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Germany embraces US LNG to curb dependence on Russian gas

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Pipelines,

The German government has decided to fast-track works on two regasification terminals as it embraces US LNG imports in a bid to reduce dependence on Russian pipeline gas. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the terminals would be in Brunsbüttel and Wilhelmshaven – for the latter Uniper was asked to revive plans, shelved in 2020. In addition, Hanseatic Energy Hub will seek planning permission for the Stade LNG project.

Russia’s invasion into Ukraine was not only met by a plethora of sanctions from the West, but also in an indefinite halt of the 55 billion m3/yr Nord Stream 2 interconnector. These volumes will now have to be filled with imports from elsewhere, notably LNG.

"The events of the last few weeks have shown us that a responsible, forward-looking energy policy is not only crucial for our economy and our climate. But also crucial for our security," Scholz told the Bundestag, leading political support to the Uniper’s LNG venture in Whilhelmshaven and a rival project in Brunsbüttel. The short run, the German Chancellor wants utilities to increase the volume of gas in storage by 2 billion m3 by maximising the limits of its long-term delivery contracts.

For long, Germany has been the only major economy in Western Europe without its own LNG import terminal, though three projects had been under discussion in Stade, Brunsbüttel and Wilhelmshaven. The suspension of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline over Russia’s aggression in Ukraine takes away the option to import 55 billion m3/yr from Gazprom – these volumes may well now be sourced through LNG imports.

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