Brunsbüttel soon ready for operation: do we need all LNG terminals?

Brunsbüttel soon ready for operation: do we need all LNG terminals?

Status: 01/20/2023 2:04 pm

A floating LNG terminal arrived in Brunsbüttel today, eleven in total. The head of the Federal Network Agency, Müller, doubts that all terminals are necessary. Experts see it the same way.

The federal government is actively promoting the construction of liquid gas import facilities to ensure Germany’s security of supply in the future. Of the seven terminal ships, it chartered five of the seven terminal ships for this purpose, two of which are in operation. today arrives floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Brunsbüttel, where Germany’s third floating LNG terminal is being built.

The terminal’s ships have already docked in Wilhelmshaven, in Lower Saxony, and in Lubmin, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The three factories initially have an annual import capacity of around 14 billion cubic meters.

Expansion work and other plants in Lubmin, Wilhelmshaven and Stade are expected to increase considerably. A total of eleven LNG terminals are expected to be operational by 2026, three of which are planned as stationary terminals.

The head of the network agency, Müller, doubts

Before the start of the attack on Ukraine, Russia supplied 55% of the local gas demand. About 55 billion cubic meters of Russian gas reached Germany through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

According to the federal government, the declared goal is to be independent of Russia’s oil, gas and coal in the short term. One-third of current gas needs can be covered by floating LNG terminals.

Federal Network Agency head Klaus Müller now doubts the need for all planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals. It was right to prepare for an extremely cold winter and “plan layoffs”, Müller told digital media company Table.Media: “But I think, looking at the first winter without the Russian gas pipeline, the statistics would be equal more accurate will watch.”

Gas supply is currently not at risk

Müller said provisions must also be made in the event “that a terminal or other pipeline fails”. The needs of neighboring countries must also be taken into account. However, it remains to be seen “whether all the terminals currently under discussion will finally be realized or fully utilized”.

Because it is proving that, even after the complete cessation of all Russian imports, the natural gas supply situation was never seriously compromised this winter. Gas storage facilities are still almost 90% full and, thanks to the mild winter, a shortage is increasingly unlikely, the Federal Network Agency writes in its daily situation assessment.

With his current statements, Müller takes up the assessments of other specialists who also criticized the magnitude of the construction of the terminal. Environmentalists also warn of possible consequences for the environment and climate.

Bad investment of tax dollars?

The New Climate Institute, a Cologne-based think tank on the topic of energy transition, came to a clear conclusion in a recent study: “The currently planned German LNG import terminals are not absolutely necessary to cover Germany’s gas needs. Germany after Russian imports cease. is permissible in meeting German climate protection targets,” is the conclusion of their investigation.

“Eleven LNG terminals with a total capacity of around 73 billion cubic meters per year could allow the import of around 50% more gas than was obtained from Russia before the war, writes the institute. “If all the planned terminals are in operation, Germany could import by land and sea almost two-thirds more natural gas than is currently consumed.”

This means that significantly more capacity is built than is needed. If all LNG plans are implemented, bad investments are foreseeable, which would be borne by taxpayers.

Oversupply very likely

an analysis of A few weeks ago, Climate Action Tracker (CAT) also came to the conclusion that countries around the world are building significantly more LNG infrastructure than is actually needed. According to the data, the predicted oversupply of LNG could reach around 500 megatons as early as 2030. This corresponds to almost five times the amount of Russian gas imported by the EU in 2021.

And the “Handelsblatt” recently had the market research firm Icis calculate the cases where LNG terminals could become a loss-making business and even tried to quantify the potential losses. ICIS expert Andreas Schröder calculated that an LNG terminal with a margin of five percent would cause a loss of around €200 million over ten years.

However, its sample calculation is subject to large uncertainties. Depending on the margin, profits are also possible. If a worse case scenario occurs, but also significantly greater losses.