The war in Ukraine does not bode well for energy markets. In the medium term, the main aim is to reduce dependence on natural gas from Russia. Liquefied natural gas could make a contribution to this...
In view of the current developments in Ukraine and the associated latent danger that Russian natural gas supplies to Germany could be restricted or interrupted, the development of alternatives is urgently needed. But this takes time. Hanseatic Energy Hub GmbH has now provided information on the planning status for the import terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Stade. This is scheduled to go into operation in four and a half years at the earliest, i.e. at the end of 2026. At full capacity, the facility could then cover just over ten percent of Germany's natural gas requirements. Up to 12 billion m³ of gas per year should be fed into the gas grids, which are only about 10 kilometers away, said Johann Killinger, managing HEH shareholder.
The concrete investment decision and commissioning depended primarily on the customer side, he added. Killinger did not see any major hurdles for the approval process. An investment of 800 million euros is planned for the project directly on the Elbe River on the site of the chemical company Dow Chemical. In addition, there will be about 150 to 200 million euros for public port facilities. Currently, Germany purchases liquefied natural gas from other European terminals.
Broader supply base
While a higher share of LNG would put the supply sources for natural gas on a broader basis, it would not change Germany's dependence on imports. Germany must import 95 percent of its natural gas. Major global LNG exporters include Qatar, Australia, the U.S. and Algeria.
In Lower Saxony, both Stade, as a location for the chemical industry, and Wilhelmshaven, with its deep-water port and proximity to large gas storage facilities, are ideally suited as import locations, said Lower Saxony's Energy Minister Olaf Lies (SPD). The state government's goal, he said, is to import renewable rather than fossil gas via the terminals at a later date. Brunsbüttel (Schleswig-Holstein) is also being discussed as a site for Germany's first LNG terminal.
Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) had already stated a few days ago that Germany must reduce its dependence on gas. He mentioned the production of hydrogen as one alternative. For the transitional period, however, security of supply could also be ensured by building the country's own LNG terminals. (dpa/ben)