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Third floating LNG terminal arrives in northern Germany

January 20, 2023

A third temporary facility to process liquified natural gas (LNG) has docked in the northern industrial port of Brunsbüttel. Germany has been sourcing alternative energy supplies to wean itself off Russian gas.

A shot of the floating LNG facility at Brunsbüttel in northern Germany on January 20, 2023
The LNG facility at Brunsbüttel is one of four that Germany has ordered to cut its reliance on Russian gasImage: Marcus Brandt/dpa/picture alliance

A third floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal arrived in northern Germany Friday to help shore up the country's energy supplies threatened by Russia's war against Ukraine.

The Hoegh Gannet vessel, which measures 294 meters (964 feet) by 46 meters (150 feet), docked in the northern port of Brunsbüttel.

Economy Minister Robert Habeck, the state premier of Schleswig-Holstein Daniel Günther and energy giant RWE's CEO Markus Krebber supervised the terminal's arrival.

What do we know about the new LNG terminal?

The terminal, which can receive highly compressed liquid gas from tankers and convert it into usable gas, will complement two others, one in Wilhelmshaven and the other in Lubmin on the Baltic Sea, which arrived last month.

The first LNG for processing is scheduled to arrive in Brunsbüttel early next month.

The government and RWE aim to feed 3.5 billion cubic meters of gas into the national network this year from Brunsbüttel alone.

Once a new gas pipeline to Hamburg is completed at the end of the year, that figure is expected to rise to 7.5 billion cubic meters.

A fourth terminal is due to be delivered to the port of Stade, located on the Elbe river, shortly.

Germany plans seven terminals in total, public broadcaster NDR reported.

Energy expert Constantin Zerger speaks to DW

Permanent LNG terminals not ready for three years

The floating LNG facilities are a temporary measure until permanent terminals become operational in 2026.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine last February, Germany has sought to cut its reliance on Moscow for energy imports.

Before the conflict, Europe's largest economy sourced up to half of its natural gas from Russia.

Russian supplies through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea slowed to a trickle last year and were then cut altogether due to what Moscow said was essential maintenance work, but which Berlin said was a political power play by the Kremlin.

As well as boosting gas imports from Norway and the Netherlands, Germany has sourced LNG from the US and Gulf countries.

Germany consumes around 90 billion cubic meters (3,200 cubic feet) of natural gas per year, according to the Economy Ministry.

When fully online, the floating LNG terminals could provide about a third of Germany's gas needs.

mm/ar (AFP, dpa)