Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Germany plans to spend up to 3 billion euro on floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals over the next decade, in an effort to secure an alternate supply of gas and reduce or even eliminate its dependence on Russian sources.
The Finance Ministry confirmed these plans on Thursday, and has also sent a letter to the Bundestag budget committee informing the parliament that the investment will be used to lease four floating LNG terminals, which would be able to receive liquefied gas shipped from anywhere in the world.
According to German energy giant RWE, the first ships could start delivering gas as soon as this winter, in time for the heating season, if land infrastructure necessary to accommodate the floating terminals could be prepared in time.
An earlier Finance Ministry report published in March already noted the government had signed options with RWE and Uniper for three floating terminals, with the latest letter to Bundestag calling for a fourth. The government is currently exploring ideal locations for the terminals to be moored, with ports of Wilhelmshaven, Brunsbüttel and Rostock allegedly under consideration.
In parallel with the government efforts to diversify gas supply, a Berlin-based think-thank German Institute for Economic Research reported that Germany could end its dependency on Russian energents before the coming winter through plans to lower consumption and to use the existing infrastructure more efficiently.
DIW’s proposals are to utilise existing LNG terminals in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, and to make use of gas pipelines from southern Europe to secure supply from Algeria and Libya.
Meanwhile, the long-awaited Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline connecting Germany and Russia, completed last year despite loud protests from Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic countries, now lies fully abandoned.
The pipeline that was planned to double the gas transfer capacity in the Baltic sea was postponed indefinitely by Germany just ahead of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, its managing company now defunct and all of its employees laid off.