Following an announcement by Lower Saxony’s economy minister Olaf Lies, broadcaster NDR reports that the first jetty for the arrival of liquefied natural gas (LNG) has been completed in Wilhelmshaven, located in the country’s northernmost region. The first delivery is expected to arrive in the middle of January 2023. The mooring of a specialized vessel known as a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) will be made possible by the jetty. This vessel is responsible for gathering liquefied gas from tankers and re-gasifying it before delivering it to pipelines located on land. Midway through the month of December, this ship is scheduled to arrive in Wilhelmshaven. Robert Habeck, the minister of the economy, referred to this as a “central building block” for the purpose of securing our energy supply for the upcoming winter. 7.5 billion cubic meters per annum is the maximum capacity that the terminal will have (bcm).
Up until the previous year, Germany’s annual gas consumption hovered somewhere around 90 billion cubic meters. Because “in the medium term we will need to say goodbye to fossil fuels completely,” Habeck stated earlier this year that the new infrastructure is going to be designed with hydrogen in mind from the very beginning of the design process. Researchers, on the other hand, have stated that a later conversion of LNG terminals to handle liquid hydrogen or derivates such as ammonia is subject to a great deal of uncertainty, for example with regard to costs. The planning and construction of necessary infrastructure for direct imports in Germany was sped up, which allowed Germany to increase the pace at which it was building FSRUs. Because of the conflict in Ukraine, Germany’s efforts to diversify its gas supply and wean itself off of deliveries from Russia have been elevated to the top of the agenda.
In spite of the fact that Germany has a well-developed natural gas pipeline grid and is linked to import terminals in countries that are nearby, the country does not yet have its own port to directly receive LNG at this time. In the near future, the government intends to lease five FSRUs in addition to constructing one or more permanently installed onshore terminals. In addition to that, a sixth private project is currently being developed. Climate activists have voiced their disapproval of Germany’s plans to directly import LNG, with Greenpeace claiming that the move threatens the country’s and Europe’s goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the non-governmental organization Environmental Action Germany (DUH) has stated that the construction project in Wilhelmshaven poses a threat to an underwater biotope and puts harbor porpoises in danger.