Construction of the Wilhelmshaven LNG terminal begins today | – News

Status: 05/05/2022 08:13 AM

Last year, all plans for a liquid gas plant in Wilhelmshaven were rejected. Now everything must happen very quickly for independence from Russian natural gas.

Large offshore LNG carriers must be able to dock in the winter to bring in liquefied natural gas (LNG). Urgency is needed due to Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine to reduce dependence on Russian natural gas. Today is the beginning of construction: Federal Economy Minister Robert Habeck (The Greens) is coming, as are Lower Saxony Environment Minister Olaf Laiss (SPD) and State Economy Minister Bernd Althusmann (CDU).


1 minute

The state and federal government are putting pressure on: The first LNG tankers are expected to appear at the end of the year. 1 minute

Signing the contract and the first surprise

They signed a contract: Wilhelmshaven will become the German center for liquefied natural gas. And then the first piles at Voslapper Groden will be rammed to turn the existing pier. The chartered floating LNG platform should start operating in the winter – the first in Germany.

Criticisms from environmentalists

However, there is strong criticism from German Environmental Aid. Environmentalists fear that porpoises will suffer from the workload – and that an underwater biotope worth protecting will be irreversibly destroyed. So far, nature conservation organizations have not participated, which means a violation of the rule of law, according to a letter from German environmental aid to the Lower Saxony State Office of Water Management, Coastal Protection and Nature Conservation, the authority that approved the early start of construction. The Environmental Assistance Authority has lodged an objection and is calling for the decision to be withdrawn.

What is LNG?

LNG is an acronym for liquefied natural gas. It is currently the lowest emitting fossil fuel that can be used in shipping and the movement of heavy goods. Natural gas is cooled to minus 162 degrees Celsius and then liquefied. Since the volume of gaseous natural gas does not exceed one six hundred, it can be loaded into large tankers and transported over long distances by ships or trucks – regardless of pipelines. Compared to diesel engines in particular, modern LNG engines emit less carbon dioxide, and about 20 percent less in ships and heavy cargo traffic. The emission of sulfur oxides and soot particles is completely avoided. However, the investment costs for a vessel with an additional LNG engine are 20 to 30 percent more than the costs of a conventional vessel propulsion system. Source: Federal Ministry of Economy

€200,000 rent – per day

The pipeline should be ready in winter, so that by the end of the year about ten billion cubic meters of gas could flow, but no later than the beginning of 2023. This is almost ten percent of German gas consumption. The cost of renting the floating platform alone is around €200,000 per day. The federal government wants to spend nearly $3 billion on four of these floating systems.

The debate over funding and subsidies

However, doubts remain regarding the financing of the LNG terminal. It is precisely about 40 million euros, which should have come from the federal government and was actually intended to mitigate the consequences of phasing out coal in Wilhelmshaven. But the State Department for Regional Development is first asking the city of Wilhelmshaven to invest millions in building the LNG plant instead – that is, to use the funding for another purpose. A controversial approach from a legal point of view at least.

additional information

Liquid gas tanker at sea.  © screenshot

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MS Münsterland is located in Emder Borkumkai.  © AG Ems

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NDR 1 Lower Saxony | current | 05/05/2022 | 08:00 AM

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