FRANKFURT, Nov 24 (Reuters) – Germany is acquiring liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals as part of efforts to reduce its reliance on Russian gas.
It leased four floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) in May, each capable of importing at least 5 billion cubic metres (bcm) of seaborne gas a year. The first one was completed at Wilhelmshaven on Nov. 15.
Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuettel are being developed by Uniper and RWE respectively.
The Elbe river port of Stade and Lubmin on the Baltic Sea will also receive an FSRU each by the end of 2023.
Germany has also formalised the chartering of a fifth floating LNG ship for Wilhelmshaven for the fourth quarter of 2023 and a privately chartered FSRU at Lubmin at the end of this year.
The German economy ministry on Sunday said that the FSRUs will cost twice the public funds initially estimated, but the budget has been approved.
LNG-activities at Wilhelmshaven will later be converted to handle clean hydrogen and ammonia and to accommodate electrolysis processes for green gases from renewables.
The Brunsbuettel FSRU is expected to serve as a forerunner to a fixed LNG facility.
Dutch gas network operator Gasunie, which has a 40% stake in the FSRU project, is planning two related gas pipelines.
State bank KfW and RWE are stakeholders in the fixed facility. Shell has committed to some guaranteed purchases.
Project operator Hanseatic Energy Hub (HEH) has provisionally allocated regasification capacity at a planned land-based hub that could materialise in 2026.
It is backed by gas network company Fluxys, investment firm Partners Group, logistics group Buss and chemicals company Dow.
EnBW has committed to buy from the proposed hub.
A final investment decision is expected next year.
Apart from the state-backed FSRU, private consortium Deutsche ReGas aims to develop another FSRU hub already earlier and says a recent tender for annual regasification capacity of 11.7 bcm was oversubscribed, with bids totalling 15.2 bcm.
On Nov. 19 the energy regulator granted the project exemption from tariff and network access regulations for 20 years to increase competition. The FSRU Neptune arrived on Nov. 23.