The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action has chartered a fifth floating LNG terminal, which is to be available by the winter 2023/24 as a further component to secure supply in Germany, in addition to the four specialised vessels which had already been chartered by the Federal Government.
The fifth Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) will be stationed in Wilhelmshaven, where one of the four other specialised vessels is also planned to be stationed. This fifth vessel has a capacity of at least 5 billion m3 annually. It is expected to be put into operation in the fourth quarter of 2023. Excelerate, the owner of the vessel, will make the FSRU available to the consortium consisting of TES/E.ON/Engie, operate it technically and provide further necessary services.
At the same time, TES will set up the infrastructure for the landing of green hydrogen at the terminal in Wilhelmshaven. TES intends to integrate imports of green hydrogen into the operation of the FSRU already during the first 12 months of its operation. The aim is to operate the FSRU for the landing of LNG at Wilhelmshaven only until the hydrogen terminal for green gas is put into operation. According to TES, this will presumably be the case in 2025.
Federal Minister for Economic Affais and Climate Action Robert Habeck said: "Imports of liquefied natural gas reduce our dependency on Russian pipeline gas. In these times, all steps that free ourselves as fast as possible from the shackles of Russian imports are more necessary than ever. At the same time, we are establishing the infrastructure for the landing of green hydrogen, thus making Wilhelmshaven an important landing point to secure a sustainable energy supply in Europe. The FSRU will be chartered for five years, but it will be operated in Wilhelmshaven only until the hydrogen terminal for green gas is put into operation."
FSRUs are specialised vessels to regasify liquefied natural gas to be fed into the gas grid. These floating LNG terminals thus offer the possibility to import LNG to Germany very quickly and thus further reduce the dependency on Russian gas pipeline gas.
Overview of the remaining LNG terminals
In spring, the Federal Government had already chartered four FSRUs with a capacity of 5 million m3 each. The first two are to come into operation in Brunsbüttel and Wilhelmshaven at the turn of the year 2022/23.
The Hoegh Esperanza is to be commissioned in Wilhelmshaven at the turn of the year 2022/23. Construction works and authorisation procedures are making good progress. The second vessel owned by Hoegh is planned to be stationed in Brunsbüttel, also at the turn of the year 2022/23. The capacity of the existing connection lines makes possible the landing of gas amounting to a minimum of an average of 3.5 billion m3 annually in the winter of 2022/23. Following the construction and commissioning of a new gas pipeline with a length of 55 kilometres, the line capacity can be increased to at least 5 billion m3 annually from the end of 2023. The FSRUs in Brunsbüttel and Wilhelmshaven will be operated by RWE and Uniper.
On 16 August 2022, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action and the companies Uniper, RWE and EnBW/VNG signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the temporary supply of these FSRUs in Brunsbüttel and Wilhelmshaven. The companies which have signed the MoU have expressed their intention to deliver as much LNG as possible in the period from the turn of the year 2022/23 until 31 March 2024. The aim is to make the greatest contribution possible to security of supply.
The third and fourth FSRUs will be stationed in Stade and Lubmin respectively. These FSRUs are to be commissioned at the end of 2023. The FSRU in Stade will be operated by Hanseatic Energy Hub GmbH, and the one in Lubmin by the companies RWE and Stena-Power.
It is planned to operate the FSRUs in Brunsbüttel and Stade only until the planned onshore terminals at these locations come into operation. As things stand, this will be the case in 2026.
In addition, a private FSRU with a capacity of 4.5 billion m3 annually is planned to be put into operation in Lubmin at the end of this year.
Altogether, at least 25 billion m3 annually will be available in the winter 2023/24 thanks to the FSRUs chartered by the Federal Government in addition to the planned capacity of a minimum of 4.5 billion m3 annually being made available in the context of the private project in Lubmin. This means that it will be possible to meet around one third of the gas demand (base year: 2021 – 90.5 billion) thanks to the FSRUs.