Germany to build its first LNG terminal

International energy company Uniper is to build and operate Germany’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, as the country fast-tracks efforts to diversify its energy supplies and move away from Russian gas.

At a recent press event, attended by Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Robert Habeck, the company announced that it had signed a deal with the government for the project, which will see it invest around €65 million. 

Klaus-Dieter Maubach, CEO of Uniper, said, “Russia’s war against Ukraine has turned the world we live in upside down - this is especially true for the energy industry.

“We are doing our utmost to support the German government in its plan to diversify Germany’s sources of supply for natural gas and, in the long term, also for hydrogen.”

The new LNG terminal will be constructed at the Port of Wilhelmshaven, which lies on Germany’s North Sea coastline.

Two floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) managed by specialist firm Dynagas will be installed at the site. 

Said to be the “most modern, safe and environmentally friendly of their kind”, the FRSUs convert LNG into gaseous natural gas, which can then be fed into the German pipeline system.

They have a natural gas-send-out capacity of up to 7.5 billion m³ per year and an LNG storage capacity of 174,000m³ each.

Port of Wilhelmshaven in Germany The Port of Wilhelmshaven, where Uniper will construct Germany's first LNG terminal. (PHOTO: IMAGO/Eibner/Fabian Steffens)

Combined, this is equivalent to approximately 30% of Russian gas imports into Germany and is around 8.5% of the country’s expected demand for gas in the future.

The FRSUs will be connected to onshore facilities via the region’s existing UVG (Umschlagsanlage Voslapper Groden) sea bridge, following adaption works that will enable ‘ship-to-shore’ gas transfers.

The expansion of the port is the first phase of a larger project to transform Wilhelmshaven into a green energy hub, helping the country to both lower carbon emissions and become more energy independent.  

The second project phase will see the installation of a “permanent and expanded unloading and handling facilities for green gases”, such as ammonia, which can then be transported by rail or converted back into hydrogen on site at the port.

Maubach said, “With our LNG terminal, we are taking an important step - in close cooperation with the German government - towards the desired energy independence.

“In doing so, we are relying on our expertise as a global LNG player and gas trader. In the medium and long term, we are developing Wilhelmshaven into the energy hub of the future, with a focus on hydrogen and green gases.”

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