Hamburger Abendblatt

The alleged sabotage of an important gas pipeline currently under construction in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein might lead to damages of at least 1.6 million euros, reports Der Spiegel. The pipeline is being constructed to connect the liquefied natural gas (LNG terminal) at the coastal town of Brunsbüttel with the regional gas grid network. The new pipeline is needed as the terminal has been in operation since early 2023, but the grid connection is insufficient to use it to its full capacity. Late last year, unknown perpetrators drilled holes in the gas pipeline in at least eight places. Germany views the pipeline as a critical part of its energy infrastructure, and the Federal Prosecutor's Office has opened an investigation on suspicion of anti-constitutional sabotage.

NGOs, researchers and resident groups in coastal towns criticised the government for pushing for a "massively oversized" import capacity for LNG that the pipeline will contribute to, citing an expected decrease in gas demand and substantial capacity in neighbouring countries that are accessible for the domestic market. Spiegel reports that the damaged pipeline has been controversial and the target of several attempts to damage the pipeline. Critical energy infrastructure has repeatedly been the target of sabotage in the past. The most prominent example is the Russian-German gas pipeline Nord Stream, where several underwater explosions destroyed large parts of it in September 2022. Swedish authorities later confirmed that it was sabotage, yet it remains unclear who was responsible.

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