FRANKFURT (Reuters) – State-owned Deutsche Energy Terminal will hold two auctions for short-term regasification capacities in 2024 at liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals at Brunsbuettel and Wilhelmshaven 1 on October 16 and 23, it said.
Another auction round in December will offer additional short-term capacities to market participants at the German Stade and Wilhlemshaven 2 terminals.
Germany’s quest to increase LNG import capacity has intensified as it seeks to end reliance on Russian pipeline gas after Russia invaded Ukraine last year.
Pending the provision of fixed terminals, Germany is using floating storage and regasification terminals (FSRUs) to help to replace piped Russian gas supplies.
Three FSRUs are working at the Wilhelmshaven, Brunsbuettel and Lubmin ports after Germany arranged their charter and onshore connections. Wilhelmshaven, Mukran and Stade are due to add more ships for the 2023/24 winter.
Industry and the government are also building up terminal capacity in anticipation of increased use of hydrogen at the sites, which when produced using renewable energy can help the transition to a lower carbon economy.
Operator Deutsche ReGas reported in August that suppliers have booked 4 billion cubic metres (bcm) of capacity for 10 years per annum at Mukran on Ruegen Island in the Baltic Sea, where the company wants to pull together two FSRUs for deliveries to the mainland.
Deutsche ReGas has sub-chartered a second FSRU from Transgas Power, with regasification capacity of 7.5 billion cubic metres (bcm), to complement the Neptune currently active at Lubmin.
LNG from Mukran is meant to flow to onshore grids via a new pipeline being built by Gascade from the first quarter of 2024.
The project has triggered local opposition. But two legal challenges by environmental groups DUH and Nabu were thrown out by the federal administrative court last month.
Utility Uniper launched Germany’s first FSRU operations, Wilhelmshaven 1, last December at the deep-water port on the North Sea. [LNG/TKUK]
Tree Energy Solutions (TES) will operate a second FSRU from later in 2023 for five years, Wilhelmshaven 2.
Uniper plans to add a land-based ammonia reception terminal and cracker in the second half of this decade. Ammonia is at times used as a carrier for hydrogen, whose low density otherwise makes transportation over long distances complicated.
TES also has plans to eventually convert its operations to clean gases.
The FSRU Neptune, chartered by Deutsche ReGas, began receiving LNG at Lubmin in the Baltic Sea early this year.
The gas is first delivered to another storage vessel, the Seapeak Hispania, and shuttled to Lubmin in a set-up taking account of shallow water.
ReGas holds long-term supply deals with France’s TotalEnergies and trading group MET.
The government wants the Neptune to move to Mukran, allowing the Seapeak Hispania to depart, and join a second FSRU there, the Transgas Power.
Regas plans a major hydrogen electrolysis plant at both Lubmin and Mukran.
The EU Commission approved a 40 million euro support measure for the land-based liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at Brunsbuettel on the North Sea, citing its contribution to the security and diversification of supply.
The Brunsbuettel FSRU, operated by RWE’s trading arm, became operational in mid-April.
It is the forerunner of a land-based LNG facility, now in receipt of a parcel of approved state support, that could start operations at the end of 2026, when an adjacent ammonia terminal could also start up.
State bank KfW, Gasunie and RWE are stakeholders and Shell has committed itself to sizeable purchases.
The total costs of the land-based terminal are 1.3 billion euros.
The inland port on the river Elbe in January started work on a landing pier for an FSRU, to be ready in the 2023/24 winter. Designated vessel Transgas Force is moored at Bremerhaven port to be fixed up for the purpose.
Project firm Hanseatic Energy Hub (HEH) also plans a land-based terminal where it has allocated regasification capacity that could be operational in 2027, including volumes for state-controlled SEFE and utility EnBW.
It has begun sounding out the market to determine whether the longer-term plans should be based largely on ammonia to be reconverted into clean hydrogen. It has identified a construction consortium.
HEH is backed by gas network company Fluxys, investment firm Partners Group, logistics group Buss and chemicals company Dow.
EnBW, which is also a buyer at Wilhelmshaven and Brunsbuettel, said it would double annual purchases to 6 bcm.
(Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Barbara Lewis, Jan Harvey, David Evans and Jane Merriman)