Energy crisis: LNG terminal costs more than doubled

Status: 11/20/2022 10:51 p.m

According to the Federal Ministry of Economics, about 3.5 billion euros more than estimated will have to be spent on the floating liquid gas terminals. The increase was “necessary due to the dynamically developing situation”.

Acquisition and maintenance of floating liquefied natural gas terminals cost Germany at least three and a half billion euros more than planned. A total of around 6.56 billion euros in budget funds are currently planned, the Federal Ministry of Economics told the Reuters news agency, thereby confirming a “Spiegel” report.

The increase was “necessary due to the dynamically developing situation,” it said. The Budget Committee of the Bundestag has just approved additional money for the terminals. “In the meantime, further costs have been determined in extensive consultations with numerous stakeholders and initially forecast costs have been specified,” says the ministry. This affects, for example, operating costs and costs for additional infrastructure measures on land.

The construction of the terminals is essential for energy security. “In particular, the reduction and then the cessation of Russian gas supplies make them absolutely necessary,” emphasized the ministry. Germany does not yet have its own landing terminals. “But this new infrastructure is important for increasing preparedness and for diversification.”

Terminals need to be chartered longer

According to documents from the Budget Committee, two of the terminals had to be chartered for 15 years instead of the ten years originally planned. Germany has therefore negotiated the option of shortening the period to ten years, but must decide on this next year.

“The traffic light coalition has made itself open to blackmail with the no alternative use of LNG gas and now has to pay billions more,” left-wing budget politician Victor Perli told the “Spiegel”. The Green budget politician Sven Christian Kindler said: “In the short term, the gas supply must be secured, but we must be careful not to create any fossil overcapacities for the future. We need more clarity in the budget committee about the costs and risks of the LNG projects.”

Central building block for energy security

Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck had praised the construction of the first German terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) within 200 days as a central building block for energy security. “Germany can be fast and advance infrastructure projects with great determination if the federal and state governments and those involved in the project pull together,” he said on Tuesday when the floating terminal in Wilhelmshaven was completed.

A second terminal is also scheduled to go into operation in Brunsbüttel at the turn of the year. According to the plans, another private terminal will also be ready in Lubmin. Since two more terminals are scheduled to be completed in the following winter of 2023/2024, the five terminals could then cover around a third of Germany’s gas requirements, based on consumption in 2021.

However, about 50 percent had come from Russia via pipeline in recent years. The gap is to be filled primarily through gas savings of around 20 percent.

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