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Federal Council votes for rapid LNG expansion and energy expropriations


In order to break away from Russia, Germany is pushing ahead with the construction of liquid gas terminals. Economics Minister Habeck has also agreed on a comprehensive energy partnership with Qatar.

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Future investors for liquid gas imports in Wilhelmshaven: the law should be applied sparingly


Sina Schuldt / dpa

LPG is intended to reduce Germany's dependence on Russian gas.

The Federal Council has now created the framework for the infrastructure required for imports and approved the construction of floating and fixed LNG terminals.

Before the vote, Federal Economics and Climate Protection Minister Robert Habeck countered the impression that eastern Germany was suffering particularly from the consequences of the tensions in relations with Russia and the sanctions.

These were not imposed "with West glasses," said the Green politician.

Rather, it is Germany's eastern partner countries that are urging Russia's war not to be successful.

Russian gas does come into the country via eastern Germany, said Habeck.

But if there are bottlenecks, customers in the south-west would have to worry because the gas will be used first where it arrives earlier.

"In this situation, we must not succumb to the risk of losing sight of the big picture," said Habeck.

Solidarity is necessary.

During talks in East Germany, he had the impression that “the categories sometimes slipped”.

There are high energy prices and inflation, but this is not due to wrong policies in Germany, but to Putin's war of aggression.

Qatar wants to deliver from 2024

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is intended to help free Germany from its dependence on Russian gas.

So far, the infrastructure required for the import is missing.

Therefore, the construction of floating and fixed LNG terminals is to be accelerated by allowing the licensing authorities to temporarily omit certain procedural steps, especially in the environmental impact assessment.

The first floating LNG terminal is scheduled to go into operation in Wilhelmshaven before the end of the year.

The Prime Minister of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Manuela Schwesig, said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had destroyed long-standing economic cooperation with his brutal war of aggression.

Dealing with the consequences and the changes in the energy supply are difficult.

The SPD politician said that the planned LNG terminals would not only be needed on the North Sea, but also on the Baltic Sea.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline with the distribution station in Lubmin, which was originally put on hold, is to be used for LNG in the future.

Qatar has now announced that it will be supplying Germany with LNG as early as 2024.

"We want our US liquid gas plant Golden Pass in Texas, in which Qatar Energy holds 70 percent, to be ready by 2024 so that we can deliver to Germany," said the Deputy Prime Minister of the Gulf State, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, the "Handelsblatt «.

Al Thani signed a corresponding declaration of intent for an energy partnership with Habeck on Friday.

It should also give Germany a boost in cooperation on "green hydrogen".

Additional gas volumes would then be added a little later, the Deputy Prime Minister told the "Handelsblatt": "The expansion of production in our North Dome gas field will be completed in 2026, maybe even as early as 2025." North Dome is the world's largest gas field, which is shared by Qatar and Iran divide under the Persian Gulf.

By 2026 at the latest, Qatari gas production is to be increased from the current 77 to 126 million tons of LNG.

Environmentalists criticize plans for LNG terminal in Hamburg

So far, according to the information, it had been said that the world's largest liquid gas exporter could only supply Germany with large quantities if the state-owned company Qatar Energy had increased production to 126 million tons of LNG annually.

The Emir of Qatar wants to meet with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) in Berlin for further talks.

The state visit will also deal with further billions in investments in German companies.

After commitments at Volkswagen, Deutsche Bank, Siemens Energy, Curevac and Hapag-Lloyd, Qatar is already the largest investor from the Middle East in the German economy.

While the federal government is looking for new sources of gas, the environmental organization BUND is criticizing the plans to expand the LNG infrastructure in the port of Hamburg.

"Before installing a floating terminal in Hamburg, we expect complete transparency about the actual gas demand," said Hamburg's BUND state manager Lucas Schäfer.

A floating LNG terminal costs 200,000 euros per day.

more on the subject

Underwater biotope and porpoises are said to be in danger: German environmental aid is taking action against the LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven

In view of this “madness”, all possible savings in gas consumption would first have to be checked, said Schäfer.

All planned terminals would be justified with the public services, the BUND announced.

It is industry that causes about half of the natural gas consumption in Germany, including the petrochemical plastics industry.

The Federal Council also voted in favor of an amendment to the Energy Security Act, according to which, in the event of a crisis, those companies that operate critical energy infrastructure can be placed under trustee administration.

This should make it easier for the state to access energy companies in the future if there are serious supply bottlenecks.

If there is a "concrete danger" that a company will not fulfill its tasks and there is a risk that security of supply will be impaired, the reformed law can temporarily place it under trusteeship.

As a last resort, the possibility of expropriation is even created.

Habeck said he hoped that the law would have to be applied “as sparingly as possible”.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-05-20

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