Association calls for more speed: are the LNG terminals coming fast enough?

Status: 06/28/2022 08:27 a.m

Liquefied natural gas, or LNG for short, is intended to reduce Germany’s dependence on Russian gas. The construction of two terminals for LNG may take longer than expected, according to the Zukunft Gas association.

The two LNG terminals, which are scheduled to go into operation in Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony by the turn of the year and supply Germany with liquid gas, may not be able to start operations in time, according to the Zukunft Gas Association. The commissioning of at least two LNG terminals planned by Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck by the end of the year could be delayed. “So far, we only know of a clear implementation perspective from one of these floating LNG terminals with Wilhelmshaven. The planned stationary terminals still have no final investment decisions. The industry finally needs clarity here and on a few other regulatory issues,” said Timm Kehler, board member of the Verband Zukunft Gas, the “Bild” newspaper. According to Kehler, in order to achieve a capacity of 13 billion cubic meters of natural gas via the LNG terminals in the coming year, the pace of capacity building and expansion must continue.

In the terminals, through which liquefied natural gas arrives in large storage systems, LNG is converted back to the gaseous state and then fed into gas pipelines. They are seen as an important way to reduce dependence on Russian gas. LNG is mainly supplied from the USA, but also from Asia and the Middle East.

Gas storage at 60 percent

It is currently still uncertain whether the natural gas storage facilities in Germany can be sufficiently filled for the coming winter. As the website of Europe’s gas infrastructure operator (GIE) revealed on Monday evening, the storage facilities were 60.26 percent full. Federal Minister of Economics Habeck’s goal is to fill the storage tanks at least 90 percent by the beginning of November.

But even if the gas storage tanks were completely full by autumn, their quantities would probably not be sufficient for the entire heating period without new gas being delivered. According to estimates by the President of the Federal Network Agency, Klaus Müller, the gas storage facilities would only last two and a half months in an average winter to cover demand.

Saving from July?

According to calculations by the Federal Network Agency, a gas shortage can be averted even then. To do this, however, natural gas consumption in Germany would have to fall by 20 percent from July – the planned reduction in gas-fired power plants in electricity production would not be nearly enough.

In addition to the two planned LNG terminals, the Baltic Sea port of Lubmin is also being discussed for the landing of liquid gas. Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz was optimistic last week that “in a few months it will be possible to land liquid gas in Lubmin. I am very confident that we will get good results there,” said Scholz.

USA and Qatar as suppliers

Larger quantities of LNG are expected to come from the USA in particular. As a result of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the US has almost tripled its LNG exports to Europe. Since March, global LNG exports to Europe have increased by 75 percent compared to 2021, according to a joint statement by US President Joe Biden and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, which was published on Monday at the G7 summit in Bavaria became. Work together to end Europe’s dependence on Russian energy.

The Emirate of Qatar will probably only be able to make larger LNG deliveries to Germany in the year after next. Economics Minister Habeck officially signed the German-Qatari energy partnership in May. Qatar wants to use its US liquid gas plant Golden Pass in Texas, in which Qatar Energy holds 70 percent.

source site