Video: Floating LNG terminal reaches Wilhelmshaven – environmental association warns

STORY: The first floating LNG terminal chartered on behalf of the federal government reached Wilhelmshaven on Thursday. With around 165,000 cubic meters of liquid gas on board, the special ship “Höegh Esperanza” docked in the North Sea port. According to the energy company Uniper, this could theoretically supply up to 80,000 households in Germany for a year. The federal government has rented a total of five of these floating facilities, in Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbüttel on the North Sea and in Lubmin on the Baltic Sea. The private consortium Deutsche ReGas has also chartered an LNG ship there. The special ships are so-called “Floating Storage and Regasification Units”. This converts liquid gas delivered by tankers back into the gaseous state so that it can be fed into the supply network. Environmentalists criticize the fact that chemicals are also used in Wilhelmshaven for this process. Sascha Müller-Kraenner, Federal Managing Director of the German Environmental Aid fears for the sensitive ecosystem in the Wadden Sea nature reserve. “In these floating plants, seawater is used to heat the liquefied gas so that it becomes gaseous again. And this water is taken from the sea, returned and treated with biocides, for example with chlorine compounds, bromine compounds. And we know that to some extent It doesn’t matter what happens in the water. Carcinogenic compounds can also happen there, for example. That’s why we suggest using other techniques, such as mechanical cleaning methods. There are those too, they just don’t use them because they’re a bit more expensive.” The Lower Saxony Ministry of the Environment announced at the beginning of the week that all limit values ​​in Wilhelmshaven would be observed. In addition, the approval also includes a minimization concept for the use of these “antifouling” agents. According to the Schleswig-Holstein Environment Ministry, no chlorine compounds are discharged in Brunsbüttel. However, Müller-Kraenner sees other dangers for the area at the mouth of the Elbe. “There are nuclear interim storage facilities in Brunsbüttel, for example, but also in Lubmin, so nuclear waste is stored there. There are chemical plants in Brunsbüttel, which are also factories, accidents can happen there. You have to be very, very careful whether you now, To put it bluntly, a large gas tank was set up next to it. Very high safety standards apply there. It would be best if we could do without these systems.” Also because LNG is the most expensive solution in the long term, says Müller-Kraenner. The first floating LNG terminal is scheduled to open in Wilhelmshaven on Saturday. Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck are also expected to attend the opening. Above all, Müller-Kraenner expects the Greens in federal and state governments to prioritize compliance with climate targets. “If I would also like to see a little more speed in the expansion of renewable energies, I would wish that green hydrogen would be used in the long term and not fossil natural gas. And the pace of expansion of green technologies is still a bit too slow for me. That can be at least as fast as with the LNG terminals.” LPG plays an important role in efforts to make Germany independent of Russian gas supplies. The terminals chartered by the federal government should each have a capacity of five billion cubic meters per year – around five percent of Germany’s annual consumption.


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