As the war dragged on, Germany, whose industry depended heavily on Russian gas, rushed to find other sources of supply. At the beginning of March, it announced the construction of a first onshore LNG gas terminal. Problem: This type of project can take several years.
Therefore, while waiting for it to emerge from the earth, on Friday, April 15, the German Ministry of Finance released an envelope worth almost 3 billion euros to rent three or even four floating terminals for the import of liquefied natural gas. These giant LNG tankers will play the same role as the land terminal, processing the LNG imported by ship. Without them, Germany currently has to resort to land terminals installed in other EU countries, which limits its import capacities.
LNG tankers in high demand
“Dependence on Russian energy imports must be reduced quickly and sustainably. Floating LNG terminals make an important contribution to this, for which we need to free up funds‘ Finance Minister Christian Lindner tweeted.
Europe, and Germany in particular, are turning to LNG to reduce dependency on Russia. A total of around twenty countries export the liquefied gas transported by ship, the three largest suppliers of which are Australia, Qatar and the USA. Liquefied to take up less space, the LNG is regasified on arrival for distribution.
According to several German media, LNG tankers are to be stationed in ports in the North Sea or Baltic Sea, and some of these facilities could go into operation next winter. On the other hand, the ministry does not specify whether the availability of floating terminals is guaranteed when these ships are currently in high demand from all countries that need to reduce their dependence on Russian gas. Germany has imported an average of 55% of its gas from Russia via onshore pipelines in recent years. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, this share was reduced to 40% by the end of the first quarter of 2022 in favor of higher imports from the Netherlands, Norway and LNG.