New law planned: More liquid gas faster for Germany

To: 01/05/2022 17:31

Germany wants to get out of Russian gas as quickly as possible. The solution would be liquid gas transported by ship, but there are no terminals for this yet. A new law aims to speed up their construction.

Liquid gas terminals must be set up more quickly in order to make Germany more quickly independent of Russian natural gas. Power plant planning procedures are to be accelerated according to the wishes of the federal government – with a new law.

“One of the few options available to Germany for procuring additional quantities of gas on the world market in the short term is the purchase of liquefied natural gas (LNG),” says a document on the acceleration law. LNG, available from the dpa news agency.

According to this, assistance in the formulation of the draft law jointly prepared by the Ministry of the Economy, Justice and the Environment is being coordinated between the State services. The halting of Russian gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria had fueled concerns over a similar move against Germany. The newspaper speaks of an “exceptional situation”.

There are still no LNG terminals in Germany. The first floating plant in Wilhelmshaven should be ready by winter, which could replace up to 20% of annual gas imports from Russia, as Lower Saxony’s environment minister explained .

Compromise when checking environmental compatibility

But it should go even faster: According to the LNG Acceleration Bill, certain requirements for the approval of terminals should be able to be suspended – for example in the environmental impact assessment.

This should apply to floating and land-based LNG terminals. Floating variants can be implemented more quickly, but construction work is required in both cases: they must be connected to the gas pipeline network and some port facilities must also be adapted.

Up to three billion euros for swimming terminals

LNG is natural gas that has been liquefied to be transported by ship. In order to be able to inject it into the natural gas network, it must be converted back into its gaseous state.

According to the government, contracts for three floating LNG terminals have been signed so far, and negotiations for a fourth are in preparation. Up to three billion euros are planned for the chartering of swimming pool terminals and their operation over the next ten years.

The LNG Acceleration Act document mentions Brunsbüttel in Schleswig-Holstein and Wilhelmshaven in Lower Saxony, where floating and then onshore terminals are to be built.

Stade in Lower Saxony, Rostock in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the Port of Hamburg have long been under discussion as possible alternative locations. The document states: “The realization of the individual locations will depend on various legal, technical and economic factors.”

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