German LNG import terminal plans put on fast track

Written by Nick Blenkey
German LNG import terminal

German LNG import terminal in Brunsbüttel will have berths for two LNG vessels up to Q-Max size [Image: German LNG Terminal GmbH]

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced Germany to take a hard look at its dependence on imports of Russian LNG. With the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project now on indefinite hold, Germany is ramping up plans for two LNG import terminals, one in Brunsbüttel and the other in Wilhelmshaven.

“We have made the decision to rapidly build two LNG terminals in Brunsbüttel and Wilhelmshaven,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the course of a wide-ranging February 27 speech setting out Germany’s policy in response to the Russian aggression in Ukraine.


The Brunsbüttel project has been under development by German LNG Terminal GmbH, a three way joint venture between Dutch natural gas infrastructure and transportation company Gasunie, terminal operator Vopak and Oiltanking GmbH, a subsidiary a Hamburg-based Marquard & Bahls AG.

Now the project has gotten a powerful new investor, German state investment and development bank KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau).

On Friday Gasunie and KfW signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to take the project into its next phase and start the joint construction of the LNG terminal in Brunsbüttel.

A statement from the company says that the current shareholders have agreed that “Gasunie is the best partner for the German government to complete the terminal project quickly and successfully in order to ensure stable energy supply with gas and enhance security of supply in Germany.”
Accordingly, Vopak and Oiltanking GmbH will leave the group of shareholders by May.

The project includes a jetty with two berths for vessels up to Q-Max size and facilities for the distribution of LNG by tankers, railway tanker wagons and smaller vessels. The documents submitted also serve to establish the permissibility of the planned terminal at the site. The proposed terminal at Brunsbüttel will be constructed for the import and onward distribution of LNG. It will have two LNG tanks with a capacity of 165,000 cubic meters each and an LNG regasification plant. The terminal will thus have the capacity to inject up to 8 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year into the network.


Meantime plans to install a German LNG import terminal at Wilhelmshaven are back on the front burner. The plans for the Wilhelmshaven FSRU had reportedly shelved by developer Uniper last year on cost grounds, with a green ammonia and hydrogen hub being eyed as a better option.

“Uniper is currently examining the possibility of resuming planning for an LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven,” a company spokesperson told S&P Global Platts. “The site has excellent logistical prerequisites, and Uniper has already undertaken a lot of preliminary work and planning steps for a floating terminal in recent years.”

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