Germany is acquiring liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals as part of its efforts to diversify away from Russian gas.
It leased four floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) in May, capable of importing at least 5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of seaborne gas per year each. Two of them are due to become available this year.
Wilhelmshaven will become the first LNG hub and Brunsbuettel the second, to be developed by Uniper and RWE, respectively.
The Elbe river port of Stade and Lubmin on the Baltic Sea will also receive an FSRU each.
Germany has also now formalized chartering of a fifth floating LNG for Wilhelmshaven, the economy ministry said on Oct. 25 for the first quarter of 2023.
Uniper in August received approval for the start of construction of an FSRU facility.
Later, facilities to import ammonia and set up an electrolysis plant for turning ammonia into clean hydrogen will be set up at the location.
An FSRU at Brunsbuettel is expected to deliver gas from the end of 2022 or early in 2023 and serve as a forerunner of a fixed LNG facility.
Dutch gas network operator Gasunie, which has a 40% stake in the FSRU project, is planning two related gas pipelines.
State bank KfW KFW.UL and RWE are stakeholders in the fixed facility. Shell SHEL.L has committed itself to some guaranteed purchases.
Project operator Hanseatic Energy Hub (HEH), due to receive an FSRU to go into operation from the end of next year, previously launched invitations to market participants to book regasification capacity at a planned land-based hub.
This could materialize in 2026.
It is backed by gas network company Fluxys FLUX.BR, investment firm Partners Group PGHN.S, logistics group Buss, and chemicals company Dow. EnBW has committed itself as a buyer.
Applications for the terminal and port have been submitted. A final investment decision is expected next year.
The operators of the state-leased FSRU destined for Lubmin expect it to be operational at the end of 2023.
Economy Minister Robert Habeck paid a visit on Sept. 19 and said the government would try to source LNG from the United Arab Emirates, among other possible origins.
(Reuters - Reporting by Vera Eckert/Editing by Jan Harvey, Jason Neely, Jane Merriman and David Goodman)