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Germany opens first quay to import liquefied natural gas

November 15, 2022

Germany is opening a quay adapted to import liquified natural gas as Berlin pursues a rapid change to its energy strategy. Police say the construction site has been guarded amid fears of sabotage.

The quay in Wilhelmshaven where gas is to be delivered and regasified
The quay is the first in Germany to be adapted to accommodate a floating LNG terminalImage: Sina Schuldt/dpa/picture alliance

The northern German port of Wilhelmshaven on Tuesday opened the country's first liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility as an alternative to pipeline fuel supplied from Russia.

Berlin is turning away from supplies of Russian fossil fuel, upon which Germany was heavily reliant, in the wake of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

What's the importance of the facility?

The quay is the first in Germany to be adapted to accommodate a floating LNG terminal that allows ships to deliver gas in liquid form.

The jetty will house a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) ship, which is expected to be permanently stationed there. 

The Norwegian vessel, named Höegh Esperanza, is expected to moor at the quay in December.

The environment minister for the state of Lower Saxony, Christian Meyer, said the terminal would help secure Germany's energy supplies in the short term.

However, he also added that the further aim was to further develop the port to receive green hydrogen and renewable energy from the North Sea.

An LNG pipeline built in record time

Until recently, Germany had been heavily dependent on fossil fuels— particularly gas — fed to Europe from Russia via pipeline.

Police vigil to protect site

Police said last month that the landing facilities were being guarded around the clock while construction was underway.  

The decision was said to have been taken in response to the recent alleged sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines in the Baltic Sea.

The construction site was already under regular, but not constant, surveillance from both land and water. 

The German news magazine Der Spiegel said at the time that there was currently no concrete indication of an attack. 

However, citing police sources, the magazine noted that an approximately 26-kilometer-long (16-mile) pipeline from the LNG landing stage to a storage facility was under particularly close observation.

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rc/sms (dpa, AFP)