Germany eyes new LNC terminals as alternative to Russian gas

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Germany wants to support the construction of terminals for the importation of liquefied natural gas to reduce its dependence on Russian gas, the government said Wednesday, as tensions between Moscow and the West mount.

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“The government’s plan is to develop LNG terminals in Germany,” its spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said in a regular press conference.

“Liquefied natural gas is one of the energy supply alternatives to gas imported from Russia,” he said, noting that there were “several” projects already under way, including in Brunsbuettel and Stade in the north of the country.

Despite being launched in 2019, the planned new terminals have yet to break ground due to administrative and financial difficulties.

The gas projects were largely private investments, which “should be accelerated,” potentially with public support, Hebestreit said.

LNG terminals allow gas to be imported by sea thanks to a process of liquefaction, making transport easier.

Germany currently does not have any terminals, with all its gas being delivered via pipelines, much of it from Russia.

LNG terminals would allow Europe’s largest economy to diversify its suppliers of gas, potentially increasing direct supplies from the United States, Qatar or Canada.

The move comes as tensions between Moscow and the West over troop movements on the Ukrainian border are mounting.

The government in Berlin, caught between its economic links to Russia and its allies in the West and Ukraine, has been accused of not taking a firm enough line with Moscow.

Currently, Germany uses gas for 26.7 percent of its total energy consumption and imports 55 percent of its gas from Russia.

The country’s reliance on gas is set to increase as part of its energy transition, as it plans to shut down its coal and nuclear power plants.

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