Germany opens first LNG terminal as it curbs reliance on Russian gas

Berlin, Dec 17 (EFE).- Germany launched its first floating Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal, which was constructed in record time, as the country continues to adapt to cut its dependence on Russian energy sources.

The Hoegh Esperanza specialist vessel, traveling from Spain, docked at the Wilhelmshaven port on Saturday morning amid gelid temperatures and freezing fog.

(L-R) German Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Finance Minister Christian Lindner stand in front of the ‘Hoegh Esperanza’ Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) during the opening ceremony of Germany’s first LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, 17 December 2022. EFE/EPA/LARS-JOSEF KLEMMER / POOL

“It is the first of five LNG terminals planned to replace Russian gas and ensure that no home is left without supply,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a brief statement at the opening of the terminal in the North Sea.

“We have built it in record time, an example of the new ‘German pace’ in decision-making and execution,” he added.

The Hoegh Esperanza, a floating storage and regasification unit, arrived at the German port on Friday carrying 167,000 cubic meters of liquified gas sourced from a plant in eastern Spain.

Scholz’s government named Uniper, a German energy company, as the operator of the terminal which is expected to start providing gas to the nation on December 22.

According to Uniper, each vessel can transport 170,000 m³ of liquefied gas and thereby supply 50,000–90,000 German households, roughly up to 8% of Germany’s annual consumption.

“This goes to show what Germany is capable of and it could be the blueprint for other projects of the energy transition,” Klaus-Dieter Maubach, Uniper CEO, said in a statement.

Once the remaining four terminals, which are still under construction or awaiting a license, are operational, a third of Germany’s energy needs would be met. EFE

gc/ch