Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Looking to break away from its dependency on Russian gas imports, Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Robert Habeck, has reached agreement on a long-term energy partnership with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani after discussions in Doha, DW reported on Monday.
After Russia and Iran, Qatar has the largest reserves of natural gas as well as the infrastructure needed to make and export liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Qatar exported more than 100 billion cubic metres of LNG in 2019, enough to cover Germany’s needs. It currently supplies roughly one third of its LNG to the EU.
However, almost none arrives in Germany since the country has no LNG terminals, not having built any, given its reliance on Russian gas imported via pipeline.
In the wake of the war in Ukraine, German authorities have decided to launch two LNG terminal projects. Habeck says the terminals could start operating in five years’ time, despite the fact that in Germany such projects tend “to take three times as long to be completed.”
Habeck, a member of the Greens party, which is committed to ending the use of fossil fuels, is pressing for the urgent construction of terminals for importing natural gas.
More gas from UAE
On Monday, Habeck also visited the United Arab Emirates to secure more gas supplies in the near future and to discuss plans for buying hydrogen produced from green sources in the more distant future.
Abu Dhabi, which plans to invest nearly 150 billion euro in its sustainability push, is already home to two of the world’s ten largest solar power plants.
According to Habeck, the UAE and Germany still need to come up with a range of technical solutions in order to transport large quantities of liquid hydrogen. He visited the Arab countries with a large business delegation, including ThyssenKrupp engineering conglomerate CEO Martina Merz. She praised the minister for his efforts, describing him “as someone who wants to make connections for the benefit of the green transformation and cooperation between countries.”