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LNG terminal: special ship reaches Wilhelmshaven

2022-12-15T15:42:16.154Z


LNG terminal: special ship reaches Wilhelmshaven Created: 2022-12-15Updated: 2022-12-15, 4:34 p.m The special ship "Höegh Esperanza" reaches the Jade Bay to dock at the new pier for the LNG terminal. © Hauke-Christian Dittrich/dpa With the arrival of the special ship, the import terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is complete - the necessary permits are still missing. It won't be long befo


LNG terminal: special ship reaches Wilhelmshaven

Created: 2022-12-15Updated: 2022-12-15, 4:34 p.m

The special ship "Höegh Esperanza" reaches the Jade Bay to dock at the new pier for the LNG terminal.

© Hauke-Christian Dittrich/dpa

With the arrival of the special ship, the import terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is complete - the necessary permits are still missing.

It won't be long before the first gas from the ship is to be fed into the German gas network.

Wilhelmshaven - Anyone who wanted to be the first to recognize Germany's entry into the import of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on the horizon off Wilhelmshaven had to look closely: the dark blue hull of the special ship "Höegh Esperanza" only slowly became apparent on Thursday afternoon against the Frisian December gray over the North Sea .

Several tugboats and dozens of smaller and larger police boats escorted the ship, some with blue lights, until it was due to dock at the newly built LNG pier north of the deep-water port of Jade-Weser-Ports later in the afternoon.

The "Höegh Esperanza" is the technical heart of the terminal.

With the floating platform, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) delivered by tankers is to be landed, converted back into the gaseous state and pumped ashore.

With the arrival of the special ship, the Wilhelmshaven LNG terminal is now on the home stretch.

The construction of the LNG terminal, which was completed in just a few months, is part of Germany's efforts to become independent of gas supplies from Russia.

Floating LNG terminals are also due to be launched this year in Brunsbüttel in Schleswig-Holstein and in Lubmin near Greifwald.

The terminal in Wilhelmshaven with the "Höegh Esperanza" should be the first.

A newly built, around 26-kilometer pipeline from the LNG feeder to the next connection to the long-distance gas network in the district of Wittmund is also ready to go.

According to the plans of the operator, the gas importer Uniper, natural gas is to be fed into the German gas network in just over a week, on December 22nd, when the terminal is put into operation.

Because the ship was previously loaded with around 165,000 cubic meters of LNG in Spain.

According to Uniper, this amount is enough to supply 50,000 to 80,000 households in Germany for a year.

The first freighter transporting only LNG is expected in mid-January.

Overall, the terminal is to regasify at least 5 billion cubic meters of LNG per year and feed it into the German gas network.

This corresponds to around six percent of Germany's gas requirements and would replace around 11 percent of Germany's gas imports from Russia.

According to data from the shipping company, up to 7.5 billion cubic meters would be technically possible with the “Höegh Esperanza”.

According to Uniper, however, this capacity cannot be achieved due to the low water temperature in the North Sea.

"There is still a lot to be done so that the first gas can flow in a few days," said Uniper manager Holger Kreetz, who is responsible for investment planning.

Kreetz spoke of a "good, goal-oriented cooperation" between the companies, authorities and politicians involved.

The speed achieved should be used as a blueprint for the energy transition, he said.

The water and emission law permits for the commissioning of the Wilhelmshaven terminal are still missing - these are to be handed over by the authorities to the operator Uniper on Friday.

The official opening is to follow on Saturday.

Then, among others, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD), Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) and Lower Saxony's Prime Minister Stephan Weil (SPD) are expected at the terminal.

One looked in vain for political celebrities when the ship arrived on Thursday.

Dozens of onlookers watched the docking maneuver from the outer harbor of the coastal town of Hooksiel at temperatures around freezing.

However, they did not get too close to the pier, and a large contingent of police secured the arrival of the "Höegh Esperanza".

"Our main task here is clearly to protect the LNG terminal and also to protect the incoming ship here," said the spokesman for the Oldenburg police department, Helge Cassens.

Police cars blocked access roads, and a police helicopter kept circling over the site.

Drones were also banned from flying within a radius of 2.5 kilometers.

However, there was no concrete danger, said Cassens.

However, many environmentalists, residents and fishermen are critical of the terminal ship off their coast in Friesland.

Environmental protection groups are open to lawsuits against the forthcoming permit.

The criticism is primarily sparked by the discharge of waste water treated with biocides.

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Because in order to convert the liquefied natural gas delivered by tankers at around minus 162 degrees back into gas, it has to be heated with North Sea water on board the floating LNG terminals.

According to the operator Uniper, chlorine must be used as a biocide so that the seawater systems of the ship do not become overgrown with mussels or barnacles.

As can be seen from the application documents, Uniper intends to discharge up to 178 million cubic meters of biocide-treated wastewater into the Jade every year.

Environmentalists fear damage to the North Sea and the adjacent Unesco World Heritage Wadden Sea.

"This intervention in a legally protected underwater biotope destroys the habitat of numerous animal and plant species, some of which are already endangered," said the state chairman of the German Nature Conservation Union (Nabu) in Lower Saxony, Holger Buschmann, on Thursday.

The fact that an environmental impact assessment was not carried out in the accelerated approval process is "absolutely irresponsible".

The Lower Saxony authorities and the green energy minister Christian Meyer, on the other hand, recently pointed out that all applicable limit values ​​are being complied with.

dpa

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2022-12-15

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