Liquefied natural gas: Germany’s first onshore LNG terminal is being built in Stade

Liquefied natural gas: Germany’s first onshore LNG terminal is being built in Stade
Liquefied natural gas: Germany’s first onshore LNG terminal is being built in Stade

Three onshore LNG terminals are to be put into operation in Germany. Construction work officially begins in Stade on Friday. The environmental association BUND is taking legal action against the project.

The first construction of a German LNG import terminal on land officially begins on Friday in Stade near Hamburg. The terminal is scheduled to go into operation in 2027. Several private companies are having it built. According to them, the costs are around one billion euros. Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) and Czech Industry Minister Jozef Síkela have announced their attendance at the groundbreaking ceremony, the symbolic start of construction. The Czech energy group CEZ has booked LNG deliveries in Stade. LNG (liquefied natural gas) is liquefied natural gas.

Environmental groups are criticizing the construction of the terminal. One of them, BUND, is suing the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig. There is no date for a hearing yet, as a court employee told the German Press Agency.

The federal government had pushed for the construction of LNG terminals on the North and Baltic Seas after the Russian attack on Ukraine in order to become independent of Russian gas supplies. There are currently several floating terminals in Germany. These terminals, which consist of a special ship, are to be replaced in the long term with three terminals on land.

The consortium Hanseatic Energy Hub (HEH), based in Hamburg, is responsible for the project in Stade. HEH includes the Hamburg port logistics company Buss Group, the Swiss private equity firm Partners Group, the Spanish grid operator Enagás and the US chemical company Dow.

Land terminals in Stade, Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbüttel

In addition to Stade, onshore terminals are planned in Wilhelmshaven (also Lower Saxony) and Brunsbüttel (Schleswig-Holstein). Construction of the terminal in Wilhelmshaven is scheduled to begin in 2026. The Federal Ministry of Economics expects the terminal to go into operation around mid-2028. Preparatory measures such as earthworks have been underway since March for the construction of the terminal in Brunsbüttel. The facility in Brunsbüttel is scheduled to begin regular operations in early 2027.

How LNG gets into the gas pipelines

The fossil fuel LNG is cooled down to less than minus 160 degrees Celsius at extreme temperatures and loses a large part of its volume from the gaseous state. 600 cubic meters of gaseous substance become one cubic meter of liquid LNG.

After being transported in special tankers, LNG is converted back into a gaseous state at terminals at the destination and fed into the natural gas network – or used directly as fuel and energy source. Due to the CO2 burden from transport and combustion, the raw material is questionable in terms of climate policy. Critics also point out that more imports would lead to the expansion of the controversial US LNG and fracking industry. complains that there is no evidence for this. The project sponsors reject this.

LNG share of German gas imports rather low

Germany imports comparatively little natural gas via the LNG terminals. The share of total gas imports in the first half of last year was 6.4 percent, according to data from the Federal Network Agency, which has its headquarters in Bonn. Between the beginning of June and June 25, the share was around eleven percent, as the Federal Network Agency announced in response to a request from the German Press Agency.

According to the International Gas Union, 20 countries worldwide exported the raw material in 2023 – with the USA (21 percent of the global total volume), Australia (20), Qatar (19), Russia (8) and Malaysia (7) at the top. The largest of the 51 import markets were China, Japan, South Korea and India, which together imported around half of the world’s LNG. The most important EU customers included France, Spain, the Netherlands and Italy. Germany was ranked 17th worldwide.

Source: Stern

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