German chancellor Olaf Scholz says that Germany will quickly build two LNG terminals in Brunsbüttel and Wilhelmshaven as the country seeks to secure its energy supplies in the wake of Russian sanctions.
In a policy statement on 27 February 2022, Scholz condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a violation of international law, confirmed that Germany would support Ukraine financially and practically, and backed tough EU economic sanctions on Russia, including its exclusion from the Swift international payment system.
In a previous statement on 24 February 2022, Scholz announced that Germany had suspended the certification of the completed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which would have brought Russian gas to Germany, as part of a broad package of sanctions against Russia. The two new LNG terminals announced on 27 February are part of a number of measures to improve energy security, which include increasing the amount of natural gas in storage to 2 billion m3, and building up coal reserves.
Scholz added that the two new LNG terminals could, in the long-term, be converted for imports of green hydrogen, to facilitate Germany’s plans to become carbon neutral by 2045, as well as long-term energy security and diversity of supply. He did not confirm an exact timescale or a possible size for the terminals. Scholz thanked federal minister for economic affairs Robert Habeck for his efforts in facilitating the development of the terminals.
LNG in Germany has suffered mixed fortunes. In November 2021, Vopak announced that it was pulling out of German LNG Terminal, its joint venture with Gasunie and Oiltanking, which wants to develop a Brunsbüttel LNG terminal. Belgian gas transmission and LNG terminalling firm Fluxys and Russian gas company Novatek abandoned plans to build an LNG terminal in Rostock, Germany, in October 2021. Uniper had investigated building an LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven but found there was insufficient demand, and said in April 2021 that it had instead begun a feasibility study into establishing a hydrogen hub there instead. Without Nord Stream 2, however, this may change.