German is acquiring liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals as part of its efforts to diversify away from Russian gas. It leased four floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) in May capable of importing at least 5 billion cubic metres (bcm) of seaborne gas per year, two of them due to become available this year.
Wilhelmshaven will become the first LNG hub and Brunsbuettel the second, to be developed by Uniper and RWE, respectively.The Elbe river port of Stade and Lubmin on the Baltic Sea will receive the two other FSRUs, the economy ministry said in July.
Uniper has received approval for the immediate start of construction of an FSRU facility, with activity to begin from the end of 2022. Later it wants to import ammonia and set up an electrolysis plant for turning ammonia into clean hydrogen.
On Sept. 1, the economy ministry said a fifth state-chartered FSRU will come to Wilhelmshaven in winter 2023/24. An FSRU at Brunsbuettel is expected to deliver gas from the end of 2022 or early in 2023 and serve as a forerunner of 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 itself to some guaranteed purchases.
Project operator Hanseatic Energy Hub (HEH), due to receive an FSRU to go into operation from the end of next year, previously launched invitations to market participants to book regasification capacity at a planned land-based hub. This could materialise in 2026, and be ready to accommodate ammonia later on.
It is backed by gas network firm Fluxys, investment firm Partners Group, logistics group Buss and chemicals company Dow. Applications for the terminal and port have been submitted. A final investment decision is expected next year.
The operators of the state-leased FSRU destined for Lubmin expect it to be operational at the end of 2023 at the earliest, according to economy ministry. Another FSRU might be taken into service even earlier by a private consortium, it has said.