Germany Seals New Deals to Ramp Up LNG Import Capacity

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has signed two memoranda of understanding with top gas utilities, Uniper, RWE, and EnBW, for the delivery of two floating LNG terminals in the country.

The deals with the firms, Reuters said yesterday, will see the vessels, due to be completed this winter, delivered by March 2024.

“This is an important date in the series of steps that we have been taking since the beginning of the year, to make ourselves independent and less susceptible to blackmail from (Russian President Vladimir) Putin, and to give a robust and resilient energy infrastructure, or in this case gas infrastructure,” Germany’s economy minister, Robert Habeck said.

resorted to liquefied natural gas (LNG) for energy-hungry Germany since Russia reduced flows via the main artery supplying the EU’s biggest economy with natural gas.

Much of the LNG comes from the United States, but has no terminals for the superchilled fuel that needs to be regasified at the point of entry into the country.

The news reports that stationary LNG terminals take years to build while floating storage and regasification are much faster to install once their construction is completed.

The report notes that U.S. LNG volumes, however, are not large enough to fully replace Russian gas flow via pipelines due to production capacity constraints, so needs alternative suppliers, too.

Chief among these could be Qatar, but negotiations between Berlin and Doha ended without a deal earlier this year as the Qataris insist on long-term contracts and a clause that would oblige not to resell any gas it is not using, the report said.

Meanwhile, the head of Germany’s energy regulator warned that gas consumption would have to be cut deeper than the EU-wide voluntary 15%, to 20% if the country is to avoid a harsh winter of shortages.

“If we fail to reach our target [of 20% gas savings] then there is a serious risk that we will not have enough gas,” Klaus Mueller reportedly told the FT earlier this week, which would lead to gas rationing.

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