Factbox-Germany Builds Up LNG Import Terminals

Factbox-Germany Builds Up LNG Import Terminals

Czech utility CEZ has booked 2 billion cubic metres (bcm) of annual capacity at a yet-to-be build land-based terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) imported into Germany’s Stade from 2027, spurring the build-up of transport infrastructure and securing itself future energy supplies.

Germany’s quest to increase LNG import capacity has intensified as it seeks to end reliance on Russian pipeline gas, on which the European region relied heavily prior to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine last year.

Pending the provision of fixed terminals, Germany is using floating storage and regasification terminals (FSRUs) to help to replace piped Russian gas supplies.

Three FSRUs are working at the Wilhelmshaven, Brunsbuettel and Lubmin ports after Germany arranged their charter and onshore connections.

Wilhelmshaven, Stade and Mukran, a port on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen due to be connected with Lubmin on the mainland, are due to add more FSRUs for the 2023/24 winter.

Industry and the government are also building up terminal capacity in anticipation of increased use of hydrogen at the sites, which when produced using renewable energy can help the transition to a lower carbon economy.

State-owned Deutsche Energy Terminal held auctions for regas capacities in 2024 at Brunsbuettel and Wilhelmshaven 1 earlier this month and plans Stade and Wilhelmshaven 2 rounds in December.

Private company Deutsche ReGas reported in August that suppliers have booked 4 billion cubic metres (bcm) of capacity for 10 years per annum at Mukran, where the company wants to pull together two FSRUs for deliveries to the mainland.

It has chartered a second FSRU, the Transgas Power, with regasification capacity of 7.5 billion cubic metres (bcm), to complement the Neptune currently active at Lubmin.

LNG from Mukran is aimed to flow to onshore grids via gas grid company Gascade’s new pipeline from the first quarter of 2024, which obtained approval for completion from mining authorities earlier this month.

The project has triggered local opposition. But two legal challenges by environmental groups DUH and Nabu were thrown out by the federal administrative court in September.

Utility Uniper launched Germany’s first FSRU operations, Wilhelmshaven 1, last December at the deep-water port on the North Sea. [LNG/TKUK]

Tree Energy Solutions (TES) will operate a second FSRU from later in 2023 for five years, Wilhelmshaven 2.

Uniper plans to add a land-based ammonia reception terminal and cracker in the second half of this decade. Ammonia is at times used as a carrier for hydrogen, whose low density otherwise makes transportation over long distances complicated.

TES also has plans to eventually convert its operations to clean gases.

The FSRU Neptune, chartered by Deutsche ReGas, began receiving LNG at Lubmin in the Baltic Sea early this year.

The gas is first delivered to another storage vessel, the Seapeak Hispania, and shuttled to Lubmin in a set-up taking account of shallow water.

ReGas holds long-term supply deals with France’s TotalEnergies and trading group MET.

The government wants the Neptune to move to Mukran, allowing the Seapeak Hispania to depart, and join the second FSRU there, the Transgas Power.

Regas plans hydrogen electrolysis plants at both Lubmin and Mukran.

The EU Commission approved a 40 million euro support measure for the land-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Brunsbuettel on the North Sea, citing its contribution to the security and diversification of supply.

The Brunsbuettel FSRU, operated by RWE’s trading arm, became operational in mid-April.

It is the forerunner of a land-based LNG facility, now in receipt of a parcel of approved state support, that could start operations at the end of 2026, when an adjacent ammonia terminal could also start up.

State bank KfW, Gasunie and RWE are stakeholders and Shell has committed itself to sizeable purchases.

The total costs of the land-based terminal are 1.3 billion euros.

The inland port on the river Elbe in January started work on a landing pier for an FSRU, to be ready in the 2023/24 winter. Designated vessel Transgas Force is moored at Bremerhaven port to be fixed up for the purpose.

Project firm Hanseatic Energy Hub (HEH) also plans a land-based terminal where it has allocated regasification capacity to become operational in 2027, including volumes for state-controlled SEFE, utility EnBW and now CEZ.

It has begun sounding out the market to determine whether the longer-term plans should be based largely on ammonia to be reconverted into clean hydrogen. It has identified a construction consortium.

HEH is backed by investment firm Partners Group, logistics group Buss, chemicals company Dow and Spanish grid operator Enagas.

EnBW, which is also a buyer at Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuettel, doubled annual purchases to 6 bcm.

Market Screener, Vera Eckert, November 25, 2023